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Regional groups help create new apprenticeship industry standard

Regional publishing groups have helped set in stone a new apprenticeship standard to help non-graduates get into journalism.

Archant, Johnston Press, the KM Group and Newsquest are among publishers who have developed the scheme as part of the government’s ‘trailblazer’ apprenticeship programme.

The journalism employers have been working with the National Council for the Training of Journalists to develop a higher level standard and assessment, which will enable journalism apprentices to progress to senior status.

Other media organisations who took part part include the BBC, BSkyB, The Independent, ITN and the London Evening Standard.

It was announced earlier this year that journalism would be part of phase two of the government’s trailblazer scheme to create national standards for 18-month minimum apprenticeships in England, so that they are more rigorous and responsive to the needs of employers.

A draft of an apprenticeship standard for junior journalists was developed by a working group of employers established by the NCTJ and chaired by David Rowell, head of editorial training and development at Johnston Press.

This draft was distributed for consultation in June, with employers across the industry providing valuable feedback.

David Rowell, chairman of the journalism apprenticeship employer group, said: “We are pleased to be part of the government’s efforts to reform the apprenticeship system.

“After much consideration and input from all sectors of the media, we now have an apprenticeship standard driven by employers with the help of the NCTJ, and without the red tape.

“This new apprenticeship qualification promises to meet the same exacting standards we expect from all NCTJ-qualified trainees. It will improve diversity in the industry, enabling employers to recruit school leavers directly from their communities.”

Skills minister Nick Boles said: “I’m delighted that the media industry has developed a new apprenticeship standard for junior journalists.

“Since 2010 there have been 1.8 million apprenticeship starts and the media industry is leading by example in the development and delivery of high quality apprenticeships that give people the chance of successful careers and help businesses get the skills they need to grow.”

The new standard will be applied from next September, updating the current apprenticeship scheme successfully piloted by the NCTJ in partnership with Lambeth College.

Apprentices will be contracted to an employer while also receiving journalism training to complete the NCTJ Diploma in Journalism, the industry standard qualification for trainee journalists.

To view the scheme