The BBC has applied for funding to help launch a series of industrywide, degree-level apprenticeships in technology and engineering.

The funding, which the BBC Academy has applied for through the UK Commission for Employment and Skills (UKES), will also be used to boost the number of apprenticeships it offers in production management and digital media.

BBC Academy head Anne Morrison (pictured, left) said the aim was for the technology apprentices to get good training in both IT and broadcasting technologies.

“We are keen to develop a cadre of people who can span that technical side.

“[For example], people capable of working in the engineering departments of radio stations around the country who can also work in software development in future media.”

The apprenticeship schemes, which the broadcaster proposes to run in conjunction with Creative Skillset over a five-year period, will award technology trainees with NVQ Level 5 (degree equivalent), while production managers will be able to advance their current NVQ Level 3 to Level 4.

BBC chief operating officer Caroline Thomson (pictured, right) said: “Effectively, we would do the recruitment, pay the salaries, do the training and manage all the bureaucracy around running apprenticeships.

“Then we’d offer them to the industry on a paid-placement basis - with companies paying the pro-rata salary for the time that they buy.”

A decision on funding is imminent but even if it is not granted, Morrison said the BBC would likely go ahead with the scheme as a BBC-only initiative.