In 2016 Nia Yorke, 21 from Cardiff completed a Level 3 Apprenticeship in Creative and Digital Media with Sgil Cymru. Whilst completing her apprenticeship Nia worked as a Production Specialist Apprentice for ITV Cymru Wales in Cardiff.
Prior to applying for the apprenticeship, Nia was studying Media, Graphic Design and Sociology in Sixth Form. Whilst studying Nia knew that she didn’t want to go to university and that she wanted to start a career in the creative industries as soon as possible.
As an apprentice Nia was trained as part of the Technical Team that would output regional news across Wales. The majority of Nia’s time was spent working Autocue and as a Production Assistant.
I worked daily on the ITV Cymru Wales lunchtime bulletin, late bulletin and the flagship programme, Wales at Six. I was also lucky enough to work on a programme for the 50th anniversary of the Aberfan disaster.
Whilst working for ITV Cymru Wales and completing the apprenticeship Nia was still only in her late teens. Due to her age, Nia worried that she wouldn’t fit in with her team, due to them all having worked in the job for more than 10, 20 and 30 years. These thoughts were put at ease once Nia had started work and fitted into her team.
Being part of a more experienced team, I have matured tenfold.
Following her apprenticeship, Nia started working freelance for ITV Cymru Wales and has continued to do so ever since.
In addition to working for ITV Cymru Wales Nia has worked on a number of other projects including Cardiff Singer of the World 2017, Eisteddfod yr Urdd and The Big Painting Challenge.
In addition to completing her apprenticeship, Nia was nominated by Sgil Cymru for the 2017 Quality Skills Alliance (QSA) Awards which celebrates the apprenticeship success of the QSA’s standout apprentices from the past year.
I was honoured to win the 2017 QSA Award for Creative Industries Apprentice of the Year as the result of my apprenticeship. This looks great on my CV and helps me get more work.
Without the apprenticeship, Nia wouldn’t have had as many opportunities this early on in her professional career. No university would be able to emulate the training that Nia has experienced as a result of the apprenticeship.
My confidence as a professional in the media industry has grown and I’m much more content in my role with my skills constantly evolving on a daily basis. I wouldn’t be where I am without this apprenticeship.
In 2016 Jac, 23 from Barry, completed a Level 3 Apprenticeship in Creative and Digital Media with Sgil Cymru. For the duration of his apprenticeship, Jac worked as a Junior Graphics Design Apprentice for Orchard Media and Events Group in Cardiff.
Before the apprenticeship Jac was studying Art and Design at Cardiff Arts Academy, and whilst there Jac heard about the apprenticeship opportunities available. Following his own bit of research Jac attended an open day where he learnt more about the opportunities and listened to the success stories of past apprentices.
It felt like an opportunity that I couldn’t miss out on.
His work as an apprentice included designing posters, adverts and videos to help publicise the wealth of events that Orchard manage.
Whilst working at Orchard I have been able to work on projects for clients such as UEFA, FAW, Airbus, S4C and various artists such as Noel Gallagher and Elton John to name just a few.
The apprenticeship didn’t come without its difficulties for Jac. The task of learning all the processes and techniques was an immense one, but with the support of his co-workers, Jac quickly excelled in his role.
Following his apprenticeship, Jac was offered a full-time position with Orchard due to his continued passion and hard work. Since then Jac has continued to work within the Studio Design team at Orchard, as a Junior Designer. With the skills he learnt on the apprenticeship Jac is looking forward to progressing in his role at Orchard.
I feel that I have become a more capable, competent and confident person as a result of completing the apprenticeship.
Ellis Clark, 22 from Brynmawr, started his Level 3 Apprenticeship in Creative and Digital Media in 2015. Whilst completing his apprenticeship Ellis worked as an Apprentice Craft Editor for ITV Cymru Wales.
Before the apprenticeship, Ellis worked as a Video Editor for BRfm Radio. As part of his role, Ellis produced and edited music and event videos as well as completing sound and social media work. After his time with BRfm came to an end Ellis was keen to carry on with a career in the creative industries, and after doing some research and finding the apprenticeship opportunities Ellis decided to apply.
I was looking to further my career in the media industry and I knew an apprenticeship would be a good way to start.
