BBC under fire for ‘disabled only’ job vacancy

by Chloe Taylor01 Jun 2015
The BBC is searching for a new weather presenter, with only one requirement for candidates – they must be disabled.

The British broadcaster has advertised a training opportunity for budding weather presenters, stating that in order for candidates to be eligible to take part, they must have a disability. A lack of relevant qualifications or experience will seemingly be overlooked by the organisation’s recruiters. 

An advertisement posted on the BBC’s careers website said that the corporation is currently looking to recruit a disabled presenter to improve “on screen diversity”.

“Do you want to share your passion for the weather by presenting weather bulletins? Do you have a disability?” the post reads. “The BBC does not currently have any weather presenters who are disabled and we are actively seeking to improve on screen diversity.”

“You don't need to be an expert or have a qualification in meteorology,” the advert continues.

The Daily Mail reported that staff are said to be “furious” at the discrimination, referring to the advertisement as a “politically correct job vacancy” and a “box-ticking exercise”.
Traditionally, the BBC’s weather presenters are fully qualified meteorologists with an abundance of formal qualifications. 

Among the corporation’s current weather presenters are weatherman Alex Deakin, who has an astrophysics degree; Chris Fawkes, who has a degree in geography, Peter Gibbs, a polar meteorologist and Philip Avery, who is a navy weather expert.

According to the job advert, the BBC Academy will be running a free training opportunity to help people with disabilities feel comfortable presenting bulletins on television and radio.

Candidates will undergo extensive training, including a masterclass with current weather presenters and sessions with a voice coach.

“You will meet established weather presenters and members of the production team and will learn what it takes to present BBC weather bulletins,” the advert said.

Following the completion of the training, candidates will be eligible to apply for future vacancies.

A spokesperson for the BBC recently defended the broadcaster’s advertisement.

“We are not advertising for a disabled weather presenter,” the spokesperson said. “This training opportunity is open to men and women with disabilities who have a passion for weather and the environment and who have the potential to become weather presenters in the future.”

“There are no jobs guaranteed at the end of the training,” the spokesperson added. “There is nothing ‘PC’ about offering training to people with disabilities.”


  • by mcc 1/06/2015 10:47:15 AM

    The headline doesn't match the content. As a pwd I think this is great. I wish more organizations took effective measure to correct long standing inequities by offering training of this sort.

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