North West Regional College has teamed up with the NCTJ as part of a pioneering project to encourage 14-18 year-olds from disadvantaged backgrounds and lower social economic groups to enter journalism.
The NCTJ will work with NWRC, City of Liverpool College, Darlington College, and Glasgow Clyde College to target about 100 young people onto specially-designed programmes.
This major investment in outreach work is to boost recruitment onto accredited courses and provide a bigger talent pool for journalism employers.
Each college has proposed and designed inspiring and engaging programmes to show that there is another way into journalism other than university and how journalism can be fun, varied, creative, challenging and, most of all, how it can offer them a viable career.
Joanne Butcher, chief executive of the NCTJ, said: “Following last year’s shocking headline in our diversity report, the appalling lack of social mobility in journalism, we are pleased to be investing in an ambitious outreach project.
“It will start small, working in partnership with some of our further education colleges that have pledged to work in their disadvantaged communities. We want to engage young people in journalism by showing them journalism today, why it’s more important than ever and what career opportunities it can offer them.
“Alongside this outreach work, we hope that setting up a taskforce of our university partners will find new ways of diversifying their journalism cohorts. Improving our communication is key; too many young people are signing up in ignorance for degree or other courses that do not give them the skills to compete for jobs in journalism with those who have the NCTJ.”
The NCTJ will administer grants to each further education college to create and deliver their respective programmes, which will begin later in the year. They include after-school courses, weekly sessions and summer schools.