Tredegar apprentice on track for bright BBC broadcast career thanks to help from Careers Wales
An apprentice from Tredegar who struggled to find his passion is on track for a career in broadcast after receiving help and guidance from Careers Wales.
22-year-old Sam Reynolds, a former pupil at Tredegar Comprehensive, is currently completing the end of his apprenticeship with the BBC Radio 4 in Bristol, after Careers Wales made him aware of career opportunities with the corporation.
Having struggled at school due to learning difficulties, Sam went on to study a Level 3 Diploma in ICT at Ystrad Mynach College. Although he had always had a passion for theatre and the creative arts, he was unsure of the career options available to him within his desired sector.
After making an appointment with Careers Wales adviser Jayne Waters and talking through Sam’s interests, he was informed of a Jobs Growth Wales placement with the Wales Millennium Centre in Cardiff, and spent a summer working there through the scheme.
Following this experience, Sam was keen to pursue a career in the creative industries, and was signposted to a careers event by his adviser, Jayne.
At the event, Sam spoke to a BBC representative and was informed about its apprenticeship opportunities. After CV and interview guidance from Jayne, Sam secured a Level 3 production apprenticeship with the BBC, and has been working on Radio 4 programmes in Bristol for the last year as part of the qualification.
Speaking about his experience, Sam said: “I found school really hard because of my learning difficulties, and felt that it wasn’t the right learning environment for me. I tried college after that, but still didn’t feel it was the right fit, especially as I was studying ICT.
“I’ve always been interested in theatre and music, and was crowned the European Puppetry Champion in 2011, but I didn’t realise I could turn my hobby into a career and work in the creative industries, especially as I wasn’t aware of the different jobs available.
“Jayne at Careers Wales really helped me to work on my CV and my interview skills, and pointed me towards the opportunity with the WMC. After that, I knew that I wanted to see what other roles I could do within the creative sector, and found the BBC apprenticeship with her help.
“I hadn’t done anything with radio before, and this has given me the chance to tackle a new and exciting challenge. I’ve worked on some great BBC4 programmes like Tweet of the Day, Poetry Please, and Any Questions?, doing things like audio recording and editing, and producing podcasts. The apprenticeship has opened my eyes to so many new opportunities, and I’ve also found that learning on the job suits me a lot better than learning in a classroom.
“After I finish my apprenticeship, I’m hoping to stay on with the BBC to work in radio, as I’ve developed a real passion for it. I’m so grateful to Jayne and to Careers Wales for helping me to get this far, as I would never have come across the role without her help and guidance.”
Speaking about Sam’s progress, Jayne Waters, Sam’s Careers Adviser at Careers Wales, said: “I’m very proud of Sam, he’s accomplished so much and overcome every barrier that he’s come across. I’ve been working with him for a long time, which is great because you really get to know the person and their ambitions.
“He came in knowing that he was passionate about media, but he didn’t want to go to university and wasn’t sure what to do next. Together, we looked at all the routes and options available and helped with his application for the WMC placement, and then the BBC apprenticeship.
“This is why it’s so important that young people are aware of all the options available to them, as Sam may not have considered an apprenticeship if he hadn’t come in to see us, and now he’s on the path to his dream career.”
For more information on Careers Wales services visit www.careerswales.com or speak to a member of our team on our webchat service.