Graduates who are moving to London to pursue a career in media will undoubtedly be interested in a job at the BBC. The corporation offers a vast range of opportunities for the next generation of talent. However, it is not necessary for everyone to have a graduate degree to apply. In particular the apprenticeships that are available are not aimed at those who have attended university. Trainee schemes are generally open to all, but there will be some exceptions depending on the type of role.
All types of roles at the BBC require that you’re over 18 years of age. To get a great idea of the various roles that are available at the BBC, please read on, or alternatively you can register to attend a ‘Get In Open Day’ which allows you to meet the teams and gain a better understanding of what it would be like to work at the BBC. It is worth noting that the BBC does not just have offices in London – they also have centres in Salford, Cardiff and Glasgow, so it is worth checking whereabouts each opportunity is likely to be if you have your heart set on moving to London. You may need to have a degree of flexibility about where you wish to live.
Depending on the scheme you’re applying for, the length of training usually lasts between 11 and 22 months.
So how do you get a trainee or graduate job at the BBC?
The first thing you need to do is decide what area of the BBC you might be interested in working in.
Opportunities in Journalism
• Journalism Trainee Scheme
This is an 11 month fixed term contract. You will experience first class training led by the BBC Academy and mentoring from a senior BBC journalist.
• Radio Journalism Apprenticeship
This scheme only accepts applications at various times of the year, so keep checking the BBC site for details. Those with GCSEs in Maths and English and a genuine passion for Radio 4 can apply for this paid apprenticeship in BBC Radio Production.
• Kick Off Trainee Sports Reporter Scheme
Learn how to interview and write sports stories for radio and online. You must have a proven passion for sport and a strong ambition to progress your career in sports journalism.
BBC Digital and Engineering Roles
• InfoSec Trainee Schemes
Develop your cyber security skills at the BBC.
Undergraduates and recent graduates (who obtained their technology-based degree in the last 3 years) are being given the chance to join the BBC on a 12 month contract. The work and training will be focussed on information security. The London based role will be located in W12.
• Engineering Trainee Scheme
Those that have completed their undergraduate degree with at least a 2:1 in Broadcast Technology, Electronic, Physics or Computer Science can apply for this amazing 22 month paid sponsored MSc degree.
• UX Design Trainee Scheme
Placements exist in both London and Salford for this 12 month fixed-term contract. You must have a great degree in design along with a superb portfolio. The role will allow you to work across a diverse range of products including iPlayer, CBeebies and the News.
• Digital Media Graduate Scheme
This popular 2 year Software Developer scheme allows you to work on any 4 product areas for a six-month duration.
• Apprentice Broadcast Operators
This is a 22 month paid sponsored diploma earning you a Level 3 Apprenticeship in Digital Technology Systems and Infrastructure. Once qualified, the BBC will aim to recruit you into a Broadcast Operator or Junior Broadcast Operator role.
• Trainee Research Technologists Scheme
Those with at least a 2:1 in a degree such as Electronic Engineering, Computer Science, Physics, Maths or UX can apply for this role. This 2 year role looks at technology research and development at the BBC.
Production Trainee Schemes
• Production Apprentices
This is a 12 month scheme offering a core foundation in production skills as well as experience in Production Management, Craft Skills and Creative. This is an entry-level scheme and is not suitable for graduates or gap years.
Opportunities in Business Support
• Business Management Higher Apprenticeship
This is an excellent way to get on the career ladder, have your tuition fees paid by the BBC and gain an honours degree in Business Management and a Higher Apprenticeship in Leadership and Management. You must have a minimum of 5 GCSEs including Maths and English.
• Legal Trainee Scheme
3 LPC graduates will be given the opportunity to join the BBC’s legal team for a period of 2 years, gaining excellent training and work experience.
• Legal Apprentice Programme
This is an alternative to the typical university route. Skip tuition fees by joining this programme and receiving 2 years of training including Level 3 legal qualifications.
How to apply for a job at the BBC
Typically, you will fill out an Online Application form, complete psychometric tests, visit an Assessment Centre and then be invited for a final interview.
Here are some of the activities, assessments and tests that you can expect to take part in as part of your application.
• Numerical Reasoning Tests
Candidates will be tested on their ability to judge graphs, percentages, ratios and tables and then be asked a series of multiple choice questions about them. The BBC use SHL as their test provider and these will be timed.
• Verbal Reasoning
Candidates will be tested on their understanding and comprehension skills. Typically you will be provided with a paragraph or series of text and will then be required to answer ‘True’ ‘False’ or ‘Can’t Tell’ in response to the question. There will be a fair amount of reading to do, so concentration is paramount to the success of this section of the application.
• Diagrammatic/Logical Reasoning
You will be presented with a sequence of shapes or patterns and be asked to identify the missing or next step in the arrangement. It is possible that you may be expected to repeat this section of testing again at the assessment day.
• Situational Judgment
These tests aim to gain the employer with an idea of how candidates will react in real world office scenarios. You will be given a number of challenging workplace situations and a number of responses to select from. You must choose the one that most closely resembles how you feel you would react in any given situation.
• Group Exercise
This will give you the opportunity to demonstrate how well you work within a group. Your people skills will be tested as you provide possible solutions to a given problem.
Be prepared to prove your skill set and respond to difficult questioning from your assessors. Once again, you will be provided with a hypothetical situation and must be able to demonstrate that you are well suited to the role based on the responses that you give.
If you’re interested in applying for any of these training schemes or apprenticeships, then start by checking out the application process on the BBC site. You should also polish up your CV so that it stands out for all the right reasons – professional CV reviews and advice are available.