From today young unemployed people can apply to take part in a BBC Make it Digital Traineeship, which will be available in around 60 towns and cities in England.
The BBC Academy and partners the Department of Work and Pensions (DWP) and Skills Funding Agency (SFA) are calling on 16-24 year olds who are unemployed, have fewer than two A Levels and an interest in developing their digital skills, to register their interest via their local Jobcentre Plus.
The Jobcentre Plus network will then play a crucial role in identifying suitable candidates, who will be invited to take part by their Jobcentre Work Coaches.
Training will be delivered by high-quality local training providers across the country followed by structured work placements with local employers.
Up to 5,000 eight week opportunities are expected to be available over the next year in locations ranging from Southend, Runcorn, Bury St Edmunds to South Shields and cities including Bristol, Birmingham, Liverpool and London.
The BBC Make it Digital Traineeship was announced by BBC Director-General Tony Hall at the start of this year’s BBC Make it Digital initiative, which aims to inspire a new generation to get creative with coding, programming and digital technology, and help address the current skills shortage in the UK’s technology sector.
Today’s launch follows a successful pilot which ran in Birmingham this year that 50 young people took part in, with many going on to an apprenticeship or to gain employment. Eight weeks after the traineeships completed 50 percent had received job offers or offers of a further work placement.
The Traineeship is designed by the BBC Academy and the Tech Partnership and includes five weeks of training in:
Basic digital skills – such as planning social media campaigns by deconstructing BBC Radio 1’s Wrecking Ball campaign; building simple websites; creating short videos for the web
Employability skills – including how to give and receive feedback, drawing on The Great British Bake Off. Other key skills include budgeting, basic project management, team working, English and Maths
The final stage of the Traineeship is a three week structured work placement, with the focus on selecting companies who are likely to require basic-level digital skills.
These companies are being sourced with the help of the Tech Partnership, the Federation of Small Businesses, the National Apprenticeship Service and other partners at a local level. Those who show strong potential will be encouraged to apply for a BBC Apprenticeship.
Joe Godwin, Director of the BBC Academy, says: “The Make it Digital Traineeship pilot which we ran in Birmingham this year has seen 50 percent go on to employment, further training or other opportunities.
“Now up to 5000 more young unemployed people will be able to benefit from proper hands-on work experience, while helping to create a more diverse workforce. Businesses will benefit from young people with great employability skills who can help them navigate the digital world.”
Jordan Walker, a trainee from the pilot who is now working for digital agency Bareface Media says: “My two weeks with Bareface were brilliant and I was pleased they offered me something permanent. I’ve learnt so much already about the likes of Google Analytics and how to make websites responsive across all platforms, but to land a proper digital apprenticeship out of my traineeship means everything to me.”
Julia Nix, Jobcentre Plus Manager says: “Up and down the country, Jobcentre Plus staff support young people in developing the skills and training they need to find a job. With rising wages and near record vacancies, we want young people to take up opportunities that will boost their experience and impress future employers.
“That’s why we’ll be launching a work experience campaign so that young people can make the most of schemes like these. We want more employers, like the BBC, to work with us so that we get the right people with the right skills in the right job. It’s only by working with together that we can plug the skills gap in some industries and help people fulfil their potential.”