New employer-led journalism apprenticeship standard published

A new journalism apprenticeship standard developed by employers in the media industry has been published as part of the government’s ‘trailblazer’ apprenticeship programme.

Journalism employers, including Archant, the BBC, BSkyB, The Independent, ITN, Johnston Press, the KM Group, London Evening Standard and Newsquest, assisted by the NCTJ, have designed the apprenticeship standard for a junior journalist that will deliver the quality skills employees need to achieve excellence in the workplace. 

It was announced in March 2014 that journalism would be part of phase two of the government’s trailblazer scheme to create national standards for apprenticeships in England, so that they are more rigorous and responsive to the needs of employers. A draft of an apprenticeship standard for junior journalists was developed by a working group of employers established by the NCTJ and chaired by David Rowell, head of editorial training and development at Johnston Press. This draft was distributed for consultation in June, with employers across the industry providing valuable feedback.

The new standard will be applied from September 2015, updating the current apprenticeship scheme successfully piloted by the NCTJ in partnership with Lambeth College. Apprentices will be contracted to an employer while also receiving journalism training to complete the NCTJ Diploma in Journalism, the industry standard qualification for trainee journalists. An apprenticeship will take at least 18 months to complete.

David Rowell, chairman of the journalism apprenticeship employer group, said: “We are pleased to be part of the government’s efforts to reform the apprenticeship system. After much consideration and input from all sectors of the media, we now have an apprenticeship standard driven by employers with the help of the NCTJ, and without the red tape.

“This new apprenticeship qualification promises to meet the same exacting standards we expect from all NCTJ-qualified trainees. It will improve diversity in the industry, enabling employers to recruit school leavers directly from their communities.”

Skills minister Nick Boles said: “I’m delighted that the media industry has developed a new apprenticeship standard for junior journalists.

“Since 2010 there have been 1.8 million apprenticeship starts and the media industry is leading by example in the development and delivery of high-quality apprenticeships that give people the chance of successful careers and help businesses get the skills they need to grow.”

The industry has applied to design a higher level apprenticeship for senior journalists in the next phase of the government’s development work to improve apprenticeships.

The full apprenticeship standard for journalism is available to view here