Around 900 professionals from a range of diverse backgrounds will receive training bursaries of up to £1,600 under Creative Skillset’s Diversity Fund.

The bursaries will be administered by the skills body’s employer ownership of skills pilot scheme and are designed to help individuals in England access training and skills development in the creative industries.

Disabled applicants will be eligible for grants of up to £1,600, while black, Asian and minority ethnic (BAME) and lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) individuals can apply for bursaries worth up to £1,200.

Applications will be accepted until February 2015 from individuals with at least 12 months professional experience who belong to at least one of the specified under-represented groups - women, disabled people, LGBT and BAME.

The Diversity Fund will complement Creative Skillset’s diversity-focused internship program, in which 300 young BAME professionals will secure temporary roles with 150 employers including Channel 4, ITV and the BBC.

Furthermore, an LGBT leadership scheme will be developed later this year in partnership with InterMedia.

Creative Skillset is tackling statistics that show representation of just 5.4% employment from BAME backgrounds and 4% for people with disabilities in the creative sector.

The funding for the employer ownership pilot was won by the creative industries after two rounds of bidding. It is jointly funded by the Department for Business Innovation & Skills and the Department for Education.

Creative Skillset’s executive director of operations Gary Townsend said: “Through this new targeted investment for individuals, we can now open doors to more people than ever before to help grow and support creative skills, talent and businesses.”