As Apprentice Craft Editor Ellis edited videos with Avid software and created graphics on a daily basis. Ellis also created promos for the different programmes that aired on ITV Cymru Wales. One of his apprenticeship highlights was editing videos for the live broadcast and highlights of the Rugby World Cup in 2015.
Whilst working as an apprentice I was able to be part of a number of different projects including Wales at Six, Reels on Wheels and Welsh Politician of the Year.
Following his apprenticeship, Ellis secured a job as Production Specialist for ITV Cymru Wales and continues to work there.
Every day can be different as a Production Specialist. One day I might be doing sound for the news programme and the next I could be directing. It’s a varied role which makes it an interested and satisfying job to do.
In 2016 Ellis won an award for ‘Production Specialist of the Year’ at an internal ITV awards ceremony. Ellis was chosen as the winner out of the whole of the United Kingdom.
The apprenticeship helped me get my foot in the door. Without the apprenticeship, I wouldn’t be where I am today.
Liam Bevan started his Level 3 Apprenticeship in Creative and Digital Media back in 2013. Liam, 23 from Abercynon, work as a Post Production Apprentice at BBC Cymru Wales in Roath Lock, Cardiff Bay.
After finishing his A-levels Liam was looking for his next career step. Like everyone else Liam’s age he had three options: university, apprenticeship or work a normal job.
After a lot of research into studying Media in different Universities, the apprenticeship seemed to ring out to me as the right choice. Hands-on experience with industry-grade software and established workflows. You simply can’t teach that at the same level elsewhere instead of actually doing it. No brainer, as far as I was concerned!
Liam was given a number of opportunities within the Post Production department throughout his apprenticeship. He started off in the Loading Room, ingesting whatever came through the door. Be it crime-documentary rushes, elements for ‘The One Show’ or re-ingesting archive for sport, Liam was trained by his colleagues to be able to handle whatever came in.
After that, I was moved to Pobol Y Cwm to see how a stabilised series performed, and that’s where I really excelled. Routinely training with consistent workflows, such as play-out of programmes on to tape for review, logging music from edited timelines, ingesting rushes from location and prepping them for assembly. I was also given several opportunities to try my hand at assembling some scenes of my own and then get notes from the Assembly Editor!
The apprenticeship wasn’t without its struggles for Liam. Without any experience in a Loading Room, Liam had a lot to learn including the different Avid formats and the terminology. With his perseverance and help of his colleagues, Liam was quick to learn about the different software and Post Production processes.
At the end of the apprenticeship, I spent a few months looking for work in the industry with not much luck. After 7 months of looking, I was considering finding a new career path, but the Sgil Cymru team got in touch with me and let me know of someone who was looking for an Assistant Producer for their rugby coverage on S4C. At first, I was a little nervous about the role, coming purely from a Post-Production background and not knowing that much about sport in the first place, but I went for a coffee with them that week and secured a three-month trial with them at Sunset+Vine Cymru.
It’s nearly been three years now and my CV has dramatically expanded, with me editing openers and features for most of our rugby games from the Principality Premiership and the National Cup, and even full highlights of programmes such as the Tour de France, the 2017 Lions Tour, the Top 14, and the European Rugby Champions Cup on S4C. I’ve even had the opportunity to travel with the team to all the Wales matches from the Rugby World Cup back in 2015, and even to Lyon for the European Cup Final. On top of this, I’m also working with Tinopolis as a Freelance Editor.
Ffion Taylor started her apprenticeship in 2014 on a Level 3 Apprenticeship in Creative and Digital Media. Ffion, 23 from Aberystwyth, worked as an Apprentice Runner for Green Bay Media in Cardiff.
Prior to the apprenticeship, Ffion was working as a waitress in a restaurant in Aberystwyth having recently finished studying Creative Media Production and Photography at College. Ffion always knew she wanted to work in the creative industries, but she didn’t know how to get her foot in the door. With a lot of research, Ffion came across the apprenticeship opportunities and decided to apply.
I wanted the apprenticeship because I knew it would provide me with a strong foundation for a career in the TV and Film industry.
Whilst completing her apprenticeship Ffion worked as an Apprentice Runner on a number of productions including Llond Ceg, DNA Cymru and Sian Lloyds Work-Life Balance. Ffion’s day-to-day job included finding/auditioning potential contributors for documentaries and children’s programmes, obtaining paperwork for children’s performance licenses, finding locations and obtaining permission to film, amongst other administrative tasks. She also worked on set and location as a chaperone.
