NCTJ and JDF support new editorial diversity bursary scheme

Doug Wills, Evening Standard managing editor, launching the editorial diversity bursary schemeA new editorial diversity bursary scheme was launched today at the 2016 Society of Editors’ conference. Doug Wills (left, credit: CN Group\SoE), managing editor of the London Evening Standard and The Independent explained how the company was working with partners, including the NCTJ and Journalism Diversity Fund, to launch and fund the scheme.

Apprentices accepted onto the two-year scheme will receive training on the NCTJ-accredited fast-track course at UCFB Wembley beginning in January 2017. At the end of their 20-week training course they will begin editorial training at the Evening Standard and Independent.

Financial partners include the Journalism Diversity Fund, The Peabody Foundation, The Stationers and Newsmakers Livery Company and Goldman-Sachs. The fund has also been supported by Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan and Ken Olisa, Lord Lieutenant of Greater London.

Speaking at the Society of Editors’ conference, Doug Wills said: “Without the partners, frankly, we would not be able to afford to take on these apprentices. How have we persuaded the partners to help us pay for the two-year contracts? It is as a result of building mutual trust and respect through working together on projects and campaigns. It's a long game that I can recommend.”

Applications for the Evening Standard & Independent Apprenticeships are invited from individuals from all backgrounds, and especially from BME candidates.  Successful candidates are likely to have at least 5 GCSEs at grades A-C (and must, as a minimum, have GCSE English and Maths at C or above) or equivalent.  Other indicators – including other academic – may be considered in assessing a candidate’s ability to write and communicate effectively. Basic PC skills are essential.

Successful applicants will be self-motivated and be willing to learn new skills quickly in a busy environment. They should have the ability to interact with a wide cross-section of people and have the confidence to work under pressure.  Commitment to the job and punctuality are vital.