Budding journalists look for local apprenticeships

A scheme which aims to tell apprentices ‘You’re Hired!’ is being launched to help young people become journalists.

The Apprentice Project – run by West Kensington youth activity provider Let Me Play – allows enthusiastic youngsters to get a foothold in marketing, communications and journalism – careers which are notoriously difficult to get into.

Employers are being encouraged to take hire young creative people on full or part-time work placements, while the apprentices are supported as they gain officially recognised qualifications in journalism.

Amy Lalla, director of Let Me Play, said: “We’re really excited about this opportunity, because it's giving young people a hand up into the industry, as well as helping organisations seeking to expand their communications reach.”

Coming in 2018

The scheme, devised and launched by Snowmedia and LMP Education, a division of West Kensington’s Let Me Play organisation, launches early in the new year.

From an employer’s perspective, the project makes it easier to hire raw talent without all the usual red tape, helping organisations and charities raise their profile and grow.

From an apprentice’s perspective, it’s a golden opportunity to learn media skills in a real working environment for up to 18 months, while achieving the industry’s most respected qualification.

Cllr Andrew Jones, H&F Cabinet Member for Economic Development and Regeneration, welcomed the initiative and urged companies and enthusiastic youngsters to take full advantage.

“Journalism, communications and marketing are popular careers, but young people often find it difficult to get the first foot on the ladder,” he said. “This scheme equips apprentices with the skills they need to thrive, and introduces them to go-ahead firms right here in H&F – one of the most exciting places to live and work in Europe.”

Firms who hire newcomers on apprenticeships pay a basic salary of £12,000 a year, or they can train an existing member of their staff using the apprentice framework.

Employers who appreciate the value of working with raw talent can take on young creatives for between six and 18 months, full or part-time, with mentoring and support provided by the Snowmedia Academy.

Charity appeal

The project is likely to be of particular interest to smaller charities and organisations who need media and communication support to allow them to expand, but find commercial employment rates daunting.

Snowmedia has extensive experience in the field, mentoring apprentices and training them in industry-standard National Council for the Training of Journalists (NCTJ) diplomas. Effectively, Snowmedia employs the apprentices, then outsources them to firms so that employers don’t have the hassle of dealing with the HR and employment processes.

Apprentices are released two days a month to work towards the NCTJ certificate. Placements start in February. Anyone interested can email education@letmeplay.co.uk or call 020 3475 7511.