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Regionals used as 'fast-track' Fleet Street training ground

Three regional newspapers are to play host to trainees taking part in a pilot subbing course designed to help fill the shortage of bright young subs on Fleet Street.

The Western Daily Press, Nottingham Evening Post and Press and Journal in Aberdeen will each be welcoming a trainee from the joint Press Association and Daily Mail course currently taking place at PA’s Northern Heaquarters in Howden.

Six trainees, all from postgraduate courses, are currently going back to basics in a classroom environment learning sentence construction, grammar, Quark, law and design.

And after five weeks of initial training, three will stay with PA, doing main wire subbing and features pages, while three will go to the individual Northcliffe titles.

Once there, editors Terry Manners, Graham Glen and Derek Tucker will take a hands on role in their training, together with the chief subs, as the trainees take on news and features subbing.

After three months, the two sets of trainees will swap.

And after six months the trainees will be assessed, when it is then hoped they will be good enough to take up posts with the Daily Mail, PA, or a regional title.

Pat Pilton, director of editorial operations for PA, said the course would test the theory that to be a good sub, you need to be a good reporter first.

He said: “We had 900 applicants to choose from, so the final six are of pretty good quality.

“There has been a lot of support and enthusiasm from the Daily Mail and Northcliffe.”

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