The Evening Standard, the Independent and the Press Association have announced a joint apprenticeship scheme to encourage greater diversity in newsrooms.
The apprenticeship scheme is open to anyone who does not already have an advanced apprenticeship or degree level qualification, with the newsgroups keen to recruit candidates from a diverse range of ethnic and social backgrounds.
The apprenticeship will last for two years, including a 17-week NCTJ diploma course with PA and experience of working across all three of the titles’ newsrooms.
Apprentices will learn skills such as news reporting, feature writing, interview techniques, shorthand, video, social media use and media law while being supported by workplace mentors, their NCTJ tutor and editorial executives.
The initiative builds on a similar scheme run by ESI Media Group, publisher of the Evening Standard and the Independent, which led to four apprentices passing their NCTJ exams and going on to permanent roles with the titles.
ESI Media Group managing editor Doug Wills said: “Our previous apprentices have excelled both on the NCTJ course and in the editorial teams they have joined.
“We have been proud and delighted of the contribution they have brought to the titles.”
PA editor-in-chief Pete Clifton said: “We look forward to giving the apprentices a rich and rewarding experience over the next two years.
“This scheme creates routes into journalism for promising candidates who might not have considered it as a career option.
“It’s more important than ever that newsrooms reflect the communities they cover.”
The NCTJ’s Diversity in Journalism report, released in November, revealed that five per cent of journalists working in the UK are from ethnic groups, compared to nine per cent of all jobs in the economy.
It also found that journalists are more than twice as likely to come from higher social classes than the overall population (39 per cent compared to 15 per cent).
Two places are available on the scheme and apprentices will be paid the London living wage.