THURSDAY 8 DEC 2011 5:19 PM


The PRCA and Pearson in Practice have secured government funding for an industry-wide apprenticeship scheme.

The programme will aim to provide 600 apprenticeship roles within the PR industry over a three-year period and it is anticipated that the first apprenticeships will begin in September 2012. The PRCA brings its training offering while Pearson is a leading UK provider of apprenticeships.

In October, the PRCA launched a campaign calling for PR agencies to pledge to pay the minimum wage to all interns. Now another route into the industry is being developed, one which it is hoped will enable non-graduates in an industry currently dominated by those with university degrees. Apprentices will work towards a qualification equivalent to a foundation degree in addition to gaining experience.

The programme has secured the £1.2m worth of funding from the government’s £18.7m Higher Apprenticeship Fund.

The awarding body and Pearson group member Edexcel and the standard setting organisation the CfA are also partners in the project, alongside the PRCA and Pearson.

Fiona McBride, CEO of Pearson in Practice said, “We welcome the emphasis that is now being placed on higher level apprenticeships as a true and credible alternative to university education. It reveals what we believe is a sea of change in public opinion about the value of vocational learning and demonstrates a widespread understanding of the important role that apprenticeships play in setting young people on the path towards not just a job, but a sustainable and fulfilling career.”

The PRCA surveyed its members in August/September to understand views on apprenticeships and found the following indications of industry support:
94% of agency MDs want an apprenticeship scheme for the PR industry
92% would consider employing an apprentice
66% believe that an apprenticeship scheme would improve diversity in the industry.