What does “public relations” mean to you? It’s a good question especially when the definition of those two words has been under review this year.
The CIPR says PR is about reputation – the result of what you do, what you say and what others say about you.
Its aim is earning understanding and support and influencing opinion and behaviour, the CIPR says, to establish and maintain goodwill and mutual understanding between an organisation and its publics.
(If public relations is a lot to do with reputation and managing it, then it’s a career with huge opportunity at the moment.)
All of this is by way of introducing something quite interesting – and highly practical and useful if you’re looking to start a career in PR.
On July 9, the the first national PR Higher Apprenticeship qualification programme was announced, which is already actively recruiting the first intake of apprentices and employers in the UK, with more than 40 employers in the PR industry already signed up and beginning to offer vacancies.
The new programme will be developed in partnership between the Public Relations Consultants Association (PRCA), Pearson in Practice, Edexcel and Skills CFA, and intends to create 600 apprenticeship roles within the PR industry over a three-year period.
As for that definition of PR, see what some of those in the industry who support the programme have to say:
The organizers say this apprenticeship programme will offer an alternative route into an industry currently dominated by graduates. The programme will combine on-the-job training, qualifications and development with real-life work experience. Apprentices will work towards nationally-recognized qualifications, equivalent to a foundation degree.
Apprenticeships are seen as the gold standard in on the job training in the UK with more than 100,000 employers offering programmes. They offer a structured training programme for both existing employees and new starters. Research by the National Apprenticeship Service shows that 77% of employers who already have Apprentices believe they make them more competitive and 88% believe that they lead to a more motivated and satisfied workforce.
A great foundation to build upon.