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New BBC talent scheme allows you to earn and learn

GOOD ADVICE: The BBC's Michelle Young

As part of an annual National Apprenticeship special supplement, Simon Broad, Head of Operations in the BBC New Talent team and Michelle Young, BBC Programme Co-Ordinator; speak about opportunities on offer and share some tips on how to apply.

Q: Which New Talent schemes does the BBC offer?

SB: We offer apprenticeships, aimed at school leavers and traineeships aimed at graduates, in all the key areas of our business: production, journalism, engineering, software development, business and legal. They vary from one to three years in duration, depending on the scheme. Some offer a degree, for some you need a degree. For others, you need no entry qualifications whatsoever.

We offer a mix of formal training and work placements that allow you build your own networks and expertise and position yourself really well to compete for jobs and contracts at the end of the scheme.

Q: Who are you looking for?

SB: We are looking for people who are passionate and focused on a career in the media/ broadcasting. We are much more interested in your potential and attitude than your qualifications. You should be prepared to talk about what you have done relevant to your application to demonstrate your enthusiasm. And remember, broadcasting isn’t as Monday to Friday 9-5 routine, so you will need to be flexible. You don’t need experience in the industry to apply for an apprenticeship, but for a traineeship, you will need to demonstrate some relevant experience.


Q: What happens on a New Talent scheme>

SB: You will be recruited as one of a cohort and will start typically in September for an induction week in Birmingham – that’s where the BBC Academy’s centre for skills and talent is based. We have about 150 new starters every year, so you will be in good company, and typically you will spend the first few weeks on basic training and then we send you out into the business to work with, and learn from, the best. You will get a mentor, formal training and lots of feedback so that you can become a really valuable member of the team. It’s hard work, but a great way to start your career.

Q: Can anyone apply?

SB: You need to be 18 at the start of the scheme, but there is no upper age limit. You do need the right to live and work in the UK, and some schemes require certain qualifications – check the scheme page for more information.

How can I find out more?

SB: For more details, click here and follow @bbcgetin on Twitter for announcements and tips on your application. The production and journalism schemes open for applications on March 13. Good luck!

The BBC Academy's Jamel on how to tackle interview questions:

Top 10 tips on how to write a good BBC application, by Michelle Young, BBC Programme Co-ordinator

Our mission statement is to be the most diverse organisation in the world. We want to hear the voices, tell the stories and see the faces of people from all walks of life.

Are you able to find new stories and work together with people to tell them?

Don’t assume we don’t have opportunities for you. Speak your mind to help build better communities – you are building our communities, help us enrich what the BBC does to contribute to that picture.

Take the opportunities while they are out there. Ask yourself ‘what can I do here?’ Think about where you want to get to and:

1. Find out as much as you can about the scheme, about the role/ work you might be doing (why you think you’d enjoy it) and about the BBC.

2. Think about your unique selling points on your application. Make sure that you stand out.

3. Always tailor your application to the individual opportunity you’re applying for. Make sure you provide relevant examples and that they are subject-related (e.g. illustrating your content-making talents with a YouTube film for the BBC Production Apprentice Scheme).

4. Think about what we would want from an apprentice/trainee, but don’t try and second-guess the ‘type’ of person we are looking for. Try to include examples of when you have shown these qualities in your application.

5. Try and focus on your strong points. We want to know what you can do, not what you can’t.

The BBC Academy's Jamel on how to stand out:

6. Be enthusiastic about yourself. Your interests, your passions and your achievements all matter. Aim to shine and show a willingness to go the extra mile.

7. Take your time to complete the application. Writing an application in a rush is not recommended.

8. Stick to the word count. Be prepared to provide enough evidence to support your application, but don’t waffle on!

9. If you are unsure about your application, it always helps asking for feedback – encourage your family or friends to be impartial, though!

10. Just be yourself and tell the truth. That’s one of the best currencies we all have in 2017!

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