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News UK welcomes more than 20 new apprentices

News UK has welcomed 28 new apprentices, including an ex make-up artist and a former Tesco worker, as the first intake of the 45 it pledged to take on in April.

News UK welcomes more than 20 new apprentices
Early Talent apprentices at the News UK head quarters, London Bridge. Photograph: Dan Charity.

The appointments are part of News UK’s strategy to increase the diversity of its workforce and the representation of wider society within its content, says the company.

A key pillar of the strategy – launched in 2020 – is to attract, develop and retain young talent from a much broader pool, as the organisation creates a pathway to 50/50 gender split across its workforce, with a 20% target of representation of ethnic minorities.

The apprentices have a variety of roles across The Times, The Sunday Times, the TLS, The Sun, Wireless and News UK’s commercial and finance teams, and will spend two years in work and training.

Each journalism trainee will get the tools and training to excel in the trade. They will earn a London living wage, get full training — including NCTJ qualifications — and have all course fees paid.

Mark Hudson, Head of Early Talent said: “We’re proud to lead the way with this initiative to create opportunities for anyone who aspires to work in the media.

“This is a meritocratic company that encourages young talent from any background, and I know that this cohort has already started to make an impact.”

A clutch of the new recruits join as apprentices following their six-month Kickstart internships with News UK, including Sharin Hussain, now Trainee Journalist at The Times, who worked as a Broadcast Assistant on Wireless’s podcast team, as a Kickstart Intern.

Sharin, 24, Croydon, said: “I’ve always been interested in journalism and media in general, but it’s such a tough industry to get into. Kickstart was a great opportunity to actually see how the industry works, get to understand it a little bit better and start my career.

“I hope to have a hand in changing the narrative around there being a lack of representation of minority communities in the media.”

Katrine Cereda, 23, Clapham, joins talkRADIO after working full time for luxury make-up brand Charlotte Tilbury. A graduate from Nottingham University, she currently appears on a weekly morning radio slot on Riverside Radio in Battersea.

Katrine said: “Some of my peers find the news inaccessible and don’t connect with it. I want to change this perception. I was also attracted to radio because I’m good at getting people to open up to me.”

New Times Radio recruit, Sameer Merali, 25, is from North West London and graduated from King’s College London with English Language and Communication.

He hosted a weekly news and politics show for KCL Radio and co-founded a faculty newspaper. Since lockdown, he’s launched a linguistics podcast.

He said: “I’ve always been glued to the news and I can’t wait to witness the atmosphere and the adrenaline of a big news day at Times Radio.”

“Radio has played such an invaluable role for audiences throughout the pandemic keeping them informed, inspired, and engaged. I am delighted to be a part of this indispensable industry as we navigate a much-needed return to normality!”

Also in the fold is Sandra Brobbey, the second recipient of The Sun’s Vikki Orvice scholarship.

A trailblazer for women in sport, Vikki Orvice was the first female football writer on a UK tabloid and worked at the paper for 24 years, later as an athletics correspondent. The Sun set up the scholarship in her memory after her death in 2019.

Sandra, 40, South London, said: “It is a huge honour to be following in the footsteps of an inspirational, highly-regarded and pioneering sportswriter who blazed a trail for women aspiring to work in sports reporting.

“This is an opportunity I will be making the most of as a woman who has entered this industry after many years of working in a different field.

“I am really pleased to be learning from and working with some of the best sports journalists in the country.”

Also on the scheme are: At Times Radio: Kate Lee, Tymiah Ford, Cerys Maidment, Sameer Merali. talkRADIO: Khadijah Hasan, Katrine Cereda. talkSPORT.com Natasha Everitt. Virgin Radio: Tyron Amaoko. In Commercial: Ellenia Panayiotou, Nana Akosua Frimpong, Davis Boateng, Louise Smallbone, Lauren Card, Ashah Cabral, Nicholas Lloyd and George Stewart. At The Sun Scotland: Anita Markoff. At The Sun Ireland: Danielle Masterton. At The Times: Sharin Hussain, Georgia Lambert, Blanca Schofield-Legorburo, Matthew Kayanja, Yasmin Choudhury, Ellie McDonald and Sasha Nugara. Finance: Shiv Manjhu. The Sun Sandra Brobbey. TLS Pablo Scheffer.

The scheme follows News UK’s pledge to create up to 100 paid placements for unemployed young people in 2021, through the Government’s Kickstart Scheme. talkSPORT took on three new apprentices and The Sun hired 15 trainees in 2020.

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