L-R: BBC deputy political editor, John Pienaar, Rachel Coburn, Kim Fletcher, NCTJ chairman

A roving reporter from City of Wolverhampton College is celebrating after scooping a national award for her skills as a journalist.

Rachel Coburn, a BBC digital journalist apprentice, was named Apprentice of the Year at the NCTJ Awards for Excellence ceremony at the Royal Navy Submarine Museum in Gosport on Thursday evening.

The 24-year-old was chosen for the high quality of her professional conduct and the standard of her skills and ability in the newsroom.

She was presented with her certificate by Kim Fletcher, NCTJ chairman.

Rachael, who currently works for BBC Scotland, said: “I’m absolutely thrilled and overwhelmed to be named Apprentice of the Year by the NCTJ. Just over a year ago I still worked in a call centre, so it’s very surreal to be honoured amongst so many talented journalists.

“Learning on the job has been an invaluable experience, and I’m so grateful to the BBC and Wolverhampton College for providing an ‘in’ for people like me into what is a highly competitive and important profession.

“Over the past year I’ve had the opportunity to work across TV, radio and online, and I’m just so excited to see what lies in store for the future.

Apprentice Tom Oakley, who works at the Express and Star, was also commended in the same category.

BBC deputy political editor, John Pienaar, who hosted the awards, said: “Behind the success of each of those winning students and trainees will be a team of dedicated trainers and educators. All of those who teach on accredited courses should be congratulated on achieving the high standards the NCTJ sets on behalf of the industry.

“Those on the shortlist tonight have demonstrated the combination of writing skills, determination and resilience needed to forge a career in journalism. Our expert judging panel was thoroughly impressed by the quality of work submitted.”

The college has been accredited by the NCTJ since 1997 and is now the only accredited further education journalism training centre in the Midlands. The college is helping to train the BBC’s radio apprentices and is also working with the Express and Star on its journalism apprenticeship scheme.

About Association of Colleges West Midlands

AoC West Midlands promotes and supports the interests of 38 general further education, sixth form and specialist colleges throughout the West Midlands region. The West Midlands is a diverse region and our colleges reflect this diversity. From small specialist colleges in rural locations to large inner city establishments, colleges reflect the needs of their local environment. Working closely with employers, learners and the local community, our 38 member colleges offer a broad range of flexible learning opportunities for individuals at all levels. They aim to give local people the skills they need for success and prosperity, tackling barriers to learning and providing opportunities that meet the needs of individuals and employers
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