PR needs apprentices rather than graduates

Posted on 20/03/2009


Last week, PR Week ran a story saying that our industry heads were unconvinced by PR degrees. No big suprise, even people I know who have taken them reckon they are crap (apart from the work experience placement).

But, I had a letter published today in response arguing that it’s not PR degrees which should be a worry to the industry, but the reliance industry heads seem to place on degrees in general.

For too long, agencies have relied on graduates many of whom now seem to be leaving university with less and less of an idea about how to work in the real world. Recruiting PR Trainee level staff through offering work experience programmes available to graduates and non-graduates and promoting admin juniors – who can start work with GCSEs or vocational qualifications – should be the focus for the new wave of PR recruitment.

In fact, it seems that the industry is actually looking for recruits at the wrong level – we don’t need PR degrees, but PR apprenticeships.

But PR apprenticeships come with their own problems… most notably the difficulty in actually setting them up. Our industry is supposed to be represented by the Creative and Cultural Sector Skills Council, but when I spoke to City & Islington College to try and look into setting one up, I was told that PR wasn’t a priority for this SSC.

This may turn into a one-man campaign to try and set up a PR Apprenticeship, but does anyone else have any thoughts on how the industry can come together to set up this apprenticeship?