Sky has launched a new Assistant Commissioner programme, a two-year scheme to attract creatives from outside the traditional commissioning pool.

There are six roles, with a full-time salary, that will across Sky’s key commissioning genres – comedy, drama, arts and entertainment, factual, kids and original film.

Sky says the new scheme is in recognition of the fact that senior commissioning executives are often from similar backgrounds, and with turnover low, “the new scheme has been developed to bring in fresh perspectives and voices by widening the creative recruitment pool.”

The programme is part of Sky’s wider diversity and inclusion strategy.

Sky says it will look for creative talent “with a wide range of skillsets from industries ranging from theatre, gaming and music to script writers, producers and more will be identified and invited to apply.”

“To ensure Sky’s hiring panel look at recruitment through a different set of success metrics, Sky is also working with an expert on assessment criteria that’s based more around personality, situational judgement and motivation fit rather than the traditional commissioner skill set.”

Zai Bennett, Managing Director of Content Sky UK and Ireland explains, “We know there has been a lot of work done to bring new voices and perspectives to commissioning, but it’s mainly been focused on entry level positions. We recognised a big gap in the market in terms of developing real skills in commissioning at a senior level which is why we are launching the Assistant Commissioner programme. “

He continues, “It’s about giving people a platform who don’t already have it. We want new voices, new experiences and new perspectives in our team to tell authentic stories that represent our wide customer base. This will not only bolster Sky’s creative output but it will upskill talent for the wider broadcasting industry.”

Sky has deliberately made the scheme a two-year programme to ensure each commissioner sees a programme through from greenlight to production, experiencing all aspects of the commissioning and production process. Once hired and on the programme, candidates will be supported with mentoring and dedicated development and support tools.

The Assistant Commissioner programme has been funded by Sky as part of its £30 million commitment to tackle structural inequality, support diversity and inclusion, “and use our voice to make a difference in communities impacted by racism.” The programme will go live today for internal and external candidates on the Sky Careers page.

Jon Creamer

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