BBC under fire over local jobs at Salford site


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The Independent Online

The BBC has been criticised after it emerged that only 26 out of 680 new jobs created at its new Media City site went to locals.

The majority of 1,846 staff who work at the site in Salford, which is home to Radio 6 Music, the BBC Sport website and part of Radio 5 Live, have moved from other BBC offices around the country.

BBC bosses said Balfour Beatty, which supplies support staff within the BBC buildings, also recruited 90 staff from the Salford area.

The corporation has launched two schemes to offer apprenticeships to teenagers in Salford and Greater Manchester to "address the challenge of offering entry-level opportunities for local residents in an area of high unemployment".

Ken Lee, human resources director at BBC North, said: "We believe that this is a promising start. The BBC has recruited from across the north of England based on skills and experience, not by postcode.

"Additionally, initiatives such as the ambassador and apprenticeship programmes offer local residents the chance not only to gain valuable entry-level experience but permanent jobs as well."

Salford and Eccles MP Hazel Blears said the figures were "incredibly disappointing".

She told the Manchester Evening News: "The BBC needs to up its game and start to employ local people for local jobs.

"I'm shocked they have only come up with such a small number and I think they can do much, much better. In these difficult economic times it is vital that local people are able to take jobs in their home areas."