Like many jobs in media, journalism can be difficult to break into, especially for young people who don't have the advantage of having 'a foot in the door' of the industry. That's why the BBC's Connect & Create programme runs Step Up, an annual scheme that supports budding journalists by giving them skills in news production, right in the heart of BBC newsrooms. The scheme runs in London and Glasgow and just launched in Manchester at the end of last year.

The aim is simple: Give 15 trainees the skills they need to find and report news stories from their own local communities. Then support them as they do this in a professional news environment. The result is a network of community journalists who can take their skills on with them into other journalistic work, whether that's with the BBC, with other broadcasters or with local community news projects.

The Connect & Create team love running Step Up, not just because of the insightful stories that the Step Up-ers manage to find, but because of the support networks that grow out of putting such a diverse and enthusiastic bunch of people together over a 10 week period.

Past Step Up trainees often tell us that the scheme launched new opportunities for them, mostly because of the other people they met along the way. Rob Carroll, a student from Salford whose TV report was broadcast on North West Tonight, says: "The experience I've picked up on this course will stay with me forever, I can do anything with it."

In 2011 we are running Step Up in London, Glasgow, Newcastle and Media City in Manchester.

Glynn Ryland is the Manager of BBC Connect & Create

You can find out more about Connect & Create on the BBC Outreach website.

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