National Apprenticeship Week 2018

National Apprenticeship Week with word tree

Now in its 11th year, the theme for National Apprenticeship Week this year is ‘Apprenticeships Work’. The week was created for employers and apprentices from across England to celebrate the success of apprenticeship programs and encourage more people to explore the option.

The Apprenticeships Work theme looks at how apprenticeships are beneficial for individuals, employers, the community, and the wider economy.

What is an apprenticeship?

Apprenticeships are roles where you get trained while on the job. Apprentices usually know which career path they wish to follow and choose to train while in the role rather than studying the subject at college or university.

Programs last from one to six years, depending on the level and can provide a diploma at the end.

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How does it differ from an internship?

Internships are usually shorter-term periods of temporary work experience. They can be paid or unpaid (although many people are understandably against unpaid internships) and last anywhere between a day and 18-months, with the majority between three months and a year.

Internships give you insight into how different companies work, they give you a taste of the projects on offer and let you decide if you want to follow a specific career before committing to it.

An internship is more of an educational role than a training role and can often improve your job prospects by showing you have additional experience in the field.

Apprentices are more focused on the training, with a job provided until the end of the program when they reach journey-level status.

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What are the benefits of starting as an apprentice in the PR industry?

PR is a sector where it’s important to learn-as-you-go. With so many different projects, regular professional development is important and training in new skills is key as the industry moves. Starting as an apprenticeship in a field where training is important will let you get really involved and hands-on in campaigns.

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How can you apply to be a PR apprentice?

The PRCA is the sole-provider of PR apprenticeships in the UK. The scheme has been running for almost seven years and is regularly updated to fit around changes to the industry.

  • Level 4 Higher Apprenticeship in Public Relations.
  • Equivalent qualification to a Foundation degree.
  • Apprentices are employed by a PR and Communications agency or in-house PR team.
  • 18-month fixed term contract.
  • Apprentices work full time whilst completing on-the-job training and assessments.
  • Each PR Apprentice is assigned an assessor by PRCA who visits them once every 4-6 weeks.
  • An assessor sets and structures their work, and provides on-going support.
  • All PR Apprentices are paid at least the national minimum wage for their age.
  • At the end of the apprenticeship, 75% of PR Apprentices stay on in their organisation and 93% continue their career in PR.

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How can you offer PR apprenticeships?

The PRCA Apprenticeship program works by the PRCA recruiting and training new junior members of PR and communications staff for your company. The apprentices are working for your company full time whilst studying towards a level four Higher Apprenticeship qualification, equivalent to the first year of a degree.

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Some of the companies who offer PR apprenticeships:

Trailblazers are responsible for helping develop new apprenticeship