The Sun has launched an editorial trainee scheme to increase the diversity of its talent.

For its first intake, The Sun is looking for budding journalists from all walks of life, with or without training or degrees. The group will join a journalism bootcamp at News Associates, a leading UK journalism school, followed by a 40-week part-time NCTJ training course in February.

During the course, the trainees will also be working in The Sun newsroom for three days a week. Each place on the programme is fully funded and trainees will be paid a competitive salary.

Tony Gallagher, editor-in-chief of The Sun, said: “The Sun is Britain’s biggest newsbrand and it is vital we create opportunities for aspiring journalists from every part of society. Increasing diversity in our newsrooms is a challenge for the entire industry, and, as the people’s paper, The Sun should reflect the people.

“If you are a keen and curious aspiring journalist, this trainee scheme will pay a competitive salary while you get the hands-on experience, on-the job mentoring and coaching you need to be newsroom-ready.

“We’re proud to lead the way with this initiative. Good jobs in journalism should be available to all with talent, no matter what their background. It will be tough, it will be full-on, but it will be fun.”

The Sun is also looking for several NCTJ or similar trained students for its first intake. They will be coached to be newsroom-ready with an intensive journalism bootcamp at News Associates followed by a placement with SWNS news agency at one of its offices in London, Bristol, Leeds, Birmingham, Cambridge or Glasgow.

The trainees, who will receive a competitive salary, will then get 12 months of on-the-job training at The Sun.

The launch is the start of a rolling programme of training by The Sun which will hire more trainees during 2020. It follows The Sun partnering with City University earlier this year, offering a paid placement for a student on its Widening Media Diversity Scholarship for a post-grad student interested in the under-representation of Muslims in the media.

News Associates managing editor James Toney said: “We are delighted to be working with The Sun on this important training scheme to help encourage diversity in journalism and excited about discovering new talent from all walks of life.”