During my apprenticeship, I faced many challenges. As I’d never worked in TV before, it was a huge learning curve. Trying to find contributors for programmes without knowing where to look was tough! But with time and practice, I became more organised and confident. If you asked me to find a contributor for a Teen Series now I’d be able to find you one – no problem!
Following her year-long apprenticeship, Ffion continued to work for Green Bay Media as a Researcher for 10 months. Since then Ffion has worked in online and corporate production, media training, and most recently, animation as a Junior Production Manager for Cloth Cat Animation on a series for Channel 5.
Ffion has chosen to broaden her horizons yet again by taking a job in the production office on a feature film called Judy. The film is being shot in Pinewood Studios and sees Renée Zellweger star as the lead.
Without the Apprenticeship, I wouldn’t have any of the skills that have helped me in my career so far. I made a conscious decision not to go to University, so the apprenticeship was a great opportunity for me to learn on the job. Having this hands-on experience has set me apart from other candidates when applying for work – I honestly think I would’ve found it much harder to get work within the TV industry without this.
In 2016 Osian Davies, 20 from Glan Conwy, completed his Level 3 Apprenticeship in Creative and Digital Media through Sgil Cymru. Osian worked as a Factual Production Apprentice at BBC Cymru Wales in Llandaff. Since finishing his apprenticeship Osian has continued to work within the factual department in BBC Cymru Wales. Here’s his story.
Prior to his media apprenticeship Osian was working in a hotel restaurant whilst studying towards his A Levels in North Wales.
When I started studying my A Levels I thought I wanted to be a performer. Soon enough I realised that it wasn’t for me and that I wanted to work behind the scenes of a production. I also came to the realisation that I didn’t want to go to University either. I don’t see myself as an academic person and found that vocational learning suited me best. Following this, I started looking for media apprenticeships in theatre and media and stumbled upon the Level 3 Apprenticeship in Creative and Digital Media.
Following his appointment as Factual Production Apprentice Osian started working on programmes including The One Show, BBC Young Musician, X-Ray, Bargain Hunt and Coast.
Osian had the opportunity to take on many different tasks throughout his apprenticeship including research work on The One Show. His duties included sourcing stories, contributors, locations and archive for the shoots. This gave Osian the opportunity to work closely with the Directors, Production Management Assistants and Series Producers and to help take the story from beginning to broadcast. Osian’s job changed on a daily basis and allowed Osian to work on a variety of different programmes and gain invaluable experience.
I had the chance to look after contestants and the judges on BBC Young Musician, maintain the camera kit and help set it up on location with X-Ray alongside shadowing the Runners on Bargain Hunt whilst helping them set up casting calls and filming on location.
Following his apprenticeship, Osian started working as a Runner on Bargain Hunt and has continued to work for BBC Cymru Wales since. As well as this Osian has returned to work on The One Show and is now working as a Casting Researcher on Bargain Hunt.
The apprenticeship allowed me to show my true potential. It gave me more confidence and the hands-on training and experience I needed.
Molleasha Quinn started her apprenticeship in 2015 on a Level 3 Apprenticeship in Creative and Digital Media. Molleasha, 20 from Cardiff, worked as an Art Department Apprentice for BBC Cymru Wales in Roath Lock, Cardiff.
Before the apprenticeship, Molleasha was studying her A Levels in Art, Media Studies and Design Technology. Molleasha wasn’t keen on going to University but she was certain that she wanted to study a creative course.
Vocational studying appealed to me much more rather than University. I knew I wanted to do something creative, but felt unsure what course to do because of how expensive and competitive creative courses can be. I really think an apprenticeship is the best way to start a career.
Whilst completing her apprenticeship Molleasha worked as an Art Department Apprentice on Casualty for 6 months and on Pobol y Cwm for the following 6 months.
Following her apprenticeship, Molleasha continued to work for BBC Cymru Wales as an Art Director.
I was asked to Art Direct with Pobol y Cwm at 19 before finishing my apprenticeship and I am the youngest to Art Direct continuously with the BBC, having stayed with them since April 2016.
As well as this Molleasha has kept herself busy by attending courses overseas as well as working freelance for other productions.
I did a short course in Graphic and Visual Design in Los Angeles during my time off, and am currently working dailies as a set dresser on Emmerdale and Art Directing with Casualty in the New Year.
