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Hull Truck Theatre unveils plans to improve its diversity and working conditions

The success of Hull's City of Culture has inspired the investment in creative and cultural activities Hull Truck is "making a commitment to find ways to open its doors to those who might not know where the door is", says its executive director
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Hull Truck Theatre Company has committed to new diversity targets and introduced schemes to help young people from deprived areas break into the theatre industry.

The venue has committed to audition at least 50% black, Asian and minority ethnic and disabled actors for all of its productions. It will also maintain a 50/50 gender split across its creative teams.

From this month (May 2018), the theatre will also reduce its working week from 40 hours to 37.5 hours. It aims to make jobs at the organisation more accessible to parents and carers, along with improving the work-life balance of all its employees.

This change comes from a new partnership with campaign group Parents in Performing Arts. The organisation partnered with Sheffield Theatres, Theatr Clwyd, Liverpool Everyman and the National Theatre of Scotland earlier this year to improve working conditions for parents and carers.

Hull Truck Theatre will also help young people break into the theatre industry with a series of new schemes.

In August, the theatre will run its Technical Skills Training programme to help young people over the age of 18 train in lighting, sound and technical work in theatres. The scheme is in partnership with UK Theatre and is funded by Natwest, UK Theatre and the Society of London Theatre.

Hull Truck will also be going into schools in October for Off Stage Choices, a career day for students aged 14 to 16, focusing on opportunities in production, technical, marketing and design. Half the teenagers taking part in the scheme will be those attending schools in the most deprived areas of Hull.

Hull Truck Theatre executive director Janthi Mills-Ward and artistic director Mark Babych said: “Our own journey into the arts has been relatively smooth, but that is because we have been lucky enough to have had the right opportunities at the right time.

“We are making a commitment to find ways to open the doors to the theatre to those who might not know where the door is, never mind how to get through it. We recognise that theatre can only benefit from having a richer wealth of voices and perspectives, whether on or off stage, or in the audience.”

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