Broadcasters to give apprentices a chance in supply chains

21 November 2012

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21 November 2012 | Adam Leach

The BBC and Channel 4  are to work together with their suppliers to increase apprenticeship opportunities.

The broadcasters, who are working with industry training body Creative Skillset, will create a number of internship, work experience and apprenticeship opportunities within their own organisations and their supply chain. The scheme is partly funded by the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills' (BIS) initiative, the Employer Ownership Pilot (EOP).

Channel 4 will provide a pre-apprenticeship online learning programme that will target young people who felt that entry into the profession was not an option. From that pool, 60 interns will be placed among SMEs from across the UK that work with the broadcaster. The BBC will train more than 100 apprentices and 60 technology trainees through its training academy over a period of five years. In addition, it will also hire extra apprentices on behalf of its supply chain.

Anne Morrison, director of the BBC Academy and chair of the Creative Skillset TV and content strategy group, said in a statement: “This project proposes to make the BBC’s training and associated resources available more widely across the broadcast supply chain, focusing on key skills gaps and making it more affordable for SMEs to invest in the diverse talent needed to drive innovation and growth.”

The partnership is the 39th and final bid to receive funding through round one of the EOP. The government has so far invested £250 million in the scheme, which has seen companies receive support for schemes to broaden their skillsets and that of their supply chains. Nissan received funding in September, part of which was used to provide apprenticeship opportunities throughout its supply chain in the north west of England.

Skills minister Matthew Hancock said of the deal with broadcasters: “The Employer Ownership Pilot is not only strengthening individual businesses. It is showing us new ways to make sure the whole of the UK economy has the skills it needs to compete in the global race.”      

Earlier this month the BIS Committee called on the government to look at ways of ensuring an apprenticeship is created for every £1 million of public money spent.

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