Newly qualified journalists celebrated success - and new jobs - at a presentation event at City of Wolverhampton College.
Nine students, who have just completed the National Council for the Training of Journalists (NCTJ) Diploma in Journalism at the college received their certificates from Martin Wright, editor of the Shropshire Star and member of the NCTJ board of directors.
Since finishing exams in June, many of the students have already secured jobs in the industry - including at the Express & Star, Tamworth Herald, Hereford Times, and Stroud News and Journal - whilst one is soon to take up a position as trainee sub editor at The Guardian and another is freelancing for The Independent.
Lecturer Dani Wozencroft said: “This is a very challenging course and the students worked extremely hard with 70% gaining Gold Standard - achieving grades A-C in all exams, as well as 100 words per minute shorthand - which is the highest percentage I have seen in my five years as course tutor.
“I am extremely proud of their results and delighted that so many of them have already got jobs in the industry.”
Guests present at the event included Diane Davies of the Express & Star, Martyn Smith, a former student and now editor and trainer at Newsquest, Trinity Mirror’s Marc Reeves and fellow-Birmingham Press Club director Peter Brookes.
The one-year full-time Level 3 diploma - which combines studying at college with work placements at local newspapers, magazines, radio stations or agencies - covers media law, court reporting, public affairs, ethics, essential journalism, video journalism and shorthand, and gives aspiring journalists the qualification editors look for when appointing reporters.
The college has been accredited by the NCTJ since 1997 and is the only accredited further education journalism training centre in the Midlands. It has been named the best performing NCTJ further education college in the UK for seven consecutive years and is helping to train the BBC’s radio apprentices across the country as well as working with the Express & Star on its journalism apprenticeship scheme.