Since completing her apprenticeship Molleasha has continued to work hard on a number of productions whilst creating a good name for herself as an Art Director. This would not have been possible without Molleasha having completed her apprenticeship.
The apprenticeship helped create my career. The duration of the apprenticeship lets you prove your capabilities to the employer and gives you the chance to get to know them over a long period of time. Building this kind of relationship is really hard to achieve through short work experience placements.
Gaby Gardner started her apprenticeship in 2013, on a level 3 Apprenticeship in Creative and Digital Media. Gaby, 21 from Barry, worked as an Apprentice Casting Assistant for Cardiff-based casting agency, Regan Management (formerly known as Regan Rimmer Management).
Prior to the apprenticeship, Gaby attended Barry 6th Form where she studied Theatre Studies, Film and Music at AS Level. Throughout her time at school Gaby struggled with confidence. Having always had an interest in the creative industries, Gaby saw the apprenticeship as a great opportunity to build her confidence, meet new people and forge a career in an industry that is renowned for being difficult to break in to. After securing the job Gaby took the big step and decided to leave school.
As Apprentice Casting Assistant Gaby was responsible for booking actors for castings, maintaining databases, filming actors auditions and passing the footage onto Directors. It was crucial for Gaby to be in the loop with up and coming talent by visiting the theatre in the evenings as well as attending showcases. On top of this Gaby regularly worked out of the London office.
During her apprenticeship Gaby worked on the Theatr na nÓg production ‘Tom The Musical’, Kevin Allen’s (fFati fFilms) feature film ‘Under Milk Wood’ as well as many Clwyd Theatr Cymru productions. As a result of working on big projects and having to deal with a number of people on a daily basis, Gaby’s confidence grew significantly.
After completing her apprenticeship in 2014, Gaby was offered a full-time position as an Assistant Agent with Regan Management. Since then she has carried on working with the agency, and with her newly-found confidence Gaby is now heading up the new Regan Management Bristol office. She is currently in the middle of meeting with local actors and production companies in order to build up a Bristol client base.
Sgil Cymru staff helped me to discover a different side to the industry. Completing my apprenticeship was the best thing I could have done. It’s opened so many doors and I’ve made so many contacts within the industry. I am very grateful to Sue and the team for their support throughout and the support they carry on to give. What I love most is that they’re still interested in what I’m doing and I know I can turn to Sgil Cymru at any time. I highly recommend apprenticeships to anyone who is keen to earn and learn on the job!
At Sgil Cymru’s Celebration in March 2017, Gaby was awarded the Creative Risk Solutions Ltd. Outstanding Achievement Award. This award was awarded to Gaby to mark her outstanding achievement in the industry following the completion of the apprenticeship.
At the age of 18 Brooklyn, who lives in Pontypridd, was finishing school and looking to bridge the gap from education to employment. In September 2016, she found that bridge in the form of an apprenticeship with ITV Cymru Wales.
Brooklyn had previously taken part in BBC Wales’ It’s My Shout training scheme. She found out about the apprenticeship vacancy via a Facebook ad for Sgil Cymru’s Level 3 Apprenticeship in Creative and Digital Media.
”The It’s My Shout experience confirmed for me that working in TV industry was what I wanted to do. Being involved with stage and activities in the creative industry was always the place I felt most confident. Now I have an amazing apprenticeship with ITV and I love the job I’m doing.”
Brooklyn’s parents were very supportive and saw that she was interested in the apprenticeship and says she was glad of their support. Brooklyn’s parents helped her with the application to Sgil Cymru and she attended the selection workshops with a group of young people of similar age.
Brooklyn says that apprenticeships were discussed in school but not apprenticeships that were media based.
The transition from school straight into employment she found particularly challenging but the induction from Sgil Cymru was really helpful. Brooklyn said she naturally felt nervous because she knew that this was a big opportunity and a chance to do something she could only have dreamed of. She took part in group tasks, learning about storyboards and presentation skills.
Brooklyn wasn’t sure what to expect until she started working and learning.
Brooklyn is the first in the family to go down the apprenticeship route however there was no pressure on her to go to university. Her parents are now over the moon about her employment with ITV.
