Apprentice 2012: Invaluable industry experience to the next generation of media professionals
Editor's note - Since September 2012 ten teenage apprentices have gained invaluable experience working alongside staff at BBC Scotland in Pacific Quay on a special scheme run in collaboration with various organisations across Scotland.
In this post Sharon Mair (pictured left), Editor Olympics & Commonwealth at BBC Scotland explains how the scheme worked.
Ahead of the Olympics and Commonwealth Games and as part of our commitment to legacy at BBC Scotland we followed in BBC 2012's footsteps and opened up the doors of Pacific Quay to young hopefuls from across Scotland.
After a rigorous recruitment process we chose ten candidates to work alongside industry professionals across radio, online and TV as part of their modern apprenticeship in Creative & Digital Media. We collaborated with Skillset Scotland and John Wheatley College who were brilliant in working with us to deliver this course. We contacted other areas of the creative industry in Scotland and Scottish Television and the independent Comedy Unit supported us in taking apprentices for short periods of time.
Our class of 2012 started with us in early September last year and after a crash course in working in production each apprentice was assigned to a department. Over the course of the year they spent a month in every department followed by two days at college.
There were highs and lows across the year, many had only just left school and adapting to a professional working environment was difficult for some. At BBC Scotland we've learned lots from the apprentices and we've had lots of learning we can take on board for our new intake in September 2012.
We've had many individuals here at PQ on work experience who tend to shadow staff however this scheme is different in that staff are expected to give the apprentices on the job training and get them heavily involved in the production process; something that takes time and patience and they have done brilliantly.
All ten of our apprentices have encountered exciting experiences throughout their time with us. Four of them met with Prince Charles answering questions about the scheme and explaining what it is that they have got out of the experience so far.
Our Gaelic speaking apprentice, Angus, will be travelling to London with the Radio Nan Gaidheal team who will be broadcasting from just outside the Olympic stadium across the second week of the games. And two of our chattiest apprentices gave Fred MacAulay a run for his money while co-presenting MacAulay and Co on BBC Radio Scotland during National Apprenticeship Week back in May this year.
Ideally we'd like to have trained 30 - 40 apprentices by the time the Commonwealth Games come to a close in 2014. My ambition for our apprentices was to give them the opportunity and a fantastic insight into the industry and for them to have the skills to go out and make their mark.
As I write this I am surrounded by three of the apprentices and when asked if they would do it again I was told, they want to come back next year! So if there are any areas in the BBC looking for young people that have now got a great training in the industry - can you give me a call!!
Sharon Mair is Editor Olympics & Commonwealth, BBC Scotland