Evening Standard and The Independent launch apprenticeship scheme

The London Evening Standard and The Independent have launched an apprenticeship programme which seeks to encourage greater diversity in newsrooms.

The initiative from the London Evening Standard and The Independent has created four editorial apprenticeships who will be given two-years of journalism training including a 20-week NCTJ diploma course. The Evening Standard/Independent group are particularly keen to recruit candidates from a diverse range of ethnic and social backgrounds, say the publishers.

The scheme has received backing from Goldman Sachs, Peabody, the Worshipful Company of Stationers & Newspaper Makers and the Journalism Diversity Fund who will all be partners in the project.

Support for the Evening Standard and The Independent project has come from Mayor of London Sadiq Khan, who said: "I commend this commitment to promoting equality, diversity and inclusion and I encourage businesses and organisations across London to support this new scheme." He said that the creation of four editorial apprenticeships would be "increasing diversity and helping to produce the next generation of world-class journalists."

Sadiq Khan added: "The Evening Standard/Independent scheme has as its mission, widening of the ethnic and social representation within journalism and I am therefore delighted to offer my unreserved support."

Apprentices will begin their training with a 20-week course accredited by the National Council for the Training of Journalists at UCFB's Wembley Stadium centre. They will learn core skills including news reporting, feature writing, interview technique, developing stories, shorthand, video, use of social media, and media law. They will then go on to working alongside journalists at the Evening Standard, The Independent and London Live Television. They will be supported by workplace mentors, their NCTJ tutor and editorial executives.

Joanne Butcher, chief executive of the NCTJ, said: "The NCTJ is delighted to be supporting the Evening Standard and Independent's innovative diversity scheme with help from the Journalism Diversity Fund. We all need to work together to tackle this issue and I hope it will inspire other media companies to launch similar initiatives to help people from diverse communities into journalism."

Applications for the apprenticeship scheme are invited from candidates who have 5 GCSEs at grades A-C (and must, as a minimum, have GCSE English and Maths at C or above) or equivalent. Basic PC skills are essential. Apprentices will be paid the London Living Wage. The positions are open to those who do not already have an advanced apprenticeship and/or degree level qualification.

Applications can be made here. The closing date is 14 November.