Brooklyn had good grades in school but not many people were expecting her to take up an apprenticeship. She knows a few people from her school that took up an apprenticeship but as far as she knows she is the only girl from her year. Brooklyn was clear that an apprenticeship was the right route for her.
Currently doing a Level 3 Apprenticeship in Creative and Digital Media, and definitely enjoying it, Brooklyn feels the apprenticeship with ITV has given her a lot of opportunity and everyone is very supportive.
“I have been given the chance to work, meet people and learn. The opportunities are endless. Everyone at ITV is so lovely – I felt completely welcomed by everyone and now I feel very much part of the team.”
Fiona Frances, ITV Cymru Wales said:
“At ITV Cymru Wales we are always on the look- out for new talent and we are 100% behind opportunities to earn-while-you-learn. Our apprentices have come from all walks of life giving them the chance to continue their education in a workplace environment. Our aim is to equip them with the experience and practical skills to enable them flourish in the Welsh creative industries.”
Dylan Mohammad-Smart started his apprenticeship in 2014 on a Level 3 Apprenticeship in Creative and Digital Media. Dylan, 19 from Pontypridd, worked as a Radio Sport Apprentice at BBC Cymru Wales in Llandaff, Cardiff.
Whilst studying for his GCSEs Dylan completed two days work experience with the BBC Sport department in January 2014. It was here that Dylan was told about the apprenticeship by the Managing Editor in the department. Having always had a passion for sport Dylan knew that the apprenticeship would be the perfect opportunity to get his foot in the door.
I have a passion for Sport and have always had a huge interest in the media side, whether that was playing it, reading the Sport columns in the newspapers, watching it on TV or listening to it on the radio. The apprenticeship seemed a perfect opportunity to kickstart my career.
His apprenticeship in BBC Cymru Wales gave Dylan the opportunity to work on the radio side of the Sport department. His workload included cutting audio clips for bulletins, writing links for the presenters to say on air as well as setting up guests for the Radio Wales Sport show. Dylan also worked on some big projects including Wales football, Rugby internationals and the Wales Sport Awards.
Taking the apprenticeship was the best decision I’ve ever made. I had just turned 16 when I started so I had to grow up quickly.
Even though Dylan was only 16 when he started the apprenticeship his work ethic and knowledge of all things Sport quickly impressed his fellow colleagues. This meant he was kept on to work in the Radio side of the Sport department following the completion of his apprenticeship.
Over the past two years Dylan has worked in a variety of different roles, including Onsite Producing. He is now a fully trained Social Media Producer which means he is in charge of running the Twitter and Facebook pages for BBC Wales Sport and BBC Scrum V. Dylan also films and edits his own content which is then published across their social media pages and the BBC Sport website.
I have been working in Social Media since October 2016 so am still relatively new to it and have much to learn in a rapidly growing area. I hope to see myself staying on the social side for the foreseeable future.
Having only worked in part-time jobs, Joseph Marshall hoped to get his foot in the door in the media and was looking for work experience opportunities when he discovered apprenticeships. He successfully applied for an apprenticeship in Post-Production with the BBC, describing his chance at starting his career via the scheme as “a once in a lifetime opportunity”.
Over a year combining his role with studying for the level 3 qualification, Joseph shadowed and aided Edit Assistants, soon performing “vital tasks such as editing web-clips, delivering tapes to broadcasting houses, transcoding and renaming rushes for editors and so much more.”
While Joseph mainly worked at the Roath Lock drama studio on primetime BBC drama Casualty developing his skillset, he was also given the chance to work on Doctor Who and on factual programmes being produced from Broadcasting House in Llandaff, Cardiff. As the twelve months of the scheme came to an end, Joseph was offered a three-month contract as an Edit Assistant with the BBC.
At the end of his contract, Joseph, like many of the post-production workforce, decided to take the step into freelancing. The contacts he made and relationships developed during his apprenticeship proved invaluable as he started his freelance career, and he later returned to Casualty to work on the content for the programme’s social media platforms.
While he aims to develop his career via both post-production in television and social media, Joseph recognises the vital part the apprenticeship played in opening the door to working in the creative industries, and also in how he has developed as a person.
Without the apprentice scheme I would not be where I am. I haven’t just grown in my career but also my personal life. Before I was an apprentice for the BBC, I was very shy. This apprenticeship really helped with how I communicate with people. Every single member on the Sgil Cymru team were amazing and guided me through the apprenticeship.