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Bradford launches UK's first outside broadcasting postgraduate apprenticeship

Published: Mon 25 Jan 2016

The University of Bradford, in partnership with Creative Skillset and the BBC, has helped develop the UK's first postgraduate apprenticeship programme for outside broadcasting.

The Outside Broadcast (OB) Industry Training Panel has announced that the new National Standard and Assessment Plan for apprentice outside broadcast engineers has been approved by the Department of Business, Innovation and Skills.

The UK is a world leader in providing OB facilities and the creation of a nationally-recognised training programme for young engineers entering the sector will ensure this hard-earned reputation can be continued.

The Postgraduate Diploma in Outside Broadcasting offers a programme of work-based assessment and residential modules to students with relevant first degrees and people with industry experience. Those who wish to can progress on to a Masters in Outside Broadcasting.

The qualification was developed as the industry looked to respond to the need for new highly trained talent coming through and the fast-paced changing technology impacting on the skills an outside broadcasting engineer requires.

The University worked with leading industry organisations to identify the standards and workplace competencies to be met. This has led to the creation of what is the first Level 7 apprenticeship in the creative sector.

Peter Taylor, Production Engineering Manager with the BBC, said: “Outside broadcasts make up a small but very important part of the UK broadcasting sector, specialising in delivering coverage of events and programmes on location, including sporting, cultural and national events for all the UK broadcasters. The specific skills required to work on location with the challenging environments and timescales that are normally a feature of these events requires particular qualities and personality strengths. The apprenticeship will provide integrated on-the-job training and career development with the rigour of supporting training courses, all independently assessed to provide a coordinated approach to training supported and developed by UK broadcasters and facilities providers.”

Peter Lassey, Associate Dean, Learning and Teaching at the University’s Faculty of Engineering and Informatics, said: “Outside broadcasting is an area we want to grow both in terms of research and the development of new standards. The demand for these apprenticeships has been industry-led and the University of Bradford has worked closely with the industry, using our expertise to develop those standards and build a programme that meets those needs. It is a very exciting move forward for the University and for the industry generally and we are really looking forward to welcoming our first intake.”

Seetha Kumar, CEO of Creative Skillset, said: “This new postgraduate degree apprenticeship standard provides a new route for aspiring outside broadcast engineers, enabling apprentices to earn while they learn.  It was a great partnership between the outside broadcast industry, with BBC guidance, the University of Bradford, and Creative Skillset.  It joins a suite of other degree pilots developed with partner universities in areas such as journalism, advertising, PR, and computer games with funding from HEFCE’s Catalyst Fund.

The OB Industry Training Panel is an informal group set up to represent the common interests of broadcasters and the facilities providers who make their event coverage. Supporting broadcasters include BBC, BT Sport, ITV and Sky, together with supporting facilities companies Arena TV, Cloudbass, CTV and ACS, NEP Visions, OBStv, Telegenic and Televideo.

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