London,
06
March
2017

PRCA welcomes National Apprenticeship Week with call for industry to recognise responsibility towards diverse recruitment

The PRCA has welcomed the tenth National Apprenticeship Week with a call for greater diversity in PR and communications recruitment practices.

National Apprenticeship Week begins today, and this year’s theme is the Skills Minster Robert Halfon’s concept of the “ladder of opportunity”, and will focus on the positive outcomes of taking up apprenticeships.

The PRCA will recognise this by presenting success stories of practitioners who have entered the industry via the PR Apprenticeship, revealing the value it brings at every level of the PR and communications industry. These success stories will be published on the PRCA Blog every day this week.

The PRCA remains the sole provider of the PR Higher Apprenticeship. Regardless of social or economic backgrounds, PR Apprenticeships give talented individuals the chance to chance to gain a qualification alongside on the job training by seasoned industry professionals.

Welcoming National Apprenticeship Week, Francis Ingham MPRCA, Director General, PRCA, said:

“The PRCA has a long-standing commitment to providing young people with access to the PR and communications industry via the PR Apprenticeship, which has helped employers diversify and to grow their own talent.

“However, much more can and should be done. We are committed to leading the PR and communications industry to improved diversity levels, but we can only lead if the industry will come along with us. I urge every consultancy and in-house team to bring in their next entry level recruit via the PR Apprenticeship.”

There are currently 40 PR Apprentices taking part in the programme, and 225 have come through the programme in total. 75% of PR Apprentices have been given jobs by the employers after their apprenticeship. By comparison, 43% of graduates are given full time jobs after internships.

Jessica Kirby MPRCA is an Account Manager at Lexis Agency, who entered the industry with a PR Apprenticeship at Cirkle and won National Higher Apprentice of the Year in 2013. She said:

“When I started the apprenticeship I had no idea what it would lead to. In my head I thought ‘it's only a year - if you don't like it then you can do something else afterwards’. Little did I know that I would discover a real passion for PR and find a career where I look forward to working each day.

“Apprenticeships are the perfect way to get onto the career ladder, and have helped me to gain four years of experience. This has set me in an invaluable position for my PR career. The amount I've learned from my apprenticeship is far more than you could ever find in a text book.”

Josh Potter MPRCA is a former PR Apprentice who is now an Assistant Account Executive at Mischief PR. He commented:

“My apprenticeship has not only given me unrivalled, genuine insight and experience into the PR industry, it’s also provided me with an alternative route to bypass university and springboard into my career.

“I think it’s an option that most don’t automatically consider but moving straight into the industry has allowed me to get a step ahead in my career that I would not have got if I’d attended university for three years – and I’ve still secured a qualification off the back of it. Agencies like Mischief, who are inspiring and supporting apprentices, are doing great things for the industry by bringing in fresh talent and a fresh perspective.”

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About PRCA

Who we are: Founded in 1969, the Public Relations and Communications Association (PRCA) is a UK-based PR and communications membership body, operating in 48 countries around the world. We represent in excess of 20,000 people across the whole range of the PR and communications industry. The PRCA promotes all aspects of public relations and communications work, helping teams and individuals maximise the value they deliver to clients and organisations.

What we do: The Association exists to raise standards in PR and communications, providing members with industry data, facilitating the sharing of communications best practice and creating networking opportunities.

How we do it and make a difference: All PRCA members are bound by a professional charter and codes of conduct, and benefit from exceptional training. The Association also works for the greater benefit of the industry, sharing best practice and lobbying on the industry's behalf e.g. fighting the NLA's digital licence.

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Matt Cartmell
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