1. Please give an overview of your role and what this involves on a day-to-day basis:
Production Apprenticeship at BBC Radio Wales.
My role involves answering phones for live shows, sourcing guests and contributors for debates and updating running orders and scripts for presenters.I have edited interviews and music packages for air.
I often build music schedules and communicate with music pluggers to source new music for evening programmes. I have written junctions and weather bulletins for programmes as well as updating social media accounts for the station.
I train with my provider at Sgil Cymru and work alongside a cohort of 8 other BBC apprentices to complete a Level 3 Diploma in Digital and Creative Media. Alongsde this i have completed weeks away on training courses for BBC software and studios which allowed me to connect with apprentices from across the UK and build a network
2. Have you learnt any new skills or developed existing skills?
Radio has allowed me to work on political programmes and phone-ins as well as contributor based entertainment radio and music radio. Being a part of an on-air team is exciting yet difficult and really perfects your time (and stress) management skills while live.
Being able to source contributors for air is immensely rewarding and makes you an efficient and useful part of any production. I have really developed my people skills as well as my phone manner and my knowledge of studio tech.
Access to BBC software is such a huge step forward for any young person in the media. As the software is BBC-wide any experience in music logging or running order software for live output is extremely valuable to have.
3. To what extent do you enjoy your programme?
This is such a fulfilling apprenticeship scheme. I have learned such a huge amount about live broadcasting and radio and had a chance to work with some of the most experienced presenters and producers from across Wales.
I feel immensely lucky to work in such a supportive and interesting place (all while earning money and avoiding student debt.) while connecting with colleagues that open such a wide range of opportunities to me.
4. How well organised/structured is your programme?
My apprenticeship is structured around the daily programming of Radio Wales and therefore if i want work on evening shows or to receive extra training i have to speak to my line manager myself and set it up. My days can start at 5am or 12pm depending on the show and I often find that i can work across multiple shows per day.
My Sgil Cymru training is completed in schedules week blocks throughout the year and all 8 apprentices take time out of work to complete this.
5. How much support do you receive from your employer?
I have regular catch ups via phone with my line manager and my scheme manager. In each case i have time to express any concerns or ambitions and receive I then a lot of support with my ideas. My colleagues also give me regular feedback on my work and check my workload is manageable.
My employer let me travel across Wales to gain experience because i brought it up in our meeting and that trip benefited me greatly.
I also receive benefits as a part of the BBC such as brilliant career progression opportunities and access to interview and application workshops tailored to BBC HR. My staff position comes with travel insurance and health benefits all chosen by myself through the BBC's MyChoices program.
The BBC also provided me with a mentor from the BBC News team who encourages me to take advantage of new opportunities and helps me look for further work. They also provide CV and interview advice.
6. How much support do you receive from your training provider when working towards your qualifications?
Sgil Cymru provide learning and pastoral care to all their learners as well as a range of support that is available through Cardiff + Vale College. I check in with my assessor for Record Of Progress Meetings every month and this gives me an opportunity to speak in confidence about any work or personal issues or highlights i might want to share.
Speaking with the cohort of apprentices also acts as a support network where i can share experiences and ideas.
7. How well do you feel that your qualification (through your training provider) helps you to perform better in your role?
My training provider showed me how a media CV was constructed compared to a regular CV and this is the most valuable thing I have gained from them. The workshops on marketing yourself and how to support yourself a s a freelancer helped to solidify the advice given to me by my metor and put them into practice in my workplace.
Sgil Cymru also helps as revision of skills i learn on placement when i am assessed on my skills. Without this my knowledge of tech specifics in particular would not have been so clear. Sgil Cymru also helped us to speak to former apprentices and use their advice to get the most out of our placements.
8. Are there extra-curricular activities to get involved in at your work? (For example, any social activities, sports teams, or even professional networking events.)
9a. Would you recommend BBC to a friend?
I now have ample opportunity to move across the country and through levels of the BBC to continue my career in broadcasting. The network you can build as a young person in the BBC is brilliant and stands any apprentice in good stead to apply for jobs within every section of the BBC.
This is a much more fulfilling experience than the university degree i was prepared to do which i had little interest in. (also i'll mention again : NO DEBT)
I would recommend this experience to anyone who enjoys listening to the radio and is interested in finding out what goes on behind the scenes.
10. What tips or advice would you give to others applying to BBC?
(Apply to as many BBC Apprenticeships across the country as you can to heighten your chances of an interview- I applied for 1 apprenticeship in each region and as well as giving you some practice at the application it shows you where you might best be suited)
If you get to the video interview stage SMILE and be chirpy. Its very cliche but i did two interviews and the chirpier of the two got me the job! Don't be too serious or try to revise too much.
It is a fun job so try and apply with a 'If i can't do it now i will learn it there' mindset. I barely knew anything about the production of radio but it was my knowledge of different BBC stations and programmes that i think helped me get the job.
If you don't listen to the radio now- do it- listen to as many stations as possible and check out everything on the BBC Sounds app and chat about your favourites in your application!