WE receive many letters each week from members of the public enquiring into the possibilities of working in television — how to apply and what qualifications are needed.
Many highly skilled crafts and trades are involved, such as camera and sound operating, production lighting and make-up, floor managing, wardrobe, set and costume design, and the operation, maintenance and installation of television equipment, not forgetting the development of new techniques and ideas. This adds up to a host of absorbing occupations and in order to ensure that the high standard required for each is maintained, it will be appreciated that education, academic qualification, and experience in other fields allied to television, such as film making, the theatre, and electronics, helps enormously when applying for a job.
If it is not possible to employ fully trained and experienced staff, then trainees with the necessary qualifications are acceptable, and usually their age is somewhere between 20 and 22, although this does not debar older candidates from being selected. In all Departments, a Selection Board is held before a candidate is finally chosen.
All people wishing to apply for technical grades should have as the minimum standard of education, G.C.E. Ordinary Level in at least three subjects, and applicants for the engineering grades should have followed, or be in the process of following, a course of instruction at a Technical College and expect to obtain a Higher National Certificate or its equivalent. For television engineers, the possession of the City and Guilds Final Certificate in Telecommunications is a most useful acquisition.
Finally, television is not for people who like regular 9.00 a.m. to 5.00 p.m. hours, with Saturdays and Sundays off. We have to operate a 7-day week programme pattern, 365 days a year, and though the number of hours each person works is between 42/44 per week, they are scattered from early morning until close of transmission, sometimes at midnight, and the weekend could consist of Monday/Tuesday, Wednesday/Thursday, and so on.