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'BAME Only': BBC Slammed for Journo Training That Excludes White Candidates

© AFP 2023 / Carl CourtA BBC logo is pictured on a television screen inside the BBC's New Broadcasting House office in central London, on November 12, 2012.
A BBC logo is pictured on a television screen inside the BBC's New Broadcasting House office in central London, on November 12, 2012. - Sputnik International
The story marks the latest in a series of similar instances across the UK in which large employers seek to ‘diversify’ the workplace by shunning white, and sometimes male, candidates.

The BBC has come under fire for excluding white people from a scheme aimed at training future radio journalists.

According to the Daily Mail report, the traineeship, which offers a salary of £20,000, promises to provide successful applicants with a year long scheme at one of the UK's largest radio stations: BBC Radio 1 in London.

Yet, white people from higher earning backgrounds will unfortunately have to put their dreams of working with the news giant aside as according to the programmes description the "traineeship is only open to candidates from a BAME or lower socio-economic background." 'BAME' stands for 'black, Asian and minority ethnic' peoples.

The development comes not long after the BBC announced that it would be carrying out "action to boost staff from BAME backgrounds." The corporation's director general, Tony Hall, has previously mentioned the "importance" of efforts to bolster a BAME workplace 'culture' at the BBC.

READ MORE: US Investigating Allegations of Admissions Bias Against Asian Americans by Yale

The practice of 'positive action' — favouring some individuals for jobs over others because they belong to a group that has been discriminated against in the past — has aroused frustration among some who argue that the policy enforces a reverse form of discrimination, whereby white people become marginalised from opportunity. 

Some Twitter users expressed such opinions over the BBC's latest action.

Employment lawyer, Philip Landau, told the Daily Mail that, "the Equality Act does allow organisations to take 'positive action' to encourage under-represented groups to apply for jobs or to participate in other opportunities."

"Positive action of this kind is only allowed if an employer can demonstrate that it is limiting applications to overcome the disadvantage suffered by minority groups, and the steps taken to do this are 'proportionate.' However, a strict policy which treats persons of a disadvantage group more favourably than others and regardless of merit is not something which is allowed under the Act," Mr Landau reportedly added.

READ MORE: British Man Points to Problem of 'Positive Discrimination' Against White Men

A BBC spokesperson told the Daily Mail that, "this is a training programme — not a job. It is a scheme for organisations who want to address under-representation in their business in a lawful way and, like many other media organisations, we're proud to be taking part."

The BBC incident is just the latest in a litany of others in which white people have been disadvantaged when it comes to applying for job posts due to 'positive action' policies. In February 2019 a 25-year-old British man won a landmark court case against Cheshire Police after they had turned him down for a job because he was white, male and heterosexual.     

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