A Stoke on Trent college student has beaten off strong competition to join the BBC Apprenticeship scheme.
Jack Richardson, 19, who studied Radio Production and Creative Media, is one of 36 students who were appointed to the scheme from around 1200 applicants nationwide.
Jack is the second student to follow this career path from the college. In a guest lecture, former Stoke on Trent College student, James Peake, had enthused students about the BBC, the music documentary work he had done and how he had since gained employment with the corporation.
“As soon as James came in to talk about his apprenticeship I was hooked!” said Jack. “He mentioned that he’d been working on this music documentary, which I subsequently watched and liked, and he said he had since gained employment at the BBC.
“I have a big passion of music of all decades from the 50’s to the present, and this led me to have a passion in radio. I love listening to people on the air like Steve Wright, Simon Mayo and Janice Long, and like stations such as Kiss and Absolute.”
Jack is no stranger to the radio industry. As well as presenting on the college’s heatwave radio he also does some voluntary work on the UTV network which owns Signal 1.
“I produce the Saturday night playlist, which is a networked show which goes out on Signal 1, Pulse 1, and the Wave etc. I also help out with anything, including editing interviews to be broadcast the next day after last weekend’s “Total Access Live” event.”
Jack also does some voluntary work at “Windmill Broadcasting”, a community radio station in Stafford, where he has built studios, hosted live events and presented shows.
Jack’s apprenticeship will see him travelling between Salford at Media City and London. Even though he is no stranger behind the microphone he has chosen to go down a more technical route.
“I am looking forward to hopefully working on some amazing programmes within the BBC, and meeting some great people. The possibility of working on programmes I like watching and hearing, like music documentaries about Kate Bush and Queen is really exciting along with the fact that I can possibly work with some amazing people who know/ love what they are doing and are happy to share what they’ve learned over the years. I am nervous because I’m moving away, meeting new people etc., and excited to be starting something new and doing things I enjoy.”
Lee Beddow, Programme Quality Leader for Media at Stoke on Trent College said: It’s always pleasing to see our students progressing from our courses and Jack has a brilliant opportunity to get ahead in an industry he loves. He’s now our 2nd BBC Apprentice in 3 years, which is a fantastic achievement. It shows our current students exactly what they can achieve in the future.”
Jack said the course at Stoke on Trent College and the “real-life” environment at the Signal Radio Media Academy have definitely helped him get where he is today, although it was his time as a horse event commentator that really got him hooked!
“I’ve always had a technical interest in sound and lighting, and sometimes I’d see radio stations out & about, like Signal or Radio Stoke. I also do announcements at a horse show (and have done for the last 10 years or so), so speaking into a microphone isn’t too alien! I remember hearing Steve Wright on Radio 2 for the first time about 8 years ago on the Non-Stop Oldies, and thinking that the music played sounded great! I’ve learnt about all sorts on the course. We’ve created podcasts, radio demo’s, 30 minute documentary’s and much more. If you have an interest in radio, I would definitely recommend it, as the added bonus is that you work inside a commercial radio station, and if you work hard enough you can possibly end up with a job”.