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Scotland helps fund new journalism apprenticeships

25 February 2014

A journalism apprenticeship, developed by the National Union of Journalists, has been supported by an extra £25,000 by the Scottish government.

Skills Development Scotland is investing the cash, alongside investment from the industry, to deliver a new digital journalism route to the creative media modern apprenticeship framework. It is anticipated that in 2014-15 the industry will recruit and employ between 30 and 50 creative media modern apprentices across many media groups.

Alex Salmond, First Minister, said: 

"There couldn't be a more exciting time to be a journalist and there couldn't be a more important time to encourage young people to consider a career in journalism.  However, we are starting to see a worldwide shift.
"We must adapt to technological change and find new business models. Schemes such as the NUJ Scotland Digital Journalism project are integral to this. I'm delighted to announce that this project will be supported across the industry so everyone can benefit from highly talented professionals entering journalism."

Paul Holleran, NUJ Scottish organiser, said:

"We have been working on this for some time and I am delighted that with Scottish government financial support this exciting project is about to come to fruition. Most employers are on board and the benefits will be seen across the Scottish media industry. It is also a great boost for journalism students across the country."

The Digital Journalism project was developed by the National Union of Journalists working with the Sector Skills Council, Creative Skillset and was facilitated by Skills Development Scotland. It is anticipated that in 2014-15 the Scottish industry will support creative media modern apprenticeships framework at Level 3 across Newsquest, Johnston Press, Scottish Provincial Press, BBC, STV and Romanes Media Group.

The First Minister outlined how an independent Scotland would have the full powers to fully integrate employment and skill services and adapt job creating schemes such as the Youth Guarantee.

The Youth Guarantee seeks to ensure young people aged up to 25 are offered a quality job, continued education, an apprenticeship or a traineeship within four months of leaving formal education or becoming unemployed. He said:

"Regardless of technology and platform, the public's need for journalism, for information and analysis, is as great as ever. The constitutional debate is also important for young people. There is a constitutional right for every young person to be offered the opportunity of education, work and training.
"And this right, in an independent Scotland, could be extended aged up to 24 years old, building on the success of the current Opportunities for All guarantee of employment, apprenticeship or training for all young people age 16 to 19 putting us in line with the rest of Europe.
"Constitutional debate demonstrates the importance of a strong Scottish press, with high quality journalism.  After independence, the role of the Scottish press in informing debate will be even more important."

The NUJ has a neutral standpoint on Scottish independence. However, the union has argued that the Scottish media needs to be sufficiently resourced to cover the debate in the run up to the vote on 18 September.

Tags: , alex salmond, jobs, young members, scottish referendum, new media, apprenticeships, digital media, government scotland, newspapers, newsquest, johnston press, scottish provincial press, bbc, stv, broadcasting, romanes media group