National Apprenticeship Week is taking place between 6-12 February, and the NCTJ is proud to support the campaign. Throughout the week, we will be sharing first-hand accounts from current and former apprentices, as well as employers, to demonstrate the benefits of journalism apprenticeships.
The BBC has so far seen 150 apprentices go through its journalism fast-track apprenticeship, bringing new and diverse voices into their newsrooms.
The journalist apprenticeship, which has been running for eight years, gives school leavers the opportunity to work for the renowned broadcaster and study for the industry standard NCTJ Diploma in Journalism qualification at the same time.
Entries are open for the September 2023 apprenticeship for those who are curious about the world and have a passion to tell the stories happening around them. It lasts for two years and typically leads to a role as a journalism researcher at the BBC.
Daniell Morrisey, editorial senior portfolio manager for the BBC, said: “The journalism fast-track apprenticeship is all about creating a level playing-field for school leavers who don’t want to come into the industry through the traditional route of university.
“It’s about bringing new, diverse voices into our newsrooms.
“These journalism apprentices work throughout the BBC, throughout the nations and across local radio and national TV. We have got journalists from Jersey to the Shetland Islands and everywhere in between.
“Uniquely, our journalism apprentices move into permanent staff roles at the end of the apprenticeship, as journalism researchers. We then see great successes with them moving into roles right across the organisation.
“They go on to do all sorts of wonderful things, from the entire line-up of BBC Three news presenters to former apprentices becoming correspondents and working as journalists and researchers across the BBC.”
Apprentices complete the NCTJ Diploma in Journalism as part of the apprenticeship scheme. This is done via a mix of block release and day release training with various providers across the UK: PA Training and City of Wolverhampton College in England, Cardiff and Vale College in Wales and Glasgow Kelvin College and Glasgow Clyde College in Scotland. They are looking forward to the future development of a journalism apprenticeship in Northern Ireland.
The BBC is also looking forward to welcoming a third cohort of apprentices on the journalism advanced apprenticeship in September 2023. They will complete the NCTJ’s senior journalists’ National Qualification in Journalism (NQJ) as part of the scheme and will be training with the University of Kent, before moving on to the end-point assessment to complete the apprenticeship.
The apprenticeship for a senior journalist was developed by a ‘journalism trailblazer’ group of employers and approved for delivery by the Institute for Apprenticeships and Technical Education (IfATE) in 2020. It reflects the wide range of skills and knowledge required by senior journalists across all platforms to deliver excellence in the workplace.
Daniell said: “On the journalism advanced apprenticeship, we are looking for people with some kind of journalism experience.
“It might be that they have already got the NCTJ Diploma in Journalism, which they might have done as a stand-alone course or within a degree or postgraduate course, or they might not have it and they might show fantastic journalism skills, for example.
“We are really pleased to complement the level 5 apprenticeship with this level 7 postgraduate equivalent standard. It provides a really robust qualification with the National Qualification in Journalism at the centre of it. It allows people to move onto the next level.”
The BBC’s first cohort of senior journalist apprentices began in January 2022 and are currently midway through the two-year programme, which could end with a permanent job as a journalist at the BBC.
To find a journalism apprenticeship, vacancies are listed on the NCTJ jobs board, the National Apprenticeship Service on gov.uk, job sites, company websites and social media. You can also talk to your local apprenticeship training provider.