pic: Sarah HartleySalford assistant operations editor Phil Smith wants to see more BBC apprenticeships offered in the future to address an ongoing skills gap within the news operation.

In an interview with the BBC publication Ariel, Smith says there weren’t enough people with the required experience coming through when they were recruiting in the north.

“What happened was that I was taking somebody from Hull, who was then taking someone from Leeds – it was a bit like musical chairs so we needed to bring more people in.

“The dual-running operations for the moves to Salford and New Broadcasting House in London also showed the skills gap.”

And he criticised college media courses which he said can often can be too broad, “where students learn to make feature films – shooting over and over again until it’s right – or develop a single skill, such as camera or sound.”

While conceeding that the current six apprenticeships won’t solve the problem in itself, he expresses hopes the scheme will be expanded in the future.

The 12-month apprenticeship includes a training plan, where the apprentices work across different specialisms in their respective regions before focusing on two or three fields in their last months.

There is no guarantee of a job at the end but the trainees will also learn skills in writing CVs and doing job interviews.

Read interviews with some of the current apprentices here.