Last year, Reform Radio a music, arts, and culture broadcaster, received funding through the Fast Track Digital Workforce Fund to deliver ShortaFORM, a new training programme for unemployed young people aged 18-30 to help them develop their creative digital skills in production, editing and marketing.

The Fast Track Digital Workforce Fund is a joint venture between Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS), Greater Manchester Combined Authority (GMCA) and Lancashire Digital Skills Partnership (LDSP), developed to address locally identified digital skills gaps and support Greater Manchester and Lancashire residents with accessible routes into digital employment. 

ShortaFORM, delivered by Reform Radio in partnership with Shorta TV and Manchester Studios, is a 10-week training programme giving unemployed young people an opportunity to create their own short form content, learn about production, editing, social media, marketing with industry professionals and gain industry experience to kick start their career.

The first five weeks of the programme are made up of hands-on training for course participants exploring editorial, camera, sound, production, and digital marketing. The second five weeks of the programme constitute industry work experience, mentor support and career development opportunities.

As part of the course participants carried out interviews with Greater Manchester residents to tell diverse Manchester stories, producing a 3-minute short form films from this interview content. Due to the pandemic, some of these interviews had to be conducted over zoom, but students were also given the opportunity to interview each other at Manchester Studios.

Rachel Roger, Director, Reform Radio said: “It started in September and we originally thought it would be an in person, hands-on, hectic studio days and all 15 people would be in our studios. We had to take that all away and  do a lot of the training through zoom. A lot of the story telling process is still the same, so they are still getting a load of editorial, a load of pre-production experience to get that integral learning.”

Since completing the programme graduates have gone on to do a variety of things, including working at: Reform Radio, BBC, Spark Lab Productions, Sonder Radio, The Presenter Coach, Bearded Fellows and many other organisations across Greater Manchester.

Onatola a ShortaFORM graduate said: “I come from an engineering background, I love to write, and I love poetry as well. Since ShortaFORM ended I have picked up a position as a producer for Jake Bohen at Contact Theatre. Did ShortaFORM help me with this 100%, it was through ShortaFORM that I came into contact with Jake and have had a lot of opportunities since.”

ShortaFORM participants produced the following videos to tell the story of their time on the programme.

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Visit the ShortaFORM Instagram

Find out more about The Fast Track Digital Workforce Fund

Article Published: 12/08/2021 09:58 AM