The NCTJ was founded in 1951 to run the newspaper industry’s training scheme, following the findings of a Royal Commission on the Press. Its report, in 1949, said:
“The problem of recruiting the right people into journalism, whether from school or from university, and of ensuring that they achieve and maintain the necessary level of education and technical efficiency, is one of the most important facing the Press, because the quality of the individual journalist depends not only on the status of the whole profession of journalism but the possibility of bridging the gap between what society needs from the Press and what the Press is at present giving it. The problem is the common interest and the common responsibility of proprietors, editors and other journalists...”
In the early days indentured trainees studied at colleges of further education and were examined in the General Proficiency Test, taken at the end of the three-year training period. All trainees attended day-release classes at college.