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£1m Apprenticeship Funding Welcome News for PR Hopefuls, Says Punch Communications

December 14, 2011

£1m Apprenticeship Funding Welcome News for PR Hopefuls, Says Punch Communications
Punch is a boutique PR agency with the skill set and client base of a global agency.

LEICESTER, UNITED KINGDOM (RPRN) 12/14/11 — The first Government PR apprenticeship scheme has recently been announced, with plans to help hundreds of non-graduates into the industry, a move that is sure to be welcome news for PR hopefuls, says online PR agency, Punch Communications.

The Government’s £18.7 million Higher Apprenticeship Fund has set aside around £1.2 million for those wanting to gain employment in the PR sector. Georgina Dunkley, account director at Punch said: “This new scheme is a great move towards helping young individuals embark on their desired careers, although it is the larger PR agencies that will most likely benefit from the apprenticeship scheme as opposed to smaller establishments who may not even qualify for any funding. However, with news of universities substantially increasing their fees in the coming academic year, the scheme will be welcomed from career minded young people who wish to work in PR but do not see a university degree as a visible route into the sector. Apprenticeships allow employers to have full control as they can mould staff to suit their business, whilst candidates are able to earn as they learn.”

The scheme will be run by the Public Relations Consultants Association (PRCA) and will be in partnership with Pearson in Practice, a division of the global publishing firm Pearson, following a successful application to the National Apprenticeship Service. The partnership is now working on plans to provide job training, qualifications and work experience to 600 young non-graduates over a three year period. With the first apprenticeships expected by September 2012, the PRCA and Pearson in Practice will spend until then working with PR employers in order to develop a beneficial programme.

The news of a PR apprenticeship scheme comes at a crucial time with debates erupting over the issues of access to the PR industry. During October, the PRCA also launched a campaign calling for PR agencies to pledge to pay the minimum wage for all interns, and 47 of these have since committed to this. The PR industry contributes £7.5 billion per year to the UK economy and it was revealed that 94 percent of agency managing directors said that they want an apprenticeship scheme for the PR industry, according to a PRCA survey of 99 agency bosses.

Punch Communications is an integrated PR company specialising in social search, based in the East Midlands and in London. If you are looking for a PR, social media or SEO agency then visit www.punchcomms.com or call Punch on 01858 411600.

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