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Salmond backs union-sponsored training scheme

The National Union of Journalists is launching an apprenticeship scheme to train up to 50 digital journalists across Scotland, many of whom will work for regional newspapers.

The Scottish Government is giving £25,000 in support of the project which, along with investment from the industry, will allow between 30 and 50 media apprentices to be employed in 2014-15.

Those involved in the NUJ Scotland Digital Journalism project include regional publishers Newsquest, Johnston Press, Scottish Provincial Press and the Romanes Media Group, along with the BBC and STV.

The move is designed to create a new digital journalism route into the industry with the Level 3 apprenticeship.

NUJ Scottish organiser Paul Holleran said: “We have been working on this for some time and I am delighted that with Scottish government financial support this exciting project is about to come to fruition.

“Most employers are on board and the benefits will be seen across the Scottish media industry. It is also a great boost for journalism students across the country.”

Scottish First Minister Alex Salmond said: “There couldn’t be a more exciting time to be a journalist and there couldn’t be a more important time to encourage young people to consider a career in journalism.

“However, we are starting to see a worldwide shift. We must adapt to technological change and find new business models. Schemes such as the NUJ Scotland Digital Journalism project are integral to this.

“I’m delighted to announce that this project will be supported across the industry so everyone can benefit from highly talented professionals entering journalism.”

The project was developed by the NUJ working with the Sector Skills Council, Creative Skillset and with funding from Skills Development Scotland.