Safyan Iqbal, an apprentice at ITV Cymru Wales, is encouraging pupils leaving education this summer to consider apprenticeships as a route into a successful career.
The 22-year-old creative apprentice from Cardiff was selected from hundreds of applicants for a full-time apprenticeship role at ITV Cymru Wales’ waterfront HQ in Cardiff Bay last summer, and, since beginning his course, says his apprenticeship has been the best experience of his life. Safyan was born with poor hearing, which worsened over time until he had surgery aged 11 to fit a cochlear implant which helped him to hear more clearly. He said: “Communication is the most difficult thing when you have hearing loss.
I love talking with people - it’s the best thing about the job. I’ve always wanted to work in TV and I was worried that being deaf might be a barrier to that – but I’m proving that it’s not the case.” Safyan studied for a level 3 BTEC diploma in creative media production at Bridgend College before moving on to work at ITV Cymru Wales to undertake a level 3 apprenticeship in creative and digital media. He’s now on his way to completing his apprenticeship, during which he’s learnt a variety of skills, including how to operate cameras and shoot and edit as part of his ambition to become a camera operator or filmmaker.
“Every person with a hearing impairment is different but when I started work, I wanted to give my colleagues some suggestions that worked for me, so that nobody felt awkward asking,” said Safyan, who lives in Cyncoed, Cardiff.