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College launches digital journalism apprenticeship

A Higher Education College has launched Scotland’s first Modern Apprenticeship in digital journalism, in conjunction with the National Union of Journalists.

Forth Valley College’s Stirling Campus will offer the first batch of MAs which will cover the essential theory and practical skills which training apprentices will need as working journalists.

The Digital Journalism programme was developed by the NUJ working with the Sector Skills Council, Creative Skillset, and was facilitated by Skills Development Scotland.

It is anticipated that in 2014-15 the Scottish media industry will recruit, support, and employ between 30-50 digital journalism modern apprenticeships across a range of employers including Newsquest, Johnston Press, Scottish Provincial Press, BBC, STV, and the Romanes Media Group.

Martin Boyle, Head of Forth Valley College’s Creative Industries Department, said: “The Modern Apprenticeship is all about creating tomorrow’s media practitioners today.

“The industry has always been about embracing change at a phenomenal pace, and the course will provide a solid grounding to prepare a new wave of talented media apprentices to flourish, whatever the platform.

“The college aspires to make learning work, and there can be no better example than an innovative new course which supports apprentices in developing skills, while taking their first steps in some of Scotland’s most important media organisations.”

Paul Holleran, Scottish Organiser of the NUJ said: “The NUJ has daily contact with media employees and employers across Scotland, and have developed a unique understanding of the problems facing the industry.

“Over the last five years in particular we have come to recognize that the industry must raise its game and must assess, adapt, and evolve.  We have pursued a constructive route to adapt and evolve.  The Modern Apprenticeship in Digital Journalism is a prime example of the union’s pragmatic approach to journalism training to provide highly skilled journalists for the evolving newsroom.

“The news industry is not dying, but it is evolving and changing.  We are doing our bit to help the industry adapt, and adopt new ways to deliver the news.

“The Modern Apprenticeship in Digital Journalism will produce journalists skilled to meet the needs of both print and digital journalism with an ability to switch both between the two and between multiple platforms, providing news via print, mobile phones, tablets, laptops, and PCs, by the use of a variety of social media, new media and traditional platforms.”