talkSPORT: Why we're backing our apprentices

National Apprenticeship Week is taking place between 8-14 February, and the NCTJ is proud to support the campaign. Throughtout the week, we will be sharing first-hand accounts from current and former apprentices and employers to demonstrate the benefits of journalism apprenticeships.

talkSPORT launched a brand new apprenticeship scheme in September. They share their story below:

talkSPORT, the world’s biggest sports radio station, launched a brand new apprenticeship scheme in September to find three young people to become valued members of the production team.

The key skills talkSPORT was looking for in their apprentices were creativity, storytelling, conscientiousness and drive, with the aim to offer full employment to the three apprentices at the end of the programme.

After nearly 2,000 applications, successful applicants Mya Graham, Daniel Kane and Janisha Kaur joined the team in December 2020. The apprentices have started training in multiple journalism and radio skills at PA Training, part of PA Media, the national news agency for the UK and Ireland.

They will all complete a rotation in three different departments across the talkSPORT network. At the end of the eighteen-month apprenticeship they will have a NCTJ qualification and the right skills for a career in sports broadcasting.

Head of talkSPORT Lee Clayton said: “When we set out we wanted to find talent rather than experience and apprenticeships are a fantastic opportunity to do that.

“We wanted to find and develop young talent to better inform talkSPORT's editorial decisions, increase diversity of opinion in talkSPORT’s production teams and develop a pathway which we hope gives Mya, Daniel and Janisha the chance to stay to develop a career at the network.

“I joined News UK at the age of 17. I was raw and without any formal training, but I had a hunger and passion to succeed. I was lucky to meet some amazing people who encouraged and nurtured my desire and helped me on my journey. I will never forget that.

"This is a company that encourages young talent from different backgrounds and I know Mya, Daniel and Janisha have already started to make an impact.”

Head of live sport at talkSPORT and lead on the apprenticeship scheme, Kathryn Anastasi said: “The apprentices have settled in so well, even with the difficulties around remote working and training due to COVID-19.

"They spent a couple of weeks before Christmas getting to know the teams at talkSPORT and building relationships with their mentors and buddies. Since the beginning of January they have been full time at PA Training but have spent one afternoon a week on creative meetings with talkSPORT’s GameDay production team influencing show ideas for our flagship Premier League content.

"They are already making valuable contributions to our output and we can’t wait to help them put into practice what they have learnt at PA Training when they start their first rotation at the beginning of March.

“One example of their work so far, apprentice Daniel Kane recorded a short video of his first week with the network which included editing clips for Hawksbee and Jacobs’ show and chose a record to be played out live on Drive with Sam Matterface and Darren Bent.”

Watch Daniel's video below: