Our first five editorial apprentices, who were recruited after more than 200 people applied, have qualified as journalists at the end of their training.
The colleagues, who worked across our titles in south west England and Wales, have completed their apprenticeships and all been awarded full-time contracts in our newsrooms.
The five were recruited in 2021 in the first Tindle apprenticeship drive, carried out as part of a fresh focus on employing journalists in the heart of communities to bolster the popular print titles while growing online reach through our enhanced digital strategy.
The apprentices have built up valuable work experience in our newsrooms while undergoing formal courses to get the qualifications needed for editorial careers.
All five have been working alongside reporting colleagues in Devon, Cornwall and Wales, to gain an on-the-job understanding of newsgathering and reporting, while achieving qualifications from the National Council for the Training of Journalists.
Working in a multi-platform environment, the apprentices have gained skills in providing video content for our websites, photographs for publication and engaging news copy, as well as strong experience of digital publishing and social media audience development.
Two of the intake, Lauren Meredith and Joe Corrick, worked at Tindle titles in Wales while studying at Cardiff and Vale College.
Lauren, who produces editorial content for the Abergavenny Chronicle, was named Journalism Apprentice of the Year award at the Cardiff and Vale College Apprenticeship Awards earlier this year.
She said: “Transitioning straight from sixth form where I did my A-levels into a level five apprenticeship, I was concerned how difficult I would find it but I feel I slotted straight into the role and also thoroughly enjoyed the learning side of it.
“I have recently realised how valuable this apprenticeship is after talking to colleagues about how they struggled getting into the industry and I feel extremely lucky to have come into a career in journalism at age 18.
“I have loved every part of the past two years but now I am looking forward to focusing solely on my role as a reporter for the Abergavenny Chronicle and continuing to learn on the job.”
Lauren has now enrolled with the Open University to do a degree in politics, philosophy and economics outside of work in a move she says she would not have taken if she had not succeeded in her apprenticeship.
Liam Davies, who writes for the Tavistock Times, Okehampton Times, the Tamar Valley Times and the Cornish Times, said: “It is no exaggeration when I say completing this apprenticeship is one of the best things I have ever done.
“Coming out of the pandemic, which was a horrifically difficult time for so many, and being offered this invaluable opportunity truly gave me a whole new lease of life.
“If you wish to be a journalist, there truly is no better way to qualify than by completing your NCTJ qualifications whilst on the job, gaining experience and learning from your experienced colleagues.
“I am so thankful Tindle recognised my potential and I can only hope I have proved myself to them time and time again in return.”
Group Editorial Director Emily Woolfe said: “We have been delighted to see the impact made by all five apprentices, who have been pioneers in completing our apprenticeship programme making it a great entry route into journalism.
“All five colleagues have made a positive contribution to our newsrooms while delivering the compelling local content which is trusted by local communities. They have also contributed to the growth of our digital audience as Tindle reaches more people than ever across our websites and social media.”