COMMUNICATIONS AND PR COMPANIES PARTICIPATE IN 2020 NATIONAL APPRENTICESHIP WEEK
As part of the 2020 National Apprenticeship Week, which for the first time extends to include the weekend, communications and PR companies have invited students to work across a variety of fields in the industry.
By taking on a high number of apprentices, the PRCA, the world’s leading PR professional body and DRPG, a global creative communications agency, are among some of the organisations helping to change the myth that apprenticeships are for those who don’t make it to university or are useless all together.
“As soon as it turns 9 o’clock my responsibilities are no different to anyone else in my team, I work on the same projects, attend the same meetings, doing the same work at the same pace. As a project coordinator I work with project managers very closely to help work out the logistics of live events,” says Aaron Wilson, level 3 event assistant at DRPG.
Most students that decide on entering apprenticeship programs, particularly in the creative industries, to do so because they believe a hands-on experience will be more fruitful than studying at university. Kardelen Keskin didn’t want to follow the traditional university route and applied for a data analyst role at Mindshare, a challenging experience that was allowed her to advance in the fast-paced media field.
Elizabeth Kennedy, digital communications apprentice in the Department for Work and Pensions, agrees. She originally planned to go to university to study Sociology and Media but withdrew her application when she got the job.
“I’m sure everyone says it, but the great thing about an apprenticeship is that you’re learning on the job- you get so much experience and you don’t end up with tens of thousands of pounds of debt that comes with a degree. I love the spontaneity of my apprenticeship. It’s true that the communications industry is fast-paced, especially in government, so you never know that is going to happen. I also love the people I work with,” she says.
Abbie Langridge, on the other hand, decided to begin her level 4 apprenticeship in public relations with the PRCA at the Construction Industry Training Board because she wanted to start working but still carrying on studying.
“The best part about doing an apprenticeship is that you get exposed to a variety of different roles and responsibilities. I’ve organised events, written speeches and presented to a range of audiences. I have built the confidence to stand up at a parliamentary event to speak about my experience as an apprentice, which is something I would never have done before,” Langridge says.
The possibility of future career is highly likely. At PRCA, which 18-month fixed contract where apprentices work full time while receiving training and completing assessments, 75% of them stay in the organisation while 93% continue their career in PR.
Apprenticeship programs have also proven to encourage diversity and inclusion in the creative industries, as proven by research commissioned by Creative Pioneers, a national apprenticeship programme for advertising, creative and digital media, in partnership with Institute of Practitioners in Advertising. The findings showed that 44% of UK managers believe apprenticeships are the best way to promote diversity