IBC2024 to host inaugural World Skills Café diversity and education event

The inaugural World Skills Café event, the industry’s first global flagship event for skills, diversity, and education, is set to take place at IBC2024 in September. Organised by the Global Media & Entertainment Talent Manifesto, it will bring together international industry representatives to work collaboratively and collectively to address critical talent and social issues that impact media and technology companies across the globe.

The World Skills Café will run from 2pm–5pm on Thursday 12 September at RAI Amsterdam, with networking drinks to follow. The event will unite broadcasters, streaming brands, technology vendors, outside broadcast companies, studios, diversity leaders, recruiters and education representatives to drive discussions in collaborative workshops and panels throughout the afternoon. Facilitators and experts from across the skills, education and diversity landscape will lead the sessions, encouraging interactive participation and active contributions towards the outcomes and commitments that are made.

“We see it as vitally important to launch this new flagship event, with the aim of examining the current skills shortages and really understanding which roles the skills gap is hitting and who is being underrepresented in the media technology sector,” said Carrie Wootten, the Global Media and Entertainment Talent Manifesto’s co-founder. The World Skills Café will address how we are going to work collectively to address these shortages and ensure diversity is embedded within these roles and the wider industry. Critically, we are also going to examine what the skills of the future are and how we can work together to educate and train the workforce of tomorrow.”

Many major players in the M&E and media technology sectors are seeing a skills shortage and a disproportionately ageing white male workforce. For example, across the UK’s wider creative industries, only a third of managerial and director roles are held by women, while over 90% of professionals in these sectors are white, according to recent research by the Creative Industries Policy & Evidence Centre.

Despite rapid innovation driving businesses forward, the wider industry suffers from a continued lack of diversity. Currently, there is no dedicated global forum for knowledge-sharing and information on best practice around how to address these issues, or any established methods to understand how organisations can work together to confront these challenges. The inaugural World Skills Café aims to address these issues, providing a focal point for sharing in-depth, first-hand experiences while providing an innovation hub for developing tangible solutions to workplace and diversity challenges.

Jo Mayer, head of marketing at IBC, noted: “The World Skills Café is an ideal fit for IBC2024. Its aims dovetail perfectly with our own efforts to promote engagement and conversation on these issues through the people and purpose pillar of the IBC content programme. Helping the media, entertainment and technology industry continue to find and foster the next generation of talent while enabling greater diversity and inclusion is central to the positive workplace change the IBC community is addressing across the show.”

The immediate goal of the World Skills Café will be to create a ‘live’ Manifesto document that can be viewed by the industry, outlining commitments made during the Café that individuals and companies will pledge to deliver, alongside a written report. These commitments will then be reviewed in 2025 to see how much progress and action has been taken and how the skills landscape has shifted in the first year.

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