National roll-out for scheme to offer non-graduates journalism apprenticeships

Some of the UK's biggest employers of journalists have signed up to a new government apprenticeship scheme and will work together to develop a new national set of standards for journalism trainees.

The "trailblazers" scheme is already running in other industries including aerospace, energy and financial services since last October and is being extended to journalism under phase two of the project.

Groups including Archant, the BBC, BSkyB, the Independent, ITN, Johnston Press, the KM Group, London Evening Standard and Newsquest, will take part and offer apprenticeships.

The National Council for the Training of Journalsits is working with the organisations to agree on assessments and how apprentices can gain senior status. The training body said it hoped to report to ministers in June and publish the standard a month later.

KM Group human resources and learning director Amanda Watts will represent the industry at a reception at Downing Street tomorrow to mark the end of the first phase of the apprenticeship and the launch of the second.

NCTJ chief executive Joanne Butcher said: "Through their recent work on the entry level apprenticeship, newspaper and broadcast employers are already in the driving seat of journalism apprenticeships, and are therefore the natural choice as trailblazers.

"We are pleased the government is determined to tackle the shortcomings of the current system. We needed an interpreter to help us understand the complexities and find a way through the bureaucracy. Hopefully these reforms will simplify the systems, cut through the red tape and give real purchasing power to employers."

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