A GROUNDBREAKING initiative – Beyond Brontes – has been launched in a bid to promote diversity in the film and TV industries.

Bradford Council and Screen Yorkshire have joined forces for a recruitment drive aimed at attracting young people aged 18 to 24, from a range of backgrounds, into the sector.

Anyone within the age group living in the Leeds City Region, which includes Keighley, can apply for a place on a new skills programme.

Tailored support will be provided to successful applicants over a period of between six months and a year.

Sam Fray, the Beyond Brontes programme manager at Screen Yorkshire, said: "The screen industries are one of the least diverse sectors in the UK, despite a desire to be more representative of the population as a whole.

"Whilst there is strong interest in the film and TV production sector amongst our region's young people, representation by ethnic minorities and those from working-class communities remains very low.

"Beyond Brontes aims to address this by supporting young people to develop the skills, confidence and connections to succeed in the industries."

Also involved in the venture is Channel 4.

Laura Boswell, for the TV company, said: "The programme is a great example of the collaboration that is already underway between ourselves and partners in the region as we look to establish our new national HQ in Leeds later this year.

"We’re delighted to be working with Screen Yorkshire and Bradford Council to create high-quality opportunities for young people from diverse backgrounds to begin their careers in the TV industry, which is a top priority for Channel 4.

"This initiative will support the region in developing a strong grassroots pipeline of talent, which will become a huge asset to the local production industry in the future."

Roger Marsh, chairman of the Leeds City Region Enterprise Partnership, said the region was "fantastically diverse" and he was keen to see that reflected more widely on screen.

He added: "Beyond Brontes is a pioneering programme to highlight new talent and nurture those wanting a career in the screen industries.

"Through our #futuregoals and #4sparks campaign we’ve already seen huge desire from the next generation of young talent, and we’ll continue to inspire and support young people from all backgrounds and every area of our region to reach their future goals on screen or behind the camera."

The programme will offer targeted support across a range of disciplines, from make-up and set design to accountancy and editing.

Modules will include internships, careers information, one-to-one support, training and mentoring.

Rizwan Rehman, cohesion and inclusion lead at Bradford Council, welcomes the scheme.

He said: "We’re really excited by the way Beyond Brontes responds sensitively to the needs of young people, providing a 'pick and mix’ package of training and support which ensures that the programme is both flexible and bespoke to every individual taking part."

Applications for places on the programme close on June 3.

For more details, visit screenyorkshire.co.uk.