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Regional press trainees targeted as PA creates new journalism roles

Pete CliftonFour new jobs have been created by a PA scheme aimed at increasing diversity in its newsrooms – with trainee regional journalists among those being targeted for the roles.

The national news agency for the UK and Ireland has announced the launch of two junior apprenticeships and two senior apprenticeships in the hope of encouraging greater social and ethnic diversity among its editorial staff.

The junior apprenticeships will offer full journalism training to school leavers or people looking for a career change, and successful applicants will complete the 17-week National Council for the Training of Journalists Diploma with PA Training before beginning their newsroom placements.

The senior apprenticeships will offer young journalists extensive national experience to help develop their careers, with successful applicants having a recognised journalism qualification and some work experience.

The senior scheme is open to all newly qualified journalists, including those working their first jobs on regional and national titles, as well as those not yet in staff jobs.

Apprentices on both schemes will learn core skills including news reporting, interview techniques, developing stories, video, use of social media and media law.

They will work alongside journalists in PA’s newsrooms, with rotations with the reporters, on the news, video and social desks, among other departments.

PA is also seeking partnerships with other news organisations to fund more places and offer jobs to the apprentices on completion of their training.

The initiative builds on a similar scheme launched with ESI Media in 2018 which led to two apprentices passing their NCTJ exams and securing staff positions at PA and London’s Evening Standard.

Shortlisting is underway for the two-year programmes which begin in January 2021, with both schemes providing a clearly defined route to a full-time job at PA.

PA editor-in-chief Pete Clifton, pictured, said: “Our previous apprentices have not only excelled in their careers but brought unique perspectives to our coverage which we look forward to continuing with new talent.

“I am delighted that we have been able to build on our previous scheme and hope that we can grow it even further with a range of partners.”