Evening Standard and Independent titles to take first NCTJ teenage apprentices

The Evening Standard and Independent titles are to “go back to the future” and take on school-leaver apprentices next year as part of a new scheme run by the National Council for the Training of Journalists (NCTJ).

The Lebedev-owned titles are to take on at least three 18 or 19-year-olds in January.

They will be paid the London Living Wage, which currently stands at £8.55 per hour, and taken on for a fixed term of at least 18 months.

The titles will be the first to take part in the new NCTJ apprenticeship scheme.

“This is rather back to the future – not dissimilar to the old indentures,” Doug Wills, managing editor across the titles, told Press Gazette.

He said the papers are keen to give a chance to those who do not have “graduate experience” but are determined to get into newspapers.

“They need to earn money but are unable to do internships or work experience,” he said. “We’ve looked at ways of being able to accommodate these young people because we need a broad spectrum of entrants.”

NCTJ chief executive Joanne Butcher said: “The industry has given its backing to an even greater range of entry paths into journalism with the planned launch early next year of new apprenticeship opportunities for school leavers and the introduction of foundation certificate courses.”

Although the Lebedev titles are the first to sign up, Butcher says there is a “growing interest” from other newspaper groups and broadcast organisations.

She said: “Apprenticeships offer an alternative route into journalism and provide on-the-job learning supported by off-the-job training.

“They help attract recruits from a wide range of backgrounds. Earning and learning can be attractive when there are concerns about the rising cost of tuition fees and debt.

“We will do all we can to ensure that apprenticeships work for our industry, lead to career progression and do not compromise our commitment to high standards of professional journalism.”

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