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Move on Up at the Radio Festival is a hit

Delegates at Move on Up Radio, The Lowry, 20 October 2010. Pic: Rod Leon

22 October 2010

Radio 1 DJ Trevor Nelson, BBC Radio chief Tim Davie and 40 top radio industry executives gathered with 100 black and minority ethnic professionals on 20 October for Move on Up at the Radio Festival.

This was the sixth Move on Up event in the award-winning series devised by BECTU. Each event assists BME professionals to make good contacts to boost their careers in a contacts-driven industry.

Prior to this week's gathering, diversity officer, Janice Turner had scheduled almost 400 20-minute one-to-one meetings and every executive had been sent the CVs of those they were due to see.

The union won praise from all sides for delivering a successful afternoon.

Undivided attention

Trevor Nelson, seeing all the meetings in progress, said it was a fantastic opportunity: “Not even the people who work for these executives get 20 minutes of their undivided attention!”

One of hundreds of one-to-one sessions at Move on Up Radio 20 October 2010One of hundreds of one-to-one interviews held at Move on Up Radio.  Pic: Rod Leon

The event took place at the end of the annual Radio Festival, held this year at The Lowry in Salford Quays, just across the river from Media City where substantial parts of the BBC are relocating.

The BBC was keen to explain its plans to the BME professionals and ran two workshops – one titled Opportunities at Media City and the other Demystifying the BBC Recruitment Process. A third workshop, chaired by Janice Turner, featured Radio Independents Group members Janet Graves of Pennine Productions and Andy Cartwright of Soundscape – a member of the RIG board – and was titled Getting Your Idea On Air.

Alongside more than 20 BBC executives were colleagues from all the major commercial radio companies: Bauer, Global and Guardian Media Group. The chief operating officer of Absolute Radio also took part. RIG companies also supported the one-to-one meetings which took place throughout the afternoon.

Commenting on the opportunities, Janice Turner said:

"Participants were encouraged to try for informal meetings with the executives during tea breaks or to jump in and introduce themselves if they spotted an executive sitting at their table with no-one speaking with them, so by the end of the afternoon everyone was exhausted, though many were also exhilarated."

Boosted confidence

One delegate told BECTU’s Black Members Sub-Committee that her meetings had really boosted her confidence; another said he was going to substantially revise his CV after constructive criticism.

Many of the BME professionals were already members of BECTU, the NUJ or other unions but the BMSC, supported by North West regional official, Jo Livesey, and union learning organiser, John Crumpton, worked hard to encourage the non-members to join up.

BMSC chair, Faisal Qureshi, commented: “The committee is delighted that after an absence of three years our Move on Up programme is back, courtesy of the BBC who stepped in to make it happen after it became clear that no alternative source of public funding would be forthcoming.

"Move on Up at the Radio Festival went as smoothly as we could possibly imagine and we anticipate that the new relationships we have brought about will result in new opportunities for our radio industry colleagues.”


 For more information about Move on Up contact Janice Turner.