Paul McClean Graduate Trainee Programme

The Paul McClean graduate trainee programme, now open for applications, recruits and trains entry-level journalists from all walks of life for a long-term career at one of the world’s leading and most respected news organisations. 

The scheme is named after Paul McClean, a gifted journalist who produced groundbreaking work during his two years as an FT trainee.  Sadly, Paul passed away in September 2017.

We are looking for talented, driven individuals like Paul who want to develop an FT career in financial journalism and global affairs;  people who are curious about the world, strongly committed to serious journalism and who enjoy the thrill of nailing a good story.

Alumni of this highly competitive scheme - now in its 35th year - are well represented in senior staff of the FT and other news organisations around the world.

All applicants must demonstrate they can cope with the pressure of working in a fast-paced news organisation with assignments abroad.  We are looking for self-starters who are committed to unstintingly high standards, have a keen interest in business and global affairs, and an international mindset. Strong writing ability is vital. They should be excited about getting scoops and telling stories across all formats. 

Language skills, in addition to fluent spoken and written English, are an advantage, as are data journalism skills and the ability to understand different cultures.

The Paul McClean graduate trainee programme is not an internship or fellowship: it is a full-time contract as a trainee Financial Times journalist.

Successful applicants will join us in September 2021, spend six weeks training, then take on two years of six-month assignments. These could include an overseas posting and possibly  at a regional news organisation. Mentoring, feedback and further training are provided throughout.

The deadline for applications is 17th January 2021.




Graduate trainees join the FT on a one-year contract, extended for up to a further year at the discretion of the Company. Successful trainees are encouraged to apply for staff positions that become available towards the end of this time.

The salary for the duration of the two-year programme is £28,000 pa. On appointment to first job in a competitive application process in third year, the salary will increase to £35,000 pa.



All applicants must be graduates who have the right to work in the United Kingdom.

This scheme is not for professional journalists or anyone who has started training courses with other media organisations.

For queries about eligibility, please contact


Equal Opportunities

There is no single type of person whom we employ at the FT; our strength is in our employees, from all different backgrounds, united by a passion for delivering compelling, smart journalism.

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