Training alert - good value in online courses

THERE HAS has never been a better time to get skilled up as a freelance. As commissions dry up, titles shut and budgets shrink during the covid-19 crisis, the NUJ and other unions in the creative sector are stepping up to support freelance members through tough and unsettling times. As classrooms shut, online learning in providing scope for members to diversify their skills.

The governments of Scotland and Wales subsidise training courses - and NUJ members from other parts of the UK can now benefit at prices well below commercial rates.

NUJ Training Scotland ( is offering courses online for £25 and all NUJ members can sign up regardless of location. There are three-hour Zoom sessions in June and July on: Creative Writing; Writing for the Web; All You Need to know to be a Great News Writer; and Filming and Editing for I-devices. There are also free sessions on Psychological First Aid and Tackling Stress.

NUJ Training Cymru/Wales is offering #LockdownSkillbuilders webinars - including Learn Effective Online Networking & Social Media on 10 June. Look for updates at

The Centre for Investigative Journalism #CIJSummer event is moving online this year, from July 6-11. It will include free and paid-for sessions. Many have already sold out. On 6 July 6 and 11 July all talks are free to watch and participate in via Zoom and the CIJ YouTube channel. The popular Story-Based Inquiry Method, over the four evenings 13-16 July, costs £45 including resources: see

The Federation of Entertainment Unions is running free webinars and online courses. Check them out at

London Freelance Branch asked what members want - and you said "podcasting". Plans for a day-long session with Hamish Brown from Scotland are on hold for now. But he is one of the career professionals delivering online sessions for the NUJ in Scotland for £25 - which could whet appetites for a day-long hands on podcasting session in London when lockdown lifts. Watch for updates.