BBC 2012 apprentice is shortlisted for national award

Lizzie Evans Lizzie Evans initially took unpaid work in exchange for experience

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Lizzie Evans believes an apprenticeship with the BBC helped change her life. She's also been nominated for a national award that celebrates young apprentices.

Evans was chosen for the BBC's 2012 apprenticeship scheme that gave 11 people the chance to work in production for a year. The scheme, a mixture of formal and on-the-job training, led to a diploma in creative and digital media in April.

The trainee then landed a job in internal communications, where she is producing multimedia content for intranet sites and is helping film internal events.

Her success on the BBC scheme has put her in the running for the National Apprenticeship Awards, now in their 10th year.

The internal comms coordinator is up against high-calibre candidates in the regional heats for London. The winners of the London heat in several categories will go through to a national award ceremony in Birmingham in November.

'Overwhelmed'

Evans, who says she is 'overwhelmed' by her nomination, is not thinking that far ahead yet. 'I'm competing against people with fantastic stories. It's just amazing to be a finalist, to be honest. I'm happy with that,' she tells Ariel.

The former apprentice had never previously worked in television when she joined the BBC on the highly competitive training programme. 'There was an online application and you had to come and pitch a show idea to a panel of four people,' she remembers. 'It was a bit daunting.'

At the time of applying about two years ago, Evans had unpaid internships for various magazines, but admits she 'wasn't really getting anywhere'.

'I was having to work in retail to fund all this work I was doing for free,' says the 24-year-old from Tooting. An editor on a magazine sent her a link to the BBC scheme and told her she'd be good for it.

'It really appealed to me, because not only do you get the experience of working on productions, but you also get a qualification, and I was being paid a wage.'

Life-changing

Evans, who comes from a low-income, single-parent household, gave up studying for her university degree to look after her grandmother when she was ill. She never thought she'd be able to work somewhere like the BBC.

'[The experience] has completely changed my life,' she judges.' Apprenticeships give people like me a way into a profession.'

Evans was given the chance to work on productions such as BBC One's That Puppet Show and Strictly Come Dancing, where she shadowed the online team. 'I learned how to use a camera and how to edit, which I'd never done before. It was amazing to do it for a show like Strictly.'

The placement with Strictly was enough to convince her that she wanted to get into producing and editing online content. Her latest project is making short videos of people who work in W1 for a new Gateway site.

'I love the work because it's so varied,' Evans says. 'I'm also in a team where I can vocalise what I'm interested in doing.'

  • Lizzie Evans will be competing in the regional heats of the National Apprenticeship Awards. The London winners will be announced at a ceremony at City Hall on Thursday.

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