Freelance education journalist Janet Murray is offering a school-leaver the chance to train as a journalist by joining her as an apprentice.
Most new journalists nowadays are expected to have funded their own way through costly degrees and post-graduate qualifications. And even then they may find they need to work unpaid to gain more experience before landing a job.
Murray plans to pay the successful candidate £6.08 an hour for 30 hours a week to work alongside her over a 40-week period. Working with Harlow College, it is hoped they will also sit an NCTJ journalism qualification funded by the college.
Murray has been a freelance journalist for over ten years, writing mainly for national newspapers including the Guardian, Independent, Independent on Sunday, Telegraph, Express, Sunday Express, Sun and Daily Mail.
She said: “I feel really strongly about the need to offer opportunities to young people to get ‘hands on’ job experience, particularly in a competitive field like journalism.
‘Traditionally, training on the job was commonplace in journalism, but it has evolved into a largely graduate-entry profession, making it really tough for some young people to get a foot on the ladder.
‘By taking this step, I’m hoping others in the industry will think about growing their own talent through apprenticeships, particularly national newspapers, many of which seem to cherry pick from the top graduates at the moment.
‘I believe we all have a responsibility to develop the skills of the next generation, so by doing this, I’m putting my money where my mouth is.”
As well as writing, Murrary’s portfolio of work includes copywriting, media training, teaching, commissioning, editing, speaking and lecturing.
The apprenticeship is open to anyone who thinks they have the qualities and experience and selection will involve a two-day process including a series of written tests.
The position is being advertised via the National Apprentice Service’s website.