A week in the life of a journalism apprentice

Apprenticeships, perhaps traditionally associated with blue collar professions, now span a wide range of industries from law to digital marketing.

The Level 3 Advanced Apprenticeship in Journalism is the first apprenticeship scheme for journalists developed by the NCTJ and employers in the media industry. Angela Cole, chief reporter and apprentice’s mentor at Kent Messenger, shares her experience of hiring an apprentice below:

“Having been in journalism for several years, it would be fair to say variety is one of the best aspects of the job. So it didn’t involve any special preparation from me as mentor to arrange a varied programme for our apprentice’s first week: interview a fully made-up pantomime dame; sit through some harrowing inquests and attend a protest rally.

“They were all things on our diary, so as part of his introduction to the job, the best thing was for him to see what he had let himself in for. Dan also needed to learn about the company and our systems, including writing stories and sending them through to news desk. Going back to basics, we looked through the shorthand alphabet and gathered materials to help him practice. And, of course, we ticked it all off in his apprentice logbook!

Dan had already written for our sports team, so talking him through writing stories probably took the least time, encouragingly. I’ve talked many a trainee and work experience student through the basics before, but with the new scheme, his introduction has been more thorough, and I am aware how important it is that he gets a really good start.”

If you would like to find out more about the Advanced Level Apprenticeship in Journalism, visit the NCTJ website.