Senior BBC staff given 'youth mentors' to stay in touch with under-30s

BBC to give senior staff ‘youth mentors’ to teach them how to be in touch with under 30s

Senior staff at the BBC are to be given young mentors in an attempt to keep them engaged with the younger generation.

The broadcasting corporation plans that the ‘reverse mentoring’ will stem the curb of young people who are turning off the BBC, following recent warnings that OFCOM could stop a wide remit of shows after taking over from the BBC trust.

New plans for the scheme will see senior managers in radio and education being paired with their own mentor who will advise them on how to tailor their audiences to under 30s.

James Purnell, the BBC’s director of radio and education, claimed that the scheme would help ‘reinvent’ the BBC in an attempt to compete with the likes of Facebook and Amazon in attracting youthful leadership.


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‘The idea came from a presentation by another group of young BBC employees who pointed out that in our content-making areas (e.g. TV, Radio) the percentage of senior leaders under 30 is particularly low’, he said.

‘In 2016/17 it was only 0.1%. Which maybe doesn’t sound unusual until you think that the founders of Google, Amazon, Facebook and Apple were all 30 or under.’

Recent figures have shown that the BBC is struggling to keep 16-34 year olds engaged with its content.

At present, Radio 1 currently has an average listener age of 33, while BBC 3 has seen a drop in popularity since becoming an online-only platform last year.