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Newspaper honours journalist’s memory with new apprenticeship

Joe WatsonA daily newspaper has created a new apprenticeship honouring the memory of its farming editor who died suddenly last year.

The Press and Journal, Aberdeen, has announced the creation of the Joe Watson Memorial Apprenticeship, which will give a young person the chance to work at the paper and its sister title the Evening Express.

The announcement comes after the Press and Journal’s Apprentice 100 campaign was launched on Friday, which aims to create 100 apprentices in 100 days across its patch.

Joe, pictured above left, who won several awards during his career at the P&J, died suddenly aged 43 in March last year.

Welcoming the apprenticeship’s creation, his mother Mirren said: “I think this apprenticeship is very fitting. Joe would have been in favour of being associated with this apprenticeship because that was how he did things – he learned on the job.

“He didn’t go to college and university which a lot of young people do.

“There are a lot of young people with degrees, but more people should be going for apprenticeships. It’s something he would have advised.”

The two-year apprenticeship will provide journalism training at the papers, as well as the opportunity to gain further experience in the company’s advertising and newspaper sales departments.

P&J editor-in-chief Damian Bates said: “We are very proud to have created this apprenticeship in memory of Joe Watson, who was much admired and respected by not only colleagues but also the farming community throughout the UK and overseas.”

Since Friday’s launch, the Apprentice 100 campaign has seen Aberdeenshire Council pledge five new apprenticeships, while celebrity chef Nick Nairn has committed to creating one position.