Most employees are London-based, although a quarter of all BBC staff are employed in regional broadcasting. The BBC has three national regions - Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland - and three English ones: North, Midlands and Bast, and South.
Information about career opportunities can be obtained from BBC Corporate Recruitment Services (either contact the London address or the personnel department of your local BBC), although there is fierce competition for jobs and traineeships with the Corporation. The BBC is committed to a policy of equal opportunity and advancement for all, irrespective of gender, ethnic origin or disability.
The BBC's right to broadcast and to collect the license fee is granted by Parliament through a Royal Charter. This is reviewed and has so far been renewed - every ten years and, in effect, means that the Corporation is continually forced to justify its existence.
In preparation for the 1996 Charter renewal, a number of initiatives were instigated under the banner 'Extending Choice' which was designed, at least in theory, to transform the BBC into a more streamlined, competitive business operation. The most significant development under this program has been the 'producer choice* initiative. This has meant that producers are now in control of their own program budgets; they are no longer obliged to use BBC resources if a more suitable or cost-effective facility is available outside the Corporation. Internal resource departments, such as archive libraries, must now sell their services to BBC producers as they would to outside clients. As part of this overall efficiency drive, the BBC is aiming to slim down to a core number of permanent staff, recruiting further numbers on a fixed-term contract basis as work demands. This policy has resulted in thousands of job losses throughout the Corporation over the past few years, although the situation is now beginning to stabilize.
The BBC provides extensive in-house training for new recruits and for personnel who have been in post for some time. Staff attend on-site courses within the different BBC regions and production centers, and are also sent on courses outside the Corporation. The BBC's Engineering Training Department offers a range of courses in the fields of broadcasting, technical operations and engineering. The department is constantly updating existing courses and creating new ones to keep pace with developments in technology.
Special departmental training schemes are provided for recruits in computing, news, radio sound operations, studio management, television and radio production, engineering and film. BBC training schemes are regarded as among the best in the industry and there is intense competition for the limited number of places on offer.
BBC Local Radio
There are currently 42 BBC local radio stations, the first of which went on air in 1967. In Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, community stations (not to be confused with Community Radio opt out for part of each day from the regional radio station and provide local programming instead.
BBC Worldwide was formed in 1994 to bring together the BBC's international and commercial activities in one organization. The commercial divisions - Worldwide Television, Worldwide Publishing and Worldwide Learning - together form BBC Worldwide Ltd. The other division of Worldwide is the BBC World Service.
BBC Worldwide Television manages the licensing of BBC programs to other broadcasters. It also generates co-production finance and develops new satellite and cable-delivered television channels around the world. The latter includes BBC World (a 24-hour news and information channel), BBC Prime (an entertainment channel available in Europe) and BBC Arabic Television.
BBC Worldwide Publishing develops commercial publishing opportunities (ie products such as books, magazines, audio tapes and videos) linked to BBC programs. It also handles the licensing of BBC brands, characters and other properties.
BBC Worldwide Learning was established in September 1995 to create a global multimedia education business. Drawing on the Corporation's publishing, radio and television resources, it will develop and market BBC educational products and services.
BBC World Service
BBC World Service provides radio services in English and 41 other languages and produces television news programs for BBC Worldwide Television. With a regular audience of over 133 million, it has more listeners than any other international radio broadcaster. A Parliamentary grant funds the radio services and the work of BBC Monitoring (see below). The World Service operates under the BBC's Royal Charter and is managerially independent of the government.
BBC Monitoring, a part of the World Service, is one of the largest monitoring organizations in the world. News from live radio and television broadcasts, news agencies and the press is translated and combined in a number of different ways, including news wires, publications and footage for radio and television programs. It is a prime source of information for the BBC, newspapers, the government and international business. Together with its American partner, the Foreign Broadcasting and Information Service, BBC Monitoring covers over 140 countries and 70 languages and operates 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.