BBC faces backlash after advertising for weather presenters with disabilities

BBC faces backlash after advertising for weather presenters with disabilities

The BBC faces a backlash after the broadcaster advertised for a new weather presenter, with a disability.

The ad posted on the corporation’s website said that the BBC is looking to train budding weather presenters and that the only requirement is that the candidates should have a disability.

No qualifications in meteorology were required.

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

Successful candidates would be given training in how to present the weather and would be eligible to apply for future vacancies.

However, the ad has been criticised by staff who is said to be furious and to be accusing the broadcaster of positive discrimination.

A source told The Sun: “This feels like political correctness gone mad on the part of the BBC.

“Everyone supports disabled people getting great jobs but it makes sense that they still have the right experience and qualifications. This feels like a box-ticking exercise.”

The BBC has responded to the criticism, saying that the company is not looking for a new weather presenter, but for people to take part in a training programme.

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

Speaking exclusively to Recruitment Grapevine, Sally Clare, Head of Diversity at Ambition Group UK, , says that there are plenty of things that can be done to improve a company’s diversity.

She says: “Put internal measures in place to encourage people with disabilities to join the organisation. Consider how the job description is written and the language used as well as where the job is advertised. .

“Create inclusive networks and events to ensure that there is a good support network for minority groups within the businesses and highlight this on the website and social media

“Industry representatives should go into schools to make young people aware of the careers that are available to them as well as specific companies which have signed up to the Two Ticks Scheme.”

Jobcentre Plus has created the Two Ticks Scheme to promote diversity in the workplace. Jobcentre Plus can give companies permission to use the Two Ticks symbol in their job ads if they promise to interview all disabled applicants if they meet the minimum criteria of the job, discuss with disabled employees once a year how their abilities can be developed, make sure that workers who becomes disabled can stay employed, that employees have a level of disability awareness and to review how their commitments for disabled people can be improved annually.


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Comments (4)

  • Melanie
    Wed, 3 Jun 2015 12:40pm BST
    I really do not see the issue here! The ad was for a trainee place. for the application you had to write and present a piece on the environment and have a deep interest in meteorology (sp). I think this is a positive step. I do not get the backlash at all. Well Done BBC
  • Frank
    Fri, 29 May 2015 2:40pm BST
    Perhaps we should be thinking of giving the BBC an award (se your own article: and then reminding them that they could apply similar principles to recruit more people with disabilities into mainstream presenting roles. There a some examples but not many where disabled people play a leading part currently.
  • Christine
    Fri, 29 May 2015 2:21pm BST
    Anyone else watch W1A? Shades of #BeardyWeather
    More seriously - positive action is one way to redress imbalances in the workplace, so 'well done' to the BBC for making the effort.
  • Tom
    Fri, 29 May 2015 1:40pm BST
    "a source told the Sun" = the Sun made up a quote that gives them a platform to regurgitate one of their mantras - political correctness gone mad. I expect we'll all be off to hell in a handcart shortly. This ad was poorly thought out but certainly well intended.

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