Highbury College has long been known for producing some of the country’s best journalists and it continues to do so thanks to apprenticeships.

Three journalism apprentices sitting on a sofa in a TV studio

Almost one in seven journalist apprentices across the UK are being trained at Highbury.

The College has 15 journalism apprentices on its books out of the 100 or so nationwide.

Most of the apprentices are either straight out of college or university and have had no prior experience in the industry.

They work four days a week for their employer and come to college for a day as they train towards a diploma in journalism, which is accredited by the National Council for the Training of Journalists.

Here are three of the College’s apprentices, who are based at the Chichester Observer:

Read about Belinda Dickins's experience:

Belinda Dickins, from Portsmouth, said:

“I love being an apprentice, after spending time at university I realised it wasn't for me and looked into other ways to gain qualifications. I have had so many great experiences, which I would not have had otherwise, and been able to cover exciting stories like the royal visit of Harry and Meghan and meeting Maisie Williams from Game of Thrones. I feel like I have a really good grounding in journalism for my career going forward, it has been really hard work, but I am so glad I chose to do the apprenticeship.”

Read about Yasmin Randall's experience

Yasmin Randall, from West Wittering, said:

“I am more than a year into my journalism apprenticeship and every day I learn something new. Before I began my apprenticeship, I was working in interior design but I have always had a creative mind and enjoyed writing. When I saw the apprenticeship advertised I thought what could be better than not only getting experience working in a fast pace news room but also gaining the appropriate qualifications without going to university. I have had the pleasure of covering the royal visit to Sussex and interviewing some incredible people, from head shaves for charity to a 19-year-old opening his own fitness studio. I cannot wait to take the skills that I have already learnt into my future and I am excited about my journalism journey.”

Read about Sam Dixon-French's experience:

Sam Dixon-French, from Horsham, said:

“Starting a journalism apprenticeship was one of the best decisions I ever made. It’s hard work and throws you in at the deep end, but it is immensely rewarding. A buzzing newsroom full of reporters and editors is a hive of activity and an invaluable resource for a new journalist. You can be taught by some of the best lecturers in the business but there is no substitute for real world, full-time work experience.

“The college days are excellent as the topics we cover directly relate to my role in the newsroom and give me the skills to tackle anything I come across. A typical [newsroom] day for me involves writing eye-catching, compelling stories which appeal to our readers both online and in print. I use contacts on my patch, along with social media and press releases, to pick topics which I know matter to our readers. Nothing beats that adrenaline rush as you race to get an exclusive story online.

“Since January 2018 I have interviewed Romesh Ranganathan, covered the launch of a new Rolls-Royce and even reported on the first royal visit of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle to Sussex. The editors and your colleagues continually push you to improve and to challenge yourself, I’ve even secured a week’s placement at national newspaper The i.

“If you are considering applying for a journalism apprenticeship then I would say go for it. It offers so many incredible opportunities and is a fantastic way to gain an industry standard qualification, with no tuition fees while getting paid at the same time. Why wouldn’t you?”

Currently, there are four apprenticeships available with JPI Media – owners of The Portsmouth News – based at the Chichester Observer.

Interested in joining our journalism apprenticeship scheme? Click here.

There is also a position available at the Isle of Wight County Press. You will need to have a good use of English and a strong nose for news. An interest in sport is also desirable. For more information, click here.

Article Details

  • Date 06/03/2019