Four journalists of the future will be trained at UCFB, the institution delivering university degrees in and around Wembley Stadium, as part of a partnership with the London Evening Standard and Independent.

Four journalism apprentices will join other students in February on the 20-week NCTJ Diploma in Journalism in and around UCFB’s iconic Wembley Stadium campus, as part of the papers’ new Media Diversity Bursary Scheme, which is aimed at opening up opportunities for young people from diverse ethnic and social backgrounds.

The Mayor of London Sadiq Khan has backed the initiative saying that he’s “optimistic that this could be a real step forward for the industry”.

The apprentices will be sponsored by some of the country’s leading organisations including Goldman Sachs, Peabody, the Worshipful Company of Stationers and Newspaper Makers and the Journalism Diversity Fund.

Upon successfully completing the NCTJ course, the apprentices will work alongside journalists in the editorial departments of  the Evening Standard and the Independent, two of the UK’s most respected and established news titles.

The NCTJ qualification has launched the careers of world class reporters in news and sport and is nationally recognised as the kite mark of quality by employers.

Mr Khan said he was passionate about promoting fairness and equality across the capital city. He added: “I commend the Evening Standard’s commitment to promoting equality, diversity and inclusion and I encourage businesses and organisations across London to support this new scheme as much as possible.  It’s clear that this is not just a symbolic gesture, but a substantial two-year apprenticeship combining rigorous courses with on-the-job training.
“I’m optimistic that this could be a real step forward for the industry and I hope other newspapers will follow suit.  I’m in no doubt that it’s schemes like this that will start to make a difference – increasing diversity and helping to produce the next generation of world-class journalists.”   

UCFB NCTJ course leader, Roz McKenzie, said: “We are delighted to join with the Independent and Evening Standard in this ground-breaking scheme which will give young people an alternative route into the industry. Journalism is one of the most rewarding careers in the world and newsrooms need to reflect the communities they are writing about.”

Managing Editor of the Evening Standard and Independent, Doug Wills, said: “By sending our apprentices to UCFB to study the NCTJ Diploma in Journalism we know they will receive first class training which will give them an excellent grounding in all aspects of reporting. Combined with the on-the-job training with our experienced journalists, we are confident that the apprentices will get the best possible start in this exciting and ever-evolving industry. We are delighted that UCFB support our vision for a diverse editorial team and are helping us to achieve this.”