On 26 April 2019, Eleanor Smith, MP for Wolverhampton South West, visited ITV in Leeds as part of her IPT Fellowship. Through her Fellowship she is exploring programmes that encourage young people to enter the world of technology, digital and – as is the case with this visit – media.
Though ITV is headquartered in London, its Leeds studio on Kirskstall Road is home to their Calendar Newsroom – dedicated to news in the local Yorkshire area. The studio also produces various drama shows including Emmerdale, where Eleanor was given a set tour. Aside from providing the opportunity to see the famous farm, the tour put into the perspective the size of the operation of ITV in Leeds.
ITV run a number of programmes to encourage young people from all backgrounds to build their careers in media. These include their Breaking into News competition, the ITV Insights programme, and the support they lend to Creative Diversity’s Network Open News Days. Eleanor met with ITV’s Head of HR, Trish Brady, as well as three apprentices to discuss these initiatives and to find out more about what could be done, from both Parliament and industry, to attract young talent to the sector.
Eleanor Smith will take the knowledge that she picked up from her visit to ITV in Leeds back to Wolverhampton and to Westminster, where is PPS to Diane Abbott MP as Shadow Home Secretary and sits on the Public Admin & Constitutional Affairs Committee.