APPRENTICESHIPS LAY THE FOUNDATION FOR A LIFELONG SUCCESS STORY
Evie Scott joined FTI Consulting's strategic communications team as an apprentice in October 2022. In honour of National Apprenticeship Week, Evie reflects on the value of such schemes.
In honour of National Apprenticeship Week, it’s important to recognise how apprenticeship schemes can offer ‘skills for life’.
I entered the world of public relations at the age of 18, knowing little about the industry but with a keen interest in communicating, presenting and being sociable, which led me to communications. My 18-month programme has provided me with practical skills, real-life experience and helped me expand my industry knowledge in a way that no university course could have provided for me. I am grateful that I found my apprenticeship with the PRCA.
Agency life is fast-paced but I’ve benefitted from having a supportive team around me. This has ensured that I am getting the most out of my experience. I am regularly challenged and given the responsibility to demonstrate theoretical knowledge from my apprenticeship. I am extremely proud of how much I have progressed in my writing and developing my ‘on the spot thinking’, which was a challenge for me during A-levels.
Apprenticeships are an ideal way to kickstart a career, providing valuable ‘on the job’ industry experience. I am one of the first apprentices in my PR agency and it has been inspiring to see and be part of the scheme coming to life.
Although there is still an impression that entering the industry requires a degree, evidence that businesses are adopting apprenticeship schemes should be inspiring to other candidates, especially those wanting to learn on the job and gather the skills needed to be a successful PR practitioner in real-time.
What an apprenticeship offers to the industry
Employers must recognise the benefit of the apprenticeships in bringing more diversification of talent to the industry. Apprenticeships foster new perspectives from a younger generation of team members that represent different regions and backgrounds across the UK. For example, apprentices offer exposure to the latest trends, technologies and communication tools, which is crucial for PR practitioners to navigate the changing media landscape. This helps to enhance creativity in the workplace and to create a rounded, balanced and ultimately more successful team.
Employing entry-level talent allows PR agencies to nurture and mould the next generation of PR professionals, by teaching and tailoring training programmes to meet the specific needs of their business's requirements.
Success for life
My apprenticeship has given me a head start in the industry and has set me up for a successful career. I have already witnessed myself grow in ability over the 18 months. Who would have thought I would be 20 years old with a year and a half of experience in communications?
Experience is extremely valuable in our industry and a big part of my learning and development has come from the knowledge of those around me. In the future, I aspire to serve as a mentor, imparting my own knowledge and leveraging my experience as an apprentice, with the ultimate goal of helping to cultivate a community of skilled PR professionals who can contribute significantly to the field.