1. Please give an overview of your role and what this involves on a day-to-day basis:
I am doing an apprenticeship with All Spring Media combined with placement in BBC Belfast. During placement we work in different areas of the BBC day to day and we swap round every few weeks. We shadow operators in the different departments and are given small tasks to do as supervised practice. Every few months there is a college training block where we get time off placement to attend training sessions from All Spring Media (online due to covid) and complete assignments.
2. Have you learnt any new skills or developed existing skills?
I have just begun my placement and I have definitely gained new skills in the area I am working in at the minute and I have learnt how importing and exporting media is done and other file transfers. When I move onto other departments I will definitely gain more skills and training in other areas.
3. To what extent do you enjoy your programme?
I am really enjoying being on placement, the start of the apprenticeship was online due to Covid so it is great to get into the buildings and experience what it's like working in the BBC. All the managers and staff are really friendly and helpful and are willing to teach you about what they're working on. The college course is really interesting and the assignments are engaging.
4. How well organised/structured is your programme?
It is organised well, we are sent out timetables at the start of the week when we're not on placement if there are any calls or training sessions that we need to attend so we know about them in advance. We know when college is in advance and the tasks are always set with an extended submission date so we have time to complete them after the training session. When on placement, schedules and rotas are sent out weekly so we know where we are and the placement manager has organised it well .
5. How much support do you receive from your employer?
We receive a lot of support, from employee assistance programmes to catch-ups with the line managers and placement managers. They are always available if I ever have any queries and I feel I can go to them if there are ever any issues. There is also support from the training provider from our assessors.
6. How much support do you receive from your training provider when working towards your qualifications?
We receive a lot of support. If there is ever an issue with reaching deadlines or resubmission we can get extensions, we each have our own assessor we can reach out to regarding assignments and we also have a training administrator who we can reach out do with day to day issues, safeguarding or health and safety.
7. How well do you feel that your qualification (through your training provider) helps you to perform better in your role?
Our training provider helps have they gave us a little insight into what the industry is like before we started our placements, and we are getting practical training on how to use different software while online and once we resume to in-person training, we will be taught about how to operate different types of broadcast equipment. Additionally, it gave us a chance to meet our cohort and get to know each other before meeting in person at the base.
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.)
With covid, most activities have been paused but there are definitely a lot of online events through the employee networks, which are groups for people to join to network and meet other employees. For example, BBC Ability is for provides support for disabled staff, WiSTEM is a community for women in STEM and BBC Pride is a group for people of all sexualities and anyone can join them regardless of whether you are a part of that ' group' or not.
9a. Would you recommend BBC to a friend?
I have enjoyed every minute since I started the apprenticeship online and it is truly a great start to my career. Everyone is very supportive and helpful and I have become good friends with everyone in my cohort across the UK. The placement is well structured to provide us with all the practical experience needed and the college course provides us with a good grounding knowledge of the industry.
10. What tips or advice would you give to others applying to BBC?
Demonstrate your enthusiasm for the industry in CV and interviews. Try and get some experience in the industry if possible, through work experience or summer courses and qualifications, but they aren't necessary (depending on the role you're applying for). Once you start, be friendly and don't be afraid to ask questions, everyone is willing to help and have fun and enjoy the experience!