Celebrating National Apprenticeship Week

It is National Apprenticeship Week and here in our newsroom we are fully behind it.

That is because we have recently taken on four apprentices to work across our titles in West Sussex and are based at the offices of the Chichester Observer four days a week, while spending the fifth at Highbury College near Portsmouth.

Here, three of our apprentices talk about their first month in the job and why opted for an apprenticeship.

Belinda Dickins, age 20, who attended Cams Hill School, Barton Peveril College, Bournemouth University.

She says of the apprenticeship scheme:

“I decided to become a journalism apprentice after spending 15 months at university studying a completely unrelated course.

I wasn’t enjoying the course itself, but also we only spent two days in university a week.

“This wasn’t enough to keep me as busy as I would like, so I made the decision to leave and pursue another interest of mine: journalism. I wanted to stay in education and thought an apprenticeship would be perfect, to be given the opportunity to learn while gaining relevant experience - and getting paid.”

Yasmin Randall, age 20, who went to Chichester High School for Girls and Chichester College.

She says: “Being a journalist has always been a dream of mine but since I decided not to go to university after completing my A-levels, I was unsure of the career path I wanted to take.

When this opportunity came about many people mentioned it to me including my friends and family.

After much thought I decided I would be crazy to not apply for this chance because what could be much better than following my dream, gaining industry standard qualifications and being paid for it.

Throughout our time here with Johnston Press, we will be learning all aspects of journalism and when completed you would choose a field of interest you would hope to enter in the world of journalism.”

Sam Dixon-French, age 21, who studied at Tanbridge House School and Collyer’s College, both Horsham.

He says: “Shortly before I left college I saw a job advertised with a local bicycle distributor. Having been working in a bike shop at the time and not keen on going to university this seemed perfect for me. I worked there for nearly four years in a sales role, and while it was enjoyable I felt as though I wanted a new challenge. I didn’t want to continue in sales outside of an industry I was passionate about so I started looking at alternatives. Most jobs I was interested in required some extra qualification beyond A Levels but I didn’t want to go to uni. Having worked for four years I didn’t want to return to full time education or give up my financial independence.

“It’s really exciting working individually or as part of a team to create stories and it’s satisfying to see your name in the paper. The apprenticeship scheme is a fantastic opportunity and I feel privileged to be a part of it.”