How to secure a broadcast production apprenticeship
Updated 17 July 2023
Individuals in broadcast production help create and present content for radio or television programmes. They work with editorial and technical teams to deliver content for productions covering a range of genres, including entertainment, news, documentary and comedy. Knowing how to become a broadcast production apprentice enables you to consider this path and determine if it aligns with your career goals. In this article, we explain what a broadcast production apprenticeship entails, outline the key skills you develop and provide steps you can follow to pursue an apprenticeship programme.
What is a broadcast production apprenticeship?
A broadcast production apprenticeship is a programme for candidates who want to learn how to create and deliver content for radio or television productions. As an apprentice, you provide support in operational areas such as video editing, sound, lighting and camera and assist in preparing for events, managing guests and gathering resources for productions. Broadcast production apprentices work with editors and presenters of different genres, including news, drama and current affairs. A broadcast production apprentice programme typically takes 12 months, and you receive a level 3 certificate on completion.
How to secure a broadcast production apprenticeship
The following steps explain how to find and secure an apprenticeship:
1. Satisfy the educational requirements
Completing your secondary education is the typical minimum educational requirement for a broadcast apprenticeship programme. Most employers request you to have five general secondary education certificates. GCSEs show that you possess basic learning skills, including writing and reading.
2. Research apprenticeship opportunities
Your next step is to explore suitable apprenticeship opportunities. Research organisations that offer broadcast apprenticeship programmes and establish key details, including the application timeline and duration. Identifying the skills you develop throughout each programme helps you to determine if it aligns with your interests.
3. Apply for an apprenticeship programme
Once you find a suitable programme, read through the requirements thoroughly before applying. The application process typically requires you to complete a standard form with your personal information and upload a CV highlighting your educational qualifications and abilities, such as computer, interpersonal and collaboration skills. Some organisations also ask you to complete an online assessment.
4. Attend an interview
Organisations typically conduct virtual or in-person interviews to select the most suitable candidates for apprenticeship programmes. Arriving on time for your interview demonstrates your enthusiasm for the programme. Hiring managers commonly ask questions that relate to your interests, skills, hobbies and why you want to become a broadcast production apprentice. Provide honest answers clearly and confidently.
5. Accept the offer and begin the onboarding process
Hiring managers select candidates who meet the relevant requirements and pass their interviews. They contact you, usually via email, if you're successful and inform you of the next steps. The typical onboarding process involves signing an acceptance contract, registering with a trainer and providing the employer with the information they require to officially begin your apprenticeship.
Skills you develop as a broadcast production apprentice
An apprenticeship programme allows you to gain relevant experience and skills in broadcast production. Key abilities you develop include:
Production planning involves establishing the steps and requirements for creating content. This includes identifying the production genre and researching and developing ideas. Assisting with budgeting, presenting proposals or ideas for productions and preparing the resources for the creation process are other tasks you perform as an apprentice.
An apprenticeship is an opportunity for you to learn from experienced individuals, practise your skills under supervision and ask questions regarding the planning process. For example, you might want to clarify which research techniques and tools the production assistants use or find out what inspires them to generate new ideas.
As a broadcast production apprentice, you learn how to develop new content for radio or television productions. You become familiar with the production process and the various roles that contribute to it. Your trainers educate you on acceptable writing styles for specific genres, including the appropriate tone of voice to appeal to the audience.
An apprenticeship covers the steps you take to obtain media assets, such as music and videos, secure copyright and intellectual property rights and create a storyboard or a brief outline for a production. You have the opportunity to collaborate with editorial teams, presenters and other contributing parties and practise your development skills in a studio setting in preparation for a broadcast production role.
Broadcast content includes videos, audio, text and images. Apprentices practise creating suitable content for a production. This means knowing the acceptable punctuation, grammar and spelling for written content, recording audio, capturing images and videos and editing. Participating in interviews with industry specialists and guests helps you gain experience and prepare for such tasks.
During an apprenticeship programme, you find out how to broadcast live content, which involves working with broadcast engineers to ensure smooth transmission. Your trainers also show you how to record and store production materials to ensure that they're available for future use.
Producing or filming content usually involves moving to different locations, and your trainers explain the procedure for finding suitable sites. You learn to manage the transportation, accommodation and catering services the production team requires. This process involves managing the financial budget and other resources.
The role of an apprentice often entails assisting in the allocation and monitoring of a budget, including the efficient documentation of expenses for further analysis. Apprentices develop their knowledge and skills by studying experienced specialists and practising their management skills when completing assignments. While working on production projects, you learn how to use relevant tools, such as calendars, to organise and manage the various stages of the production process.
Editing and post-production
Apprentices discover how to edit content, which is the final stage of the production process, and the steps to take in the post-production phase. This involves storing, archiving or conserving media assets for future projects. Your trainers also explain the various editing and post-production processes.
Studio equipment management
Radio or television programme production requires special equipment, including teleprompters, lighting, speakers, microphones and cameras. These devices enable professional broadcasters to create content that appeals to the audience using auditory and visual imagery. Apprentices find out how to access, prepare and operate the equipment in the studio and on location. You might also help the technical team maintain the equipment or request their assistance during challenging tasks.
Apprentices receive instruction on how to fulfil administrative roles in a production studio. You complete general tasks, such as responding to phone calls or emails and reviewing, printing and distributing paperwork. During your training, you also learn how to plan and create production schedules, which entails meeting with other production crew members to agree on a time or date to complete a production or specific tasks.
Broadcast production apprentices develop their knowledge of the media industry and how to pursue a successful career in the field. You develop your skills and discover how to market yourself via different media platforms. As an apprentice, you also have the opportunity to network with industry experts and build valuable relationships. Working to meet deadlines and satisfy an organisation's creative requirements is another key skill you acquire.
An apprenticeship programme familiarises you with the standard protocols for executing a production, which includes complying with health and safety regulations. For example, you might be responsible for erecting signs to direct pedestrians away from a filming location to prevent overcrowding or locking a set to avert unwanted access to the filming site. Apprentices also learn how to identify and minimise risks in a studio or at a location.
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