Radio enthusiasts keen for experience behind the mic are being given the chance to fine-tune their skills at Moray Firth Radio – thanks to funding from Skills Development Scotland (SDS).
Almost 60 trainees have taken to the airwaves at Moray Firth Radio (MFR) since the RadioSkills training programme was launched in 1999.
One graduate of the hit training initiative has just landed one of the top jobs in Scottish radio broadcasting. Diane Knox, who joined MFR in 2004, has scored the prestigious drivetime slot at Clyde1.
After becoming a hit and helping young talent such as Knoxy make it big in the industry, even more trainee broadcasters are set to be taken on by the RadioSkills programme before the end of this year.
MFR launched Monster FM earlier this year to encourage novice presenters and producers to fulfil their potential. The local radio station trainees began work on the project in February this year and launched it in September.
Monster FM ran for a month, allowing the trainees to learn on-the-job about presenting, podcasts, producing and editing in a live setting.
Shown in MFR’s Monster FM studio are trainees Amy Jamieson, 29, Jennie Owen, 43, and Gemma McLean, 23, with trainer James Macdonald.
RadioSkills is the only initiative of its kind in Scotland to provide short courses and vocational qualifications. The scheme is funded by the European Social Fund (ESF) and relies on funding partners, such as SDS, to run the training which focuses on teaching practical broadcasting skills.
Liz McIntyre, Manager for Moray Firth Media Trust, the charity set up by Moray Firth Radio to run the training course, at, said: “Our RadioSkills programme is well respected in the broadcast industry. It gives people who are interested in a career in media a real flavour of what it’s like in a busy studio, allows them to learn the key skills they need to succeed and gives them the expertise and guidance to become confident to address an invisible audience of thousands.
“We depend on funding partners such as SDS to make sure we continue to find and nurture the next generation of broadcast journalists and ensure talent continues to be recognised.”
Moray Firth is now looking forward to welcoming a new batch of fresh-faced trainees to its studios, where it will provide them with valuable hands-on experience, and the same training, advice and mentoring which benefited rising star Knoxy.
The project uses the funding it receives to run practical initiatives to complement the expertise of its staff.
Damien Yeates, Chief Executive of Skills Development Scotland, added: “Moray Firth Radio has built a strong reputation since it launched the RadioSkills initiative. Diane Knox is a perfect example of someone who used the guidance she received to carve out a promising career. Her success demonstrates the quality of the learning provided by this innovative programme.
“It is our aim to help more people like Diane to reach their career goals, which is precisely why we support schemes like this. We want to ensure as many people as possible are able to access training which will enable them to secure sustained, rewarding careers.
“By teaching key skills which can be applied to future roles, Moray Firth is equipping people with the knowledge to break into an extremely competitive industry.”