A Dumfries radio station is helping to create the next generation of on-air talent.

Five pupils from secondary schools in Dumfries have graduated from Alive Community Radio Academy as part of an apprenticeship programme.

The connection between Alive 107.3 and the council has allowed students to research music, write scripts and present shows, some of which are broadcast live.

Eve Jackson, Reily Martindale and Oscar Drybrough from Dumfries High and duo Jake Cherry and Owen Handley from North West Community Campus have successfully completed the course which is worth the equivalent of two Highers.

The radio station prides itself on being involved in the community and has become the largest provider of seats in the region under the foundation’s apprenticeship program.

Jake Cherry works with training manager Bill Hogg

Hugh Taylor of Alive said: “We want to work with young people and give them the opportunity to experience screenwriting, program production and live broadcasting.

“Kenny Murray, who hosts Alive Breakfast, started a DJ course at Summerhill Community Center which launched the Alive Radio Academy.

“We then started offering S2 students the opportunity to participate in broadcast training, but Covid-19 hit and that was it.

“The board then contacted us and asked if we would be part of the basic apprenticeship program and we took six, but one pupil unfortunately left the course after moving house.

“Me and head of training Bill Hogg are 71, so we’re working hard to lower the average age here.”

Connor Nelson moves into the job after spending three years with Alive 107.3
Connor Nelson moves into the job after spending three years with Alive 107.3

Isla Porteous, lead apprenticeships teacher at the foundation, said: “Apprenticeships like this are an incredible opportunity for pupils and available to all 16 secondary schools in Dumfries and Galloway.

“The course will be in two parts worth the equivalent of two Highers which are recognized by colleges and universities and it should be on the option forms for students.”

Jake Cherry has aired three shows and worked on Hugh’s Guitar Freakery Show. He is working with Training Manager Bill Hogg to take the next step to going live after becoming a member.

Jake said: “I have enjoyed my time here immensely and it has been a great opportunity to practice my skills.”

Jake is developing his own show to take over the Saturday morning slot when Connor Nelson leaves.

The 17-year-old is leaving the resort to take up a position at Southerness Holiday Park alongside his own mobile nightclub business.

Connor said: “I first came to Alive when I was 14 and they taught me so much and I’m glad I was a part of the station.

“They gave me an amazing opportunity when I was very young. I’m going to be an animation assistant at Southerness and I can’t wait to be there but I want to thank Alive for their help.