Disabled people still under-represented in

TV at just 5%

Wednesday 3 June 2015

The Creative Diversity Network (CDN) and Creative Skillset are calling for the TV industry to look urgently at the numbers of disabled staff in television and come together to improve representation levels.

This joint call comes in response to the Creative Skillset Workforce Survey issued in May that showed that the proportion of disabled people in television is still much lower than in the economy as a whole and has not improved for 10 years.

Just 5% of the TV workforce consider themselves to be disabled*, compared with 11% of the wider working population.

The figures vary slightly by TV sub-sector, with the independent production workforce having the highest proportion of individuals with a disability (6%), followed by terrestrial TV (4%) and cable and satellite TV (3%).

The survey also finds that freelancers in the TV workforce (6%) are slightly more likely than permanent staff (4%) to have a disability. The workforce survey also shows that those with disability working in TV earned £2,440 less than the industry average.


Creative Media Workforce Survey 2014: Disability in TV

The survey provided a snapshot of data across the creative industries and is thelargest survey of skills and training issues of individuals working across TV. Comprising over 1,100 respondents within television, the survey asked questions about pay, barriers to receiving training especially around freelance staff and analysed the recruitment, working patterns, training needs and socio economic backgrounds of those working in TV.


Andrew Chowns, CEO of Directors UK and the Chairman of Creative Skillset’s TV Skills Council said: ”The TV industry has much work to do to create a truly diverse and representative workforce. The progress that has been made in recent years to encourage more BAME and women professionals must be extended to people with disabilities. The TV Skills Council is now working on plans to achieve this.”  

John McVay, Chair of the Creative Diversity Network and CEO of indie trade bodyPact said: “TV can’t afford to miss out on the talent and skills of disabled people. Although we still have work to do to get more BAME people into TV, I’m determined that CDN will also be at the forefront of the drive to attract more disabled people.”

*defined by the Equality Act 2010 as having a physical or mental impairment that has a ‘substantial’ and ‘long-term’ negative effect on an individual’s ability to do normal daily activities).


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For more information about this release, please contact Andy Bate in the Creative Skillset Press Office: andrewb@creativesklillset.org / 07932 102 826.


Notes to Editors

Creative Skillset empowers the Creative Industries to develop skills and talent. It does this by influencing and shaping policy, ensuring quality and by securing the vital investment for individuals to become the best in their field and for businesses to grow. As the industry skills body for the Creative Industries, it works across film, television, radio, fashion, animation, games, visual effects, textiles, publishing, advertising, marketing communications and performing arts. www.creativeskillset.org

Creative Skillset’s Creative Media Workforce Survey was undertaken between October and December 2014 consisting of almost 5,000 people across the creative media industries, including more than 1,100 people across TV. Summary reports are available for the following industries: TV, radio, games, animation, VFX, film production,cinema exhibition.  If you are interested in any of the other sectors listed here, please email your enquiry to research@creativeskillset.org

Hiive, the professional network for creative people, powered by Creative Skillset and launched in March, is the perfect place for new and established talent to showcase their skills, gain opportunities and connect with industry.

The Creative Skillset Tick is the quality mark awarded to courses that produce work ready graduates and apprentices.

Creative Skillset’s Creative Industries Work Placement Guidelines give guidance for employers offering Work Placement Schemes in the Creative Industries.


The Creative Diversity Network (CDN) is the television industry’s diversity forum, paid for by its members. Our role is to bring together organizations who employ people and make programmes across UK television to promote, celebrate and share good practice on diversity. www.creativediversitynetwork.com

Current CDN initiatives designed to help tackle the under-representation of disabled people in television include:

  • The first Industry Careers Day, which takes place on June 24 at Ravensbourne, a university sector college innovating in digital media and design. The Careers Day is aimed at 16-20 year olds who want a career in television. Disabled young people are being given priority for places, alongside BAME young people and young people from socio-economically disadvantaged backgrounds;

  • The Commissioner Development Programme, a pan-industry initiative to widen the diversity of commissioning that is supported by Creative Skillset and involves all the major broadcasters. The initiative, which was launched earlier this year, combines commissioning roles with a high-level tailored development programme. Applications for roles were particularly encouraged from disabled and BAME candidates. We expect to announce the successful candidates later this month.’

Source: http://creativeskillset.org/news_events/press_office/3425_disabled_people_still_under-represented_in_tv_at_just_5