Unity Radio have created The New Talent Academy to help young people/adults gain skills in the radio, media, and film industry.
The program began late last year when Unity Radio felt that there was a gap in the sector for a free educational program that could provide qualifications whilst also being interactive and fun. The station and classroom for the students are based at Host, in MediaCityUK, Salford.
James Bayat, The New Talent Academy’s Education Coordinator, explains:
“We do multiple activities throughout the day, the focus for us is getting the students comfortable in a radio studio, making sure they are comfortable sitting down in front of the microphone using all the equipment, and making sure they are confident in their own abilities knowing that they can do certain aspects of a radio show.
A normal day would consist of a mixture of being in the classroom, learning production, creating some content or having class discussions.
We don’t delve into much of the theory side of what you should be doing when you’re working for a radio station, we kind of go with the fun elements of radio.”
Listen for the full interview here:
The New Talent Academy has a show on Unity Radio every Thursday from 10am- 1pm and every Wednesday from 1pm- 4pm, tune in to catch the Learners broadcast their own live radios shows.
James said: “One of the main benefits of The New Talent Academy is our ability to attract industry speakers and other local inspirational figures who come and talk to our learners about subjects like work ethic and skill development whilst inspiring them to achieve what perhaps they don’t think they are capable of.”
The course provides vocational education, training, and pre-employment provisions for its students as they achieve an accredited creative media qualification.
James explains why MediaCityUK is the best place for the project to be located:
“I think there’s a few positives to being in MediaCityUK, one of which is, that it’s one of the most technologically advanced kind of areas in the Northwest. For a lot of the young people that we have coming through the doors, they have probably never been to Media City before. There are so many opportunities that are available in Media City for young people so once they’re here with us, we can start to help them make connections and help them to meet links.”
James gives his advice when looking for a career in the radio industry:
“There’s no set rule into the industry. You can’t just go and get your CV and hand that into radio station and expect to be employed. It just doesn’t work that way. You have to be really active in your own kind of ambition if you want to work towards radio. So, if we can give them experience and qualification and then connections as well within industry, I think those three things are going to set them up really well to be able to try and gain employment or at least be around the right people.”
Karl Evans is a former student at The New Talent Academy, he explains his experience at the project:
“From day one, James and Scotty made me feel so comfortable in everything they did. They taught us everything that we needed to know about sound, like different kinds of sound, how sound moves throughout the room, and then it all evolved into learning about radio and how to present and how to run a show.
I have learnt presenting skills, how to talk to an audience through a microphone and sound skills. We also learnt about filming, I was a presenter in the film that we made.”