Apprentice makes TV history

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A BBC journalist, who received training at the City of Wolverhampton College, has made history by becoming the youngest-ever person to report on the News at 10.

Twenty-year-old Izin Akhabau, pictured here with Huw Edwards, the programme presenter and newsreader, was among the first ever group of digital journalism apprentices taken on at BBC News in 2015.

Her on-screen report was about spoken-word poetry.

Former Birmingham Press Club director Sue Green, who is NCTJ College Lecturer for BBC Apprenticeship Course, said: “This is a huge achievement particularly for someone so young.  Izin is a star and I am absolutely delighted for her.

“The City of Wolverhampton College, as the top performing NCTJ accredited FE centre in the UK, was selected by the BBC Academy to take up the challenge as the provider for this  alternative and demanding route into the highly competitive industry.  

“It is aimed at those who are resilient, determined, persistent, inquiring, committed, hard-working with a lively interest in current affairs and enthusiastic about all things digital. Anyone with any type of university degree should not apply.”

Sue added: “Izin is among dozens of young people who have now grasped this new opportunity in journalism education and training as BBC newsrooms across the country open up to junior apprentices.”

The apprentice scheme attracted over 3,000 applicants, and just ten were selected for the 18-month course, which culminates in a diploma accredited by the National Council for the Training of Journalists and allows participants to work in departments including BBC Politics, Newsnight and BBC News.

“It has been amazing to work with the team from the Six and Ten, and learn a new skillset,” said Izin. “In the future, there are so many things I want to learn how to do, including coming back to work at the BBC full-time.”

The BBC took on another 22 apprentices in October, and 10 have started at local radio stations, and 12 at network news.

“Izin’s story was superb,” said Paul Royall, editor of BBC News at Six and Ten. “She reported with flair and imagination and brought an original story to the Ten. We hope to see her again.”