A fund promoting social diversity in journalism training has secured financial support worth £300,000.
The Journalism Diversity Fund offers would-be reporters, sub-editors and photographers from under-represented areas of society the chance to train as journalists.
The Newspaper Licensing Agency, which helped set up the fund in 2005, has now promised a minimum of £100,000 a year for the next three years.
The fund was set up to support the training of future journalists from ethnically and socially diverse backgrounds.
It is aimed at people without the financial means to support themselves through a course accredited by the National Council for the Training of Journalists which administers the grants.
NCTJ chairman Kim Fletcher said: “The NLA’s continued support to the fund is much appreciated.
“We want journalism to attract people from everywhere in spite of financial restrictions that could otherwise stop people from thinking about journalism as a career choice.
“Staff on our newspapers must reflect the societies they serve.
“By training people from all walks of life and encouraging them to get involved in the industry, we get the social and cultural diversity needed to do this.”
NLA managing director David Pugh said: “I am delighted to confirm our continuing support for the Journalism Diversity Fund.
“The board is impressed with the work of the fund and is delighted to see the progress that has been made to date as a result of the contributions from the newspaper industry.”
He added that, if any more funds became available, these would also be passed on to the Diversity Fund.
Twenty-seven students have been accepted onto NCTJ courses with the help of the fund since its inception.
Along with the NLA, the fund is supported by leading publishing companies such Associated Newspapers and the Guardian News and Media Group. The Scott Trust gave a £25,000 boost to the fund last month.
For more information about applying for courses this year visit the Journalism Diversity Fund website.