NCTJ partners with News UK and News Associates on scheme to help unemployed young people break into the media

The NCTJ has partnered with News UK to train up to 100 out-of-work young people through the Government’s Kickstart Scheme.

The paid placements are designed to offer young people a head start in a career in the media, and recruits will study towards the NCTJ Certificate in Foundation Journalism (CFJ) with News Associates.

Fourteen recruits have begun their six-month placements this week, and will get experience and training across News UK’s editorial and broadcast brands.

Joanne Butcher, chief executive of the NCTJ, said: “We are delighted to partner with News UK on this innovative scheme, which is helping to tackle inequality and break down the barriers of entering the industry.

“News Associates, which has run outstanding NCTJ-accredited courses for many years, is a brilliant choice of training provider. It is fantastic to see the first recruits start their paid placements, and we wish them the best of luck as they work towards their Certificate in Foundation Journalism qualification.”

The level 3 qualification provides an introduction to journalism, and is a great first step for anyone considering a career in journalism or those wishing to develop their journalistic skills for a specific purpose.

Recruits will study the following units: gathering information; how to tell a news story; recording information; legal and ethical considerations for journalists; writing for digital media; using audio to tell a story; using video to tell a story; sports reporting; and community radio newsgathering.

Lucy Dyer, editorial development manager at News Associates, said: “We are so excited to be delivering the CFJ course to this first cohort of News UK trainees.

“We firmly believe practical NCTJ courses are the best grounding for a successful career in journalism. It’s great to be working alongside News UK and the NCTJ on this scheme.”

News UK will offer up to 100 placements in 2021, and is the first media organisation to sign up to the Kickstart Scheme, which aims to support a generation that has been hit hard by the pandemic into work.

Mark Hudson, head of early talent at News UK, said: “You shouldn’t have to fight so hard to get a foot in the door in the media industry. Through this scheme, we’re blowing that door right off, and giving young people the tools, experience and confidence they need to land a job in journalism.”

In addition to their training, the newcomers will be given a mentor from News UK, career support from The Media Trust, and pastoral support from Barnardos.

The first cohort will be working on a number of titles and stations, including Virgin Radio, Times Radio, The Sun, Fabulous Magazine and talkSPORT.

Lee Clayton, head of talkSPORT, said: “At talkSPORT we want to find and develop raw talent – rather than default to experience – to truly represent the diversity of our audiences. This scheme is a fantastic way for talkSPORT to build an even more inclusive future, and we are excited to see the valuable contributions these new recruits will make to our output.”

The first 14 interns have been recruited from the Greater London area, with the support of Jobcentres across the region. The next cohort of interns, due to start in September, will be largely sourced from Yorkshire, Lancashire and the East and West Midlands.

Each intern will be paid National Minimum Wage, and News UK will also provide funding for travel and accommodation where needed.