The NCTJ is encouraging aspiring journalists to consider an apprenticeship pathway as part of National Apprenticeship Week 2024.
Officially partnered with the Department for Education, National Apprenticeship Week is an opportunity for organisations all over the country to celebrate the achievements of apprentices and the positive impact they make to communities, businesses and the wider economy.
It kicks off today (Monday, 5 February) and runs through to the end of the week (Sunday, 11 February).
Throughout the week, the NCTJ will be using its platforms to raise the profile of journalist apprentices achieving NCTJ qualifications while working in the newsroom.
Ayisha, who has been shortlisted for the NCTJ’s Awards for Excellence 2023 in the apprentice of the year category, works at Haymarket Media Group’s What Car? magazine as a social media executive.
“My favourite thing about being a journalism apprentice was the amount of things I got to experience,” she said.
“I feel like when people think of apprentices, everyone automatically assumes you will be on coffee duty or given the jobs that no one else wants to do. But when I look back at my time as an apprentice, I was able to really get stuck into things.
“Whether it was driving new cars, leading the social media coverage for one of the biggest nights for our brand (What Car? Car of the Year Awards) or just simply writing a feature or news story, it was definitely the sort of thing I didn’t expect to be doing going into the apprenticeship – but was very grateful to have done so.”
Read the full Q&A with Ayisha here.
Tymiah, assistant producer at Times Radio, told the NCTJ about her apprenticeship journey for the NCTJ’s Careers Guide this year.
The 26-year-old said: “I started at Times Radio as an intern on the Government’s Kickstart scheme during Covid, which was to help people get into work. I did feel that because of the way I got into the industry I was a bit behind in terms of my skillset.
“That’s how I found out about the apprenticeship and why I applied. There’s a lot you can pick up by doing the job, but to really succeed I needed that NCTJ qualification.
“I really like working at Times Radio because it’s a really good training ground. As an assistant producer, we do everything from finding guests for shows, writing the scripts, writing the cues, putting questions to the presenter and making montages and audio.”
Karimah is also in the running for apprentice of the year at the NCTJ’s Awards for Excellence in March.
She completed her apprenticeship at Channel5.
“I knew I wanted to be telling stories that impact young people and underrepresented communities, so becoming a journalist only felt natural,” she said.
“(On my apprenticeship) I learnt what makes a successful news story and how to newsgather effectively.”
There are junior and senior options for aspiring journalists wishing to study for their NCTJ qualification via an apprenticeship.
Find out more here.
Keep a look out on the NCTJ’s social media channels this week as we spotlight apprentices making their mark in the journalism industry.