The NCTJ has secured a minimum of £100,000 per year until 2010 to fund journalism students from under-represented parts of society.
The Newspaper Licensing Agency has promised the money to help budding reporters, sub-editors and photographers pay for NCTJ-accredited degree and postgraduate courses.
The money is part of the training council’s Journalism Diversity Fund, designed to get more young journalists into newsrooms from ethnic and social groups that are under-represented in the industry.
NCTJ chief executive Joanne Butcher secured the money after impressing NLA chiefs at a meeting of its directors last month. NLA managing director David Pugh said the board was impressed with the work of the fund and would commit to funding the project until 2010.
Kim Fletcher, chairman of the NCTJ, said: ‘We want journalism to attract people from everywhere – in spite of financial restrictions that could otherwise stop people from thinking about journalism as a career choice.
‘Staff on our newspapers must reflect the societies they serve. By training people from all walks of life and encouraging them to get involved in the industry, we get the social and cultural diversity needed to do this.
‘In offering bursaries to people from ethnically and socially diverse communities, we aim to create a workforce that can reflect every aspect of society, which will benefit everyone.’
So far 27 people have been accepted onto NCTJ courses through the fund, and the first six are now employed in the industry.
Newspapers groups Associated Newspapers, Guardian News and Media, News International, Pearson all back the fund and the Scott Trust, owners of the Guardian and Observer, gave a £25,000 donation.