Ex-service men and women take steps towards a career in media this Freshers’ Week with the new Forces Media Academy

On the 26th September, 15 service leavers and veterans will embark on a free one-year Higher National Certificate (HNC) Media Production Course, provided by the newly created Forces Media Academy.

Service leavers are often highly renowned for their strong ability to communicate, but in spite of this the world of media has remained fairly un-traversed territory for them, with only 1% starting media careers in the last two years*.

Through this course, the Forces Media Academy, which is part of the Services Sound & Vision Corporation (SSVC), aims to provide 15 ex-service personnel with the training, experience and qualifications they need to forge successful careers in videography, digital, TV or radio.

The Forces Media Academy is supported by its principal charity partner, The Royal British Legion, which provides each student a bursary of £18,000 to help with living costs.

The course will take place at SSVC’s headquarters in Buckinghamshire, and as it is the parent company of the British Forces Broadcasting Service (BFBS) and Forces TV, the students will have the opportunity to work in a live media environment, with award-winning media teams alongside the programme of lectures.

Work experience and practical skills feature heavily in the course, which includes modules such as: Camera and Lighting Skills, Film and Video Editing, Promo Video Production, Contextual Studies, Research Techniques, Practical Skills for Moving Image Production.

Freddie Ellison from Aldershot, Hampshire, is one of the 15 selected for the course. Freddie joined the Royal Navy in 2008 as a medic. After completing his training, he spent a short period working with the Royal Marines, before returning to a Royal Navy air station in Cornwall. Shortly afterwards he was sent to the front line in Afghanistan.

During his deployment Freddie had some difficult experiences. He faced IED attacks, came under small arms fire and treated many serious casualties in his role as a medic. Freddie found this experience incredibly testing and was ultimately diagnosed with PTSD, causing him to be discharged from the Royal Navy in February 2017 after 9 years’ service.

Freddie states: Being accepted into the Forces Media Academy means the world to me. It means that I will be able to express my creativity.”

Forces Media Academy Director, Alistair Halliday, said: “This course is a perfect fit for service leavers and veterans with an interest in, and aptitude for, the media. It will equip them with skills for a range of roles such as a producer, multimedia journalist, and content creator.”

“The Forces Media Academy is part of SSVC, which has a proven history of media production with long-established and close links with the media, digital, and broadcast industries. We’ll harness these to set up high quality work experience which will enhance the ability of the students to get a good job afterwards,” added Halliday.

“We are most grateful for the support of charities and companies, in particular The Royal British Legion, which has most generously provided the bursary.”

The Royal British Legion’s Head of Grants and Social Policy, Steven Baynes, said: “The Academy’s work is innovative and practical, building on the existing and highly transferrable skills of those who serve in HM Armed Forces. We’re eager to follow the first cohort’s progress, and proud to provide bursary funding to make the course accessible to as many future media professionals as possible.”

For more information and to apply for the course in September 2018, go online to www.forcesacademy.com.

– Ends –

Notes to Editors

* Source Career Transition Partnership (CTP) – this is for first-time careers when leaving the military.

The CTP is a partnering agreement between the Ministry of Defence and Right Management Ltd, who are global career development and outplacement specialists and part of the ManpowerGroup. The CTP provides resettlement services for those leaving the Royal Navy, Army, Royal Air Force and Marines.

About the Forces Media Academy

The Academy was set up with a £1.8m grant from the Chancellor’s Libor Fund. The Royal British Legion has contributed £800,000 to support the Forces Media Academy which offers veterans a unique opportunity to gain new skills and qualifications in media production after leaving the Services. The contribution from the Legion will cover the living expenses for 15 academy students annually for the next three years. Forging new careers and developing different skills after the Armed Forces can be challenging and the Legion is dedicated to supporting veterans’ transition back to civvy street at any point in their lives.

The Services Sound & Vision Corporation

The Forces Media Academy is run by SSVC, the charity which runs the British Forces Broadcasting Service (BFBS) and Forces TV. SSVC is a not-for-profit organisation, founded in World War II and specialises in providing media services to the UK Armed Forces.

SSVC remains dedicated to informing, entertaining and connecting the military abroad and at home. SSVC’s mission is to champion the Armed Forces and keep them in the public eye. SSVC makes a vital contribution to Service morale and welfare and specialises in communicating effectively with the wider armed forces audience.

Our services include, but are not limited to:

  • Forces TV – is the home of entertainment and military life – broadcasting comedy, entertainment, drama, news and sport 24/7
  • BFBS TV – multichannel TV broadcast worldwide providing the best of UK and international TV to serving forces and their families posted around the world
  • Forces Radio BFBS – broadcasting 24/7 from seven overseas locations, nationally and locally in the UK, and to the Gurkha community
  • Forces News – a fully-integrated news capability produced by specialist journalists and technicians with intimate knowledge of the Armed Forces
  • Forces Cinemas – fixed and mobile digital cinemas providing the latest film releases to military venues around the world
  • Forces Events & Entertainment (CSE) – suppliers of live entertainment for British Forces personnel and civilian audiences, including music, comedy, celebrity visits and event services
  • SSVC Training – offering quality training in a range of subjects including digital media, video content generation and media training to defence and wider government departments
  • forces.net – state-of-the-art online capability, placing video, digital imagery and articles at the heart of our growing New Media presence
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