Reach says Reach Boost will target school leavers from 18 years old and will initially recruit five apprentice reporters in newsrooms across the company’s local ‘Live’ network of news sites, with a pilot first being launched in Liverpool this autumn.
To support the project, Reach says it has partnered with social enterprise Mission Beyond, which aims to connect young people from underrepresented groups with employers. The pilot will involve a digital prototype for young people to see what skills are required for the role, help them see what they have to offer, and also provide Reach and Mission Beyond feedback from potential applicants that will inform the rest of the project.
Reach Audience and Content Director David Bartlett said: “We are really pleased to be launching this project to start to further address the lack of diversity in the media.
“We know we have a lot of work to do to achieve better representation in our newsrooms, and we expect this project with Mission Beyond to be a really positive step. Journalism is vital to our society, but it has to represent all sections of society to remain relevant and have a sustainable long-term future.”
Mission Beyond CEO, Charlotte Hillenbrand, said: "We believe everyone has potential but not everyone has opportunity, and we want to change that. Many young people from disadvantaged or poorer backgrounds face barriers to finding — and thriving in — paid work within the media.
“We are very pleased to partner with Reach who is committed to inclusion and making a difference. With our digital platform Open Doors, we will make access to opportunities easier, enabling young people to realise their potential inside future-facing organisations that are working hard to improve inclusion and social mobility."
A previous version of Reach Boost in 2021 successfully recruited three trainees with no formal journalism training into newsrooms in Kent, Essex, and London.
Positions will be advertised later in August on the Reach careers site and also Mission Beyond.Keep up-to-date with publishing news: sign up here for InPubWeekly, our free weekly e-newsletter.