A new PR and Communications Apprenticeship, developed by a group of 23 ‘trailblazer’ firms, has been approved by the Government for delivery from autumn 2017.

The Public Relations and Communications Assistant Apprenticeship will eventually replace the existing PR Apprenticeship programme.

The new apprenticeship will place more emphasis on planning and evaluation in PR and communications, while also incorporating a broader range of communications skills, including using the latest social media channels and production of non-written content.

The new standard has been approved following a rigorous two-year sign off process and a second PR and Communications Consultant Apprenticeship at masters-degree level will now be developed and is expected to launch in spring 2018.

As part of the Campaign Collective’s social purpose to help develop the next generation of communications talent, Founder Member Simon Francis has chaired the employers’ group that developed the standard. He commented:

Apprenticeships are a great way for all organisations to grow their own talent and ensure that PR agencies and in-house teams increase diversity and keep up-to-date with the latest social media trends.

With the Apprenticeship Levy now coming into force, there is more appetite from the country’s biggest firms to take on apprentices. The development of the PR Consultant, masters-degree level, apprenticeship will see employers able to access government funding to train all entry level staff through apprenticeships.

Until the new apprenticeship is live, PR and communications teams will still be able to recruit apprentices on the existing PR Apprenticeship operated by the Public Relations and Communications Association (PRCA).

The existing programme has been running for over three years and has seen just under 250 apprentices trained in organisations ranging from the NHS to SME communications consultancies.

Francis Ingham MPRCA, Director General, PRCA, said:

The Government’s approval of the new PR and Communications Apprenticeship framework is a fantastic vote of confidence in a programme that already is transforming our industry.

The PRCA Apprenticeship programme has opened up our industry to hundreds of people who would previously never ever have considered PR and communications as an option. I am proud of our work here, and delighted that we will be able to build on the incredible success we have had already.

There’s a very clear message to employers -if you want a diverse and dynamic workforce, employ an apprentice. With the new apprenticeship levy, it makes moral, business, and financial sense even more so than ever.

For more information and to find out about hiring a PR Apprentice, visit https://www.prca.org.uk/careers/pr-apprenticeship/hire-pr-apprentice.

The new Standard can be viewed on the government website: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/apprenticeship-standard-public-relations-assistant.


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