Young people ‘radio ga ga’ for new course

Young people in the North East will have the chance to tune in to a radio career with the launch of a new course - the first of its kind in the region.

Gateshead College has teamed up with industry leader Metro Radio to create a training programme that will give students the experience and skills needed to pursue a successful career in radio broadcasting including presenting and production.

And the new programme is already reaping reward for some - the first two students to enrol have had an initial taste of working in radio by interviewing Steve and Karen, the stars of Metro's weekday breakfast show.

Nicole Taylor, 15, and Jordan Brown, 16, both from North Shields, will start the programme when it begins this September but the pair have already benefitted from spending time with the Metro Radio team.

Nicole said: "It's great to learn from the professionals and have the opportunity to work alongside inspirational presenters that you have grown up listening to.

"I know the course will equip me the skills and insight for the industry I really want to work in."

Jordan added: "I want to be on the course because I love music and everything about radio. My ambition is to be a successful presenter and I believe completing this course will allow me to realise my dream."

The new Level 3 in Commercial Radio course, which is equivalent to A Levels, was designed by Gateshead College and Metro Radio to ensure the skills students learn match the needs of the industry.

The programme's emphasis on providing real work experience will ensure students get to be a part of the Metro Radio professional team and work on real projects.

Kevin Smith, head of group creative and cultural at Gateshead College, said: "We're delighted to be working with Metro Radio to launch this innovative programme, which is yet another great example of how we are radically adapting our curriculum to be more entrepreneurial.

"Radio can be an extremely difficult industry to break into, but this course will give our students a significant advantage by providing real experience, opening doors and enabling them to forge important relationships with professionals."

The course will immerse students in all of the elements and roles involved in radio including production, editing, promotion, presenting, interviewing and how to create engaging radio content.  

Steve Furnell of Metro Radio said: "This new course will be the best career route for anyone looking to work in the exciting world of radio.

"When I was a teenager and looking for my break in radio I was actually rejected by Metro when I wrote to them asking for an opportunity to get involved. This training will give the students the opportunity I never had, allowing them to get involved and really understand how a radio station operates.  

"Karen and I are proud to be supporting this pioneering project and we're looking forward to welcoming the students to the station in September.''

Anyone interested in finding out more or enrolling on the programme can meet the team from Metro Radio at Gateshead College's Baltic Campus on Monday 20th August from 10am until 2pm.