Press Office

Wednesday 29 Oct 2014

Press Release

Trainees from Manchester get first step up on media ladder with BBC

For the first time ever, BBC Manchester has taken 15 trainees into the newsroom in a ground-breaking initiative called Step Up, run by the BBC Academy as part of its successful BBC volunteering scheme – Connect & Create.

On Wednesday 1 December 2010, TV presenter Elaine Dunkley, from North West Tonight, will host an event at BBC Manchester to celebrate the launch of the scheme and to showcase the work and achievements of Manchester’s first group of trainees.

Guest speakers will include Aziz Rashid, Head of Regional and Local Programming for BBC North West; John Ryan, Managing Editor, BBC Radio Manchester; and Cerys Griffiths, Editor, North West Tonight.

Step Up is a media project run by the BBC Academy in partnership with BBC News, which aims to give people the skills and confidence to work in news. It really is a first "step up" onto the media ladder.

The scheme offers 15 talented individuals, with a demonstrable passion for the news and media, an unparalleled opportunity to experience how the BBC Manchester newsroom works and to get an insight into how a news programme is put together.

It includes training in online, TV or radio in a mix of face to face sessions, online learning and assignments in Manchester.

The trainees, chosen for their talent, potential and passion to achieve great things, come from a wide range of backgrounds and with very different life experiences. These include:

Helen Anderton, 24, from Heald Green, Manchester works as a full time psychiatric nurse with 13 to-18-year-olds who have mental health issues.

• Twenty-seven-year-old Sheila Ladu, originally from Sudan, moved to the UK at the age of eight and now lives in Trafford, Manchester. Sheila, who is profoundly deaf and communicates in British sign language, is a member of the British deaf Olympic team, running the 100m, 200m and relay.

Rob Carroll, aged 22, was born and grew up in Salford. He works as a part time community reporter at People's Voice Media, which is a charity organisation, and tops up his income by working at a well-known supermarket part-time.

• Eighteen-year-old Sam Wagstaff, from Sale, currently works as an estate agent and a manual labourer. Sam is going to Salford University next year to study media studies.

The trainees worked on a number of stories, all of which were created to meet the brief "Tell The Untold Stories of Salford".

Urban photography
Production team: Shiv Gonsai (online), Danielle Silvester (TV), Hadassah Steinberg (TV), Paul Taylor (radio) and Sam Wagstaff (radio)

This piece looked at finding the beautiful side of Salford through photography, following a photographer for a week who had taken an interest in Salford nature.

SWARM (Salford war memorials).
Production team: Jo Macklin (TV), Lauren Houghton (TV), Libby Willis (radio), Sheila Ladu (online) and Pete Foley (online).

This piece followed the progress of a Salford group called SWARM who are trying to save Salford’s war memorials.

Salford Blue Cranes
Production team: Emily Brinnand (radio), Tom Fisher (radio), James Legge (TV), Rob Carroll (TV) and Helen Anderton (online).

This strand examines the importance of Salford Blue Cranes and tries to save them from being moved by the council.

These stories will now be broadcast across North West Tonight, Radio Manchester and BBC Online.

Glynn Ryland, of the BBC Academy, says: "Step Up is a wonderful chance for the BBC to share its multi-platform training with a talented and diverse group of people who are all passionate about journalism."

Notes to Editors

The BBC Academy, launched in December 2009, is the BBC's centre for training. It houses the Colleges of Journalism, Production, Leadership and the Centre of Technology. The BBC Academy puts training and development at the heart of the BBC and also works with the wider broadcast industry, equipping people with skills they need for a lifetime of employability in the ever-changing media landscape.

The Academy focuses on providing a portfolio of high quality training and development. This includes face-to-face courses, online programmes and a variety of development initiatives, and ensures that training is relevant and effective for both the individual and the business.

As well as training our own staff, we also have a remit under the terms of the BBC's Charter Agreement to train the wider industry. We aim to share as much of our training as possible with the wider UK broadcasting industry for free. We also offer some of our courses on a commercial basis, both within the UK and abroad.

Connect & Create is a BBC scheme enabling staff to gain new skills by volunteering to work with partner organisations. Connect & Create runs the Step Up scheme, currently operating in London, Scotland and now Manchester. It will be launched next year in Belfast and Cardiff.


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