Evening Standard, Independent and BBC support new NCTJ apprenticeship scheme for journalists

The NCTJ has developed an Advanced Apprenticeship in Journalism, in partnership with leading employers. The first pilot scheme will begin in September 2013 at Lambeth College and the Evening Standard, The Independent and BBC radio have already signed up nine apprentices.

The pilot scheme is open to all employers and an apprentice will gain an NCTJ qualification which meets industry standards and combines learning in the newsroom and at college. They will also work towards the NCTJ’s Diploma in Journalism qualification, providing progression and professional development.

Joanne Butcher, chief executive of the NCTJ, said: “The apprenticeship scheme provides an alternative route into journalism for those who want to benefit from learning while they work. Leading employers have worked with us to develop a qualification that promises to meet the same exacting standards we expect from all NCTJ trainees. We hope this initiative will be another way of improving diversity, making journalism accessible by supporting people who prefer to earn while they learn.”

Editors can employ apprentices from their local communities and provide them with learning in the workplace, supported by day-release training at college.

As well as paying an apprentice a salary, employers contribute up to 50 per cent of the training costs if they are over the age of 18. 16-18 year olds’ training is fully-funded by the government.

A government grant of £1500 is currently available to employers recruiting an apprentice for the first time (£1500 per apprentice up to 10 apprentices). This grant is available to companies with less than 1000 employees until the 31st December 2013. 

The first training provider to deliver the apprenticeship will be Lambeth College who will be working in partnership with the NCTJ, the London Evening Standard, The Independent, i,  Independent on Sunday and BBC Radio. Apprentices will attend the college on a day-release basis over a two-year programme.

Group managing editor Doug Wills said: “We are proud to be the first newspaper group to support this NCTJ scheme which will give a unique opportunity for young people of all backgrounds to enter journalism.

He added: “The NCTJ are to be applauded for creating this scheme which will allow those with a flair for journalism who have chosen or are not able to attend university a chance to fulfil their dreams for a career in the media.”

The BBC has also signed up to the scheme and is aiming to recruit six apprentices who will work  mainly for BBC Radio 4 and the world service.

Ruth Gardiner, acting controller of radio and music production, said: “We want to give people who do not have graduate experience but who listen to some of our programmes and who have a genuine interest in how such programmes are made the opportunity to join the department.

“Apprenticeships are important because they help attract recruits from a wide range of backgrounds by offering the opportunity to earn while learning.”

An apprenticeship forum was recently held at Lambeth College raising interest from more local employers. As the scheme gathers momentum, the NCTJ will work in partnership with other accredited training providers around the country (primarily in the FE sector) to deliver apprenticeship training.

The Advanced Level Apprenticeship in Journalism framework has been approved by the National Apprenticeship Service and is now available to view online.

NCTJ centres interested in becoming an apprenticeship training provider should contact Lyn Jones. Centres will need to be listed on the government Training Register.

For further details about recruiting journalist apprentices, employers should contact Lyn Jones.