Darlington College welcomes first NCTJ Apprentice

In Adults, Apprenticeships, Employers, In the Press, News, on the 6th, October 2014

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Journalism Apprentice Krystal Starkey

A NEW opportunity has struck a chord with a band manager after she became the first student to secure a journalism apprenticeship to pursue her passion.

Krystal Starkey is now working as a feature writer on a community newsletter while studying the intricacies of journalism at Darlington College.

The 20-year-old, of Huby, near Thirsk, admits she is branded ‘The Nagger’ as she manages her boyfriend’s band Hello Operator, which played Leeds and Reading musical festivals this year.

But her days of organising her partner Pete Greenwood could be numbered as she studies the National Council for the Training of Journalists Advanced Apprenticeship, taking the first steps towards her dream of working on Vogue or Conde Naste Traveller.

“It is all very exciting,” said Krystal, who works for a community paper in York. “I was working in a bar in York and got talking to the publisher. Until then I thought it was all a pipedream but I am more determined than ever to achieve my goals.

“It has been amazing working for the local community paper. I’ve had a go at everything from painting the office walls to sales but I love being a feature writer and the Darlington College journalism course is now giving me all the skills I need.”

She said Pete’s band was really good and she had high hopes for their future. But in the future they might have to fend for themselves.

“I made the top 50 in a writing competition run by the Sun and am not afraid to aim high,” she said. “I want to work in fashion or travel journalism and that is the goal I have set myself.”

Darlington College’s curriculum manager for Arts, Media and Publishing Alan Jones said: “I am delighted to welcome Krystal as our first NCTJ journalism apprentice.

“There has been a lot of interest from publishing companies about the apprenticeship programme and the college looks forward to growing this provision.”

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