Four students from The Skills Company’s St Helens Training Centre have been enjoying a work experience placement at a local community radio station. Halton Community Radio is a project set-up by Halton Access to Media, a non-profit organisation, and is run totally by volunteers, who give their time as supervisors and presenters. It’s a community station that aims to fill the gap between national and commercial stations, in giving a voice to residents in the Runcorn and Widnes area.
The four students, Cody Morris, Connor Cann, Victoria Ladner and Daniel Topping are on a six week placement, where they are learning about the background to radio broadcasting, interview techniques, research methods, telephone technique, and general administration. They are also continuing to study for their English and maths GCSEs.
One of the highlights of their time at Halton Community Radio was when the students conducted a live on air interview with Kirstie Walker, who had organised a Women’s March in Liverpool as part of an international series of events promoting women’s rights.
Hazel Spencer, tutor at the St Helens training centre said: “The placement at Halton Community Radio has been extremely successful, and this group has really enjoyed the chance to get so involved in the work of the station. Students who successfully complete the course are offered the opportunity to present their own slot on the station, and two participants from a previous group are now doing that. The improvement in the students’ confidence and self-esteem has been immeasurable, and the work skills that they have gained will stand them in good stead for their future.”