National Apprenticeship Week is taking place between the 5th and 9th of March, and the NCTJ is proud to support the campaign. Each day throughout the week, we will be sharing first-hand accounts from apprentices and employers to demonstrate how apprentices work for them.
Josie Hannett, former KM Group apprentice, shares her story below:
I started as an editorial apprentice at the KM Group in September 2014. I went straight from sixth into the newsroom at 18 years old, where I gained experience firstly in print at my local KM paper, then online, radio and my final stint was TV.
The apprenticeship gave me on-the-job experience which I feel was invaluable, alongside getting my NCTJ qualification at college. The work/training balance was great and gave me a chance to put the theory I learned at college, like shorthand and media law, into practice in the work place.
I also found by doing the apprenticeship I matured a lot, working in an office environment learning from some of the best editors in our company, but also going out and about to interview people and observe senior reporters was a great way to learn about the role that I eventually wanted to be in when I completed my apprenticeship. This was the part that I enjoyed the most and feel like I learned so much just from taking calls, going to breaking stories and meeting some amazing interviewees. It gave me the core skills which I use each and every day.
As part of my apprenticeship I went to KMTV for more multimedia training. At this point, we were only streaming online. I spent about a week there and loved it. I was out shooting packages and learning how to use the gallery when we recorded the bulletin in the evenings. A job came up at the time so I applied for it and became a trainee reporter at KMTV before my apprenticeship ended. I learned so much there and was promoted to senior reporter. It was then decided we'd go on air in July 2017.
It was a manic few months but it was so exciting to be involved in the launch of a TV station specifically for Kent. At 21, I became the producer of Kent Tonight, an hour long news programme every evening, and a video journalist appearing on-screen. Now, I’m a senior broadcast journalist with my main role to produce an hour-long news programme every day.
The apprenticeship scheme has accelerated my career hugely and I couldn't be more grateful. I had the best experience at the KM and was given a massive opportunity and a hands-on experience there which helped me develop in my career.
I got a gold standard NCTJ diploma which I needed for my job and the experience I got during the apprenticeship made my NCTJ lessons so much easier and relatable.
Ian Carter, editorial director at the KM Group, said: “The KM Group has been a member of the journalism apprenticeship scheme since its launch. We firmly believe that there should be more than one path into journalism.
“All five apprentices we have recruited over the years are still with the company, which shows the value of creating a loyal workforce.
“Josie has done exceptionally well - I can't imagine anyone else has got quite so much experience at such a young age.”
Following a special commendation in 2016 for Broadcast Journalist of the Year from the Kent Press & Broadcast Awards, last year Josie won the Kent Young Journalist of the Year award for her work with the KM Group.