Kent to train journalists in postgraduate-level apprenticeships programme

Olivia Miller

Kent has been awarded a contract to help train BBC journalists at postgraduate level as part of the corporation’s growing apprenticeships programme.

Following a competitive public tendering process, the University’s Centre for Journalism has been chosen as the Learning Provider for the Level 7 Senior Journalist Apprenticeship, developing the skills of graduate- and postgraduate-level journalists as they begin their careers across various divisions of the BBC.

The initial three-year contract means that the apprentices – the first 14 of whom will start in January 2022 – will spend 20 per cent of their working week learning with Centre for Journalism academic staff in preparation for their final senior apprenticeship assessments with the National Council for the Training of Journalists. The Centre for Journalism team, based on the University’s Medway campus, will also prepare apprentices for their National Qualification in Journalism as part of their training.

The BBC Senior Journalist Apprenticeship replaces the corporation’s Journalism Training Scheme, which has run since 2007 and has been widely acknowledged as one of the industry’s most respected schemes for graduate-level journalists.

Ian Reeves, Head of the Centre for Journalism, said: ‘We are delighted to have won one of the most significant training contracts in the journalism industry. It’s great to know that our commitment to teaching ethically-grounded modern journalism skills– whether to apprentices or students on our NCTJ-accredited BA and MA courses – is valued so highly. Journalism is a cornerstone of the nation’s culture, and we’re really looking forward to playing our part in developing some of its stars of the future.’

The journalist apprentices will be placed at various divisions within the BBC during their 2-year placements, including in News, Sport, Scotland and Wales.

Daniell Morrisey, Editorial Portfolio Manager for the BBC, said: ‘The BBC has trained over 120 new entrants through our existing Level 3 Journalism Apprenticeship and we’re delighted to complement the programme with the new postgraduate level 7. We look forward to developing the programme as part of our portfolio and ambitious plans to reach 1,000 apprentices across the BBC by 2025.’

Joanne Butcher, chief executive of the National Council for the Training of Journalists, said: ‘We are delighted this contract has been won by one of our flagship award-winning centres and a university that was a pioneer of NCTJ broadcast qualifications. We look forward to working in partnership with the BBC and the journalism team at the University of Kent to make the new journalist apprenticeship and NQJ a success.’

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