Writers such as Andy McNab and Michael Asher have enthralled readers over the years with bestsellers based on their experiences of the military. And Service leavers are highly renowned, and sought after, for their strong ability to communicate. Despite this, the world of media, which thrives on our need to consume stories, has remained fairly un-traversed territory for ex-military.
However, this could all be set to change with an exciting new opportunity from the Forces Media Academy. The Academy, which is run by the Services Sound and Vision Corporation (SSVC) has created a free, one year Creative Media Production course (HNC). It aims to provide Service personnel with the training, experience and qualifications they need to forge successful careers in videography, digital, TV or radio.
Indeed, SSVC has already benefited firsthand from their transferable skills within the organisation – their Digital Community Editor is former editor of the Daily Express Andy Phelan (who was also in the Royal Navy) and two of their radio presenters are Jay James (ex RN and finalist of X Factor) and ex RM medic Cassidy Little.
Modules on the course include:
· Camera and lighting techniques
· Film and video editing, promotional video production
· Advertising campaigns
· Content generation
(For a full list please go to – forcesacademy.com)
On completion of the course, students will be awarded a Higher National Certificate (HNC) in CMP, which could then be used towards a Higher National Diploma (HND) in CMP as a step towards a full degree. Students could go on to work in a huge variety of roles – from videographer, to radio producer, content creator or social media producer.
Forces Media Academy Director, Alistair Halliday, says: “Creative media is such an exciting and fulfilling industry that’s full of opportunities – from camera and lighting, film and video editing, to journalism, media communications and production. A few servicemen and women have gone onto successful careers in the media in the past but the numbers have not been large and this may be because there has been no support or training for them.”
Halliday adds: “So while this hasn’t been a well-trodden path for ex-military, we don’t think this is because of a lack of interest or potential on their part. We hope Service leavers will take advantage of this opportunity and realise that this is an area where they can add value and have a very fulfilling career.”
Interestingly, a large number of officers are trained and experienced in media relations and media ops – this is often in operational or crisis scenarios, when they have to deal with the press. Many have done this very well showing real aptitude for the media environment.
One such example is former RN Lieutenant and Supply Officer Jeremy Greaves, who is Head of Comms at Airbus.
Clive Lowe, who is a Career Consultant at the OA, believes that this course could help to challenge the perception that ex-military aren’t suitable candidates for the creative industries.
He says: “Certainly, military people are generally not perceived as being ‘creative in an artistic way’, although individuals do have these skills in equal amounts to their civilian counterparts. A course providing a recognised qualification in media and media production (both practical as well as theoretical) will clearly help to change this.” He adds: “The course is already open for applications and receiving a high level of interest, so I look forward to seeing an outlet for this large amount of untapped creative talent across the Armed Forces.”
- All students on the full-time one-year course will also receive a bursary of £18k.
- The course starts on 25th September 2017 and will run until July 2018 at SSVC’s headquarters in Buckinghamshire enabling students to work with award-winning media teams alongside the programme of lectures.
- The closing date for applications is Friday 31st March. For more information about entry requirements and the application process, and for full details of course modules go online to www.forcesacademy.com.