Global plots its own broadcasting Academy

Ashley Tabor: executive president of Global
Ashley Tabor: executive president of Global

Global, parent to the three biggest commercial radio networks Capital, Heart and Classic FM, has unveiled plans to launch its own Global Academy to train young people from next summer.

The Global Academy will be a full University Technical College tailored to jobs in the digital broadcasting industry. It will open in London in September 2015 in partnership with the University of Arts London, and supported by the Department for Education.

The academy extends Global’s work experience and internships programme that has been running since 2008. To date it has secured placements for 450 people.

It will provide education for 14- to 18-year-olds studying GCSEs, A-Levels, BTECs and the English Baccalaureate. 

Unlike traditional schools and sixth form colleges, the Global Academy will also provide specialist vocational training modules leading to specific qualifications in creative, technical and digital media as well as entrepreneurship. 

The curriculum will have a strong focus on the technical skills needed to get a job in today’s digital broadcasting industry.

Tabor: 'I wish there had been a school like this when I was studying'

Ashley Tabor, executive president of Global, has developed the concept of the academy over the past two years, and believes it will fill a void in the current jobs market.

He said: "I wish there had been a school like this when I was studying. Since founding Global I’ve been struck by the shortage of young people coming into the industry with the right practical skills or broad enough skills.

"As emerging technologies continue to change the way we do business, that skills gap will only get bigger. With this new Global Academy, we want to lead the way in developing and nurturing talent and securing jobs for young people from all backgrounds. 

"We will bring talented young people, some of whom wouldn’t otherwise get the chance to gain these skills, into the exciting digital broadcasting industry and help ensure the industry continues to thrive while simultaneously equipping these students with the real skills they need to succeed in today’s industry."

800 students expected by year 2

Individuals can apply through the company’s website for positions at all the company’s 21 broadcast centres. Some students will go on to higher education, further education and apprenticeships, while others will head straight into jobs. By year two, the Global Academy will have roughly 800 students.

The Global Academy will be part-funded by the government and aims to be accessible to talented and driven students from all social and economic backgrounds.

Global is also drawing on expertise from industry partners, with support from Universal Music Group, Decca Records, Independent Radio News, WCRS, PHD, RCS, Ooyala, Arqiva, Cisco, Clifford Chance, and Slaughter & May.

It has received the praise of media leaders looking to encourage a culture of entrepreneurialism and to develop a well-equipped future work force.

Global receives industry support

Karen Blackett, chief executive of WPP's MediaCom UK, said: "It's inspiring to see Global take the lead in setting up a university technical college for the digital broadcasting industry. It's critical that we equip the next generation with the skills needed to get jobs in the industry when they finish their education.

"The creation of the Global Academy chimes with our beliefs at MediaCom UK and we are keen to support the development of the curriculum, and offer work placements to students where possible."

The suite of vocational specific qualification modules developed by Global and its partners will be accredited by University of the Arts London. The Global Academy will be subject to Ofsted inspection and will be part of the standard Department for Education league tables.

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