BBC Radio is launching a new apprenticeship scheme believed to be the first of its kind, which will focus on giving school leavers a chance to break into radio.
The two-year BBC Radio Journalism Apprenticeship will offer six candidates the opportunity to combine study at Lambeth College in London with work placements at the BBC radio production department.
The scheme will concentrate primarily on BBC Radio 4 and the World Service and will train the individuals in every aspect of radio journalism, from creating accurate and balanced reports, to writing for radio, the web, and social media.
The apprenticeship is aimed at people who can demonstrate passion for radio rather than those with academic qualifications from University.
Ruth Gardiner, acting controller of radio and music production, said: “We want to give people who do not have graduate experience but who listen to some of our programmes and who have a genuine interest in how such programmes are made the opportunity to join the department.
“Apprenticeships are important because they help attract recruits from a wide range of backgrounds by offering the opportunity to earn while learning.”
James Hardy, head of communications at BBC Radio, added: “Applicants will not be expected to have a great deal of technical proficiency and know-how, just a real passion for radio.”
The apprenticeship has been developed in conjunction with the National Council for the Training of Journalists and at the end of the two-year period the six individuals should have all the skills to gain an Advanced Apprenticeship in Journalism.
Last year Press Gazette revealed the London Evening Standard and Independent titles would be taking part in the same NCTJ apprenticeship scheme. Managing editor Doug Wills said the titles were planning to take on three school leavers.
Joanne Butcher, Chief Executive of the NCTJ, said: “The Advanced Apprenticeship in Journalism is a brand new qualification developed by the NCTJ in partnership with leading employers.
“It provides a new pathway into journalism careers, combining learning on the job and at college, and to the same exacting standards we expect from all NCTJ trainees.”
The pilot apprenticeship and work placement will start in September 2013 and at the end of the two years, successful candidates can expect to be in with a chance of a job within BBC radio.
Hardy said: “The hope is to offer the six successful candidates a job at the end of the scheme because there is no point spending all that time and effort training someone if you’re not going to take them on full-time.
“Of course in some cases it might not work out, but we would hope the qualification would help them to find a position elsewhere.”
The application process will open via the BBC Careers site on 6 May.
Mark Silverman, Principal of Lambeth College, said: “We are delighted that we have the opportunity to launch the new Apprenticeship in Radio Journalism in partnership with the BBC Radio production department.”