Two hundred people applied to join Tindle Newspapers, as the company signed its first five apprentice journalists.
It is the first time the company has taken on apprentices, and is part of a fresh focus on employing journalists in the heart of communities. The move comes as Tindle recovers from the impact of the coronavirus pandemic, also introducing a new digital strategy to bolster print titles while growing online reach.
Two of the trainees – Lauren Meredith and Joe Corrick – are working at Tindle titles in Wales and are studying at Cardiff and Vale College.
The three England-based apprentices – Ethan Heppell, Liam Davies and Scarlett Hills-Brooks – are working for Tindle titles in Devon and Cornwall and are studying with Darlington College.
Scott Wood, Tindle group publishing director, said: “We are delighted to welcome our five new apprentice journalists to Tindle Newspapers.
“We truly believe in local and, through enabling Scarlett, Liam, Ethan, Joseph and Lauren to join our group of businesses, we can continue to serve our local communities, remain at the heart of them and develop the next array of talented individuals into journalists of the future.”
Apprentice Lauren Meredith is working at the Monmouthshire Beacon.
She said: “I love being part of Monmouth life. I really wanted to join Tindle and the apprenticeship programme as ever since I was little, my dad has coached many of the Monmouth Town football teams so I’ve been brought up being involved with the community.”
Apprentice Liam Davies is working at the Tavistock Times. He said: “I wanted to join the apprenticeship programme with Tindle because, simply, it strikes me as a fantastic and invaluable opportunity.
“I felt automatically drawn to Tindle’s ultra-local journalism ethos; I believe passionately in engaging with the local community to tell the story.”
Tindle’s HR consultant Tracey Corney, who is running the apprenticeship scheme for the company, said: “We started off asking all the applicants to do the NCTJ test before we interviewed them – and of the people we did see, the quality was great and we could have taken on all of them! Our apprentices have already been working on stories, and most have now had their first stories published.”
Tindle Newspapers Ltd is one of the largest privately-owned media companies in the UK, with publications stretching from the Isle of Man to Launceston. The group also owns radio stations in the Channel Islands and Ireland.