Interview with an Apprentice – Adam Neal

To celebrate National Apprenticeship Week 2019, we’ve interviewed 5 of our past apprentices who have achieved success in their careers following their apprenticeship. Our first interviewee of the series is Adam Neal.

Name:                                     Adam Neal
Age:                                         33
From:                                      Aberdare
Apprentice Employer:        BBC Studios
Apprentice Job Title:          Unscripted Apprentice

What were you doing prior to the apprenticeship?
I was working as a Special Needs Support Assistant at St Johns High School.

Why did you want to do an apprenticeship?
I have always wanted to work in the media industry. I went to university but after two years I realised that university was not for me and went into the world of work. When I came across an apprenticeship and found out that you didn’t have to be under 24, I thought I would give it a chance to see whether or not I could get it.

What did your apprentice job entail?
I was part of the Unscripted team for BBC Studios and they offered me a wide view of different roles. Depending on the production, I took the role of a researcher, a runner or production management assistant. These different roles developed my skills in researching, camera operating, loading rushes for edit, transcripts, production paperwork such as filming schedules as well as the day to day shooting on location and in the studio.

What programmes/projects did you work on?
I worked on the following programmes: The Miners Who Made Us, The One Show, X-Ray, Crimewatch Roadshow Live and Bargain Hunt.

What happened when you completed your apprenticeship?
9 months into the apprenticeship I applied for a researcher role with BBC X-Ray and was invited for an interview. Soon after I was offered the position and it would start a month before the end of my apprenticeship. BBC Academy and Sgil Cymru allowed me to finish the apprenticeship early and I started as a researcher in August 2018. I am still currently working as a researcher for the programme with over a dozen of my own stories being aired on BBC One Wales. It feels like such an achievement to have come so far since the start of my apprenticeship.

Have you grown as a result of the apprenticeship?
I believe I have grown a lot since the start of the apprenticeship. I started not really knowing anything about the television industry and now I am a researcher for an investigative consumer programme. I feel I have learnt so much in my time as an apprentice and this is all due to the support and teaching from Sgil Cymru and my colleagues at BBC.

Recently, I was asked to script, shoot, direct and now edit my own piece for X-Ray. It’s only a 90-second piece for the programme but still, I didn’t think I’d get to do anything like this for a couple of years!

My life has changed so much in the past year and a half and to think that only 7 months ago I was an apprentice and now I’ve done this! I have still got loads more to learn and a long way to go until I reach my goal, but this was a great experience.

What is the next career step for you?
I hope to continue to be a self-shooting researcher, to learn as much as I can about the industry and different productions, but my next career step would be to become a self-shooting director.