BBC launches new technology and engineering apprenticeship

The BBC has announced a new technology and engineering apprentice scheme, the BBC Technology Apprenticeship, to address a critical technology skills shortage in the broadcast sector. 

Funded by BBC Technology and the government’s Employer Ownership Skills Pilot, the scheme, with the participation of a number of industry partners, aims to produce 100 highly skilled, experienced and employable graduate level apprentices over eight years to meet growing industry demand.

The apprenticeship can be applied for via the BBC Careers site and will recruit 20 apprentices annually for an innovative three year programme, working toward an honours bachelor degree. Apprentices will be based across the UK and will receive a combination of world class training, work placements and academic study.

"We aim to make the BBC's training and associated resources available more widely across the broadcast supply chain." – Anne Morrison, director, BBC Academy

As part of the Open Channels initiative announced in December 2012, BBC Technology and the BBC Academy, in partnership with major UK universities and Creative Skillset, have brought together some of the UK’s biggest broadcasters (BBC, Channel 4, and ITV) and media infrastructure companies (Red Bee Media and Arqiva) to shape a common skills agenda, collaborating for the first time ever to solve a critical industry skills gap.

This combined industry involvement will help apprentices gain the knowledge, skills and experience to succeed; creating the next generation of engineering talent for the industry. Apprentices will also benefit from work placements within partner organisations as part of the practice-based learning programme.

"The BBC has been at the forefront of broadcasting engineering excellence over many decades," said John Linwood, chief technology officer, BBC. "This important industry initiative is a major contribution towards helping train and develop the next generation of engineering talent, and help the UK broadcasting industry maintain its world leading position for the future."

The academic courses will cover key topics including software development and managing IP networks, as well as the traditional engineering principles of electronics, electrics, video and audio systems. The BBC is working with the Universities of Salford and Birmingham City to develop best-in-class courses that give apprentices a world-class foundation in the theory of broadcast engineering.

The programme will help break the cycle of closed graduate recruitment and ad hoc entry level training to attract a more diverse range of exciting young talent into the sector. The BBC will employ 100 technology apprentices over eight years on behalf of the wider broadcast and media sector – making newly trained talent available to work across the industry on completion of the qualification.

Anne Morrison, director of the BBC Academy and chair of the Creative Skillset TV and Content Strategy Group, said: “We aim to make the BBC's training and associated resources available more widely across the broadcast supply chain - focusing on key industry skills gaps and attracting a wide and diverse range of applicants to help address the industry shortfall in this sector."