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Training body reports increased take-up of accredited courses

Increased numbers of students are taking part in accredited National Council for the Training of Journalists accredited courses and exams, according to newly-published figures.

Although slightly fewer trainees sat the National Certificate Examination last year following a dip in recruitment, there was a rise in the number of registrations and a growth in membership.

The NCTJ’s Annual Report also highlights other growth and development of the organisation over the last 12 months, and shows how editors and trainees continue to use its expertise.

Speaking at the Annual General Meeting, chairman Kim Fletcher said: “It’s been another busy year, with developments at the NCTJ symbolised by three key events: the end of Oxdown, that fictitious town familiar to generations of journalists from their NCTJ examinations; the achievement of recognition as a professional awarding body by the Qualifications and Curriculum Authority; and our move to new headquarters in Essex.

“It was the first of those that gained the most coverage in the industry, the second that has the most important implications for our future and the third that has given the greatest pleasure to staff.”

Priorities identified for the NCTJ in 2007 are to:

  • respond to the convergence of journalism skills and the media;
  • implement the updated accreditation scheme;
  • communicate effectively with customers and stakeholders;
  • ensure the continuous improvement and development of qualifications;
  • promote careers in journalism and greater diversity in the newsroom.

    Chief executive, Joanne Butcher, said: “With all this progress under our belt this year we are well placed for further progress in 2007. We will be concentrating our efforts on convergence, collaborative working, accreditation, communications, qualifications, careers and diversity.

    “Despite challenging times, most of us agree that there has never been a better time to be a journalist.

    “The media marketplace is offering an even wider range of opportunities.

    “This sharpens the focus on our role and makes the demand for sound careers advice, top quality training, fair and transparent standards and professional vocational qualifications even greater.”

    The NCTJ accredits education and training providers; offers qualifications which guarantee the skills needed in the workplace; fosters continuing professional development for journalists; and provides a range of services and products relevant to its customers.

    Currently there are 38 training centres in the UK, including universities, further education colleges, in-company schemes and commercial providers, that provide more than 60 different NCTJ accredited journalism training courses ranging from 18-week fast-track programmes to three-year university degree courses.

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