A former Stoke on Trent college student is flying high after joining a national radio network in the UK.

Jack Richardson, from Rugeley, studied the BTEC L3 extended diploma in Radio Production and Creative Media before beating off strong opposition to become the second College student to join the BBC’s Apprenticeship scheme last summer.  Jack was one of 36 students who were appointed to the scheme from around 1200 applicants nationwide.

12 months later, Jack has taken a further step up the career ladder after being recruited to present on Signal Radio and its network of 11 stations owned by the Wireless group, broadcasting to listeners nationwide.

Jack is the second student from the College to become part of the station’s team, presenting a five-hour show on a Saturday and Sunday morning.  The show, which starts at 1.00am, keeps you company through the night including the ever-popular High School Hits at 2.00am.

Jack is no stranger to the radio industry.  As well as presenting on the College’s heatwave radio, he previously did some voluntary work for the Wireless Group network. “I have produced 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 the radio station’s popular “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.

“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.”

Lisa Tiso from Windmill broadcasting said, “Jack continues to be a member of the group and dips in as and when he can to support our project.  All the team are so proud of him and we wish him every success in the future – he is a star!”

Jack will continue his apprenticeship with the BBC, which has seen him travelling between Salford at Media City and London.

“I get to work on some amazing programmes within the BBC, and have met 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 love doing the things I enjoy on a daily basis!”

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 is grasping every opportunity to get ahead in the industry he loves. He’s now our second BBC Apprentice in 3 years, which is a fantastic achievement.  He always loved the radio part of the course and will fit in well at Signal Radio.”

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 – like me!”