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News UK launches pioneering Sales Academy programme for diverse talent

News UK has launched Sales Academy, an ambitious apprenticeship project with the aim of helping aspiring salespeople to join the advertising industry. The media business is offering a number of two-year apprenticeships, which will offer training towards qualifications and the London Living Wage.

It follows a variety of opportunities created by News UK to introduce new talent, as part of a wider strategy to create a pathway to a 50/50 gender split across its workforce, and a 20% target of representation of ethnic minorities.

The organisation has partnered with the government scheme Kickstart – the first media brand to do so –  and has pledged to create up to 100 paid placements for unemployed young people. It also launched 45 two-year-long apprenticeships and established more than a dozen partnerships with diversity recruitment specialists. 

So far, Sales Academy has welcomed eight commercial apprentices across areas such as print, digital and broadcast sales, The Bridge creative and The Fifth, News UK’s influencer marketing agency. Throughout their first year, apprentices will rotate departments before settling into one position with the goal of securing a full-time position. Additionally, the trainees will study towards a Level 4 Association of Professional Sales Qualification with Pareto Law, and receive mentoring and in-house training on sales fundamentals, organisational skills and practice interviews.

Mark Hudson, Head of Early Talent at News UK says: “News UK is committed to creating real job opportunities, and has significantly invested to create these apprenticeship schemes. Although we run numerous apprenticeship schemes within the company, Sales Academy is different as 20% of the apprentices’ time is dedicated to training, with assessments run by an external body. Trainees who complete the programme will leave with a qualification and, hopefully, a full time position within our company.”

Dominic Carter, Group Chief Commercial Officer, News UK commented: “Our Academy aims not only to improve diversity within the industry, but also to provide structured and detailed training and support in the world of sales to create strong salespeople of the future, regardless of background or experience. For the first time, Sales Academy will provide apprentices with the best possible support and training from leaders across the broad spectrum of News UK’s brands.”
Nico Lloyd, Commercial Apprentice added: “I decided to take this apprenticeship with News UK because I truly value the opportunities to learn that come along with it. Not only do I gain valuable skills on the course but I also get to learn from some of the finest in the industry at one of the most respected media corporations in the UK. As a young person who started his professional journey during the pandemic, I came to realise how valuable learning from others is when you’re starting out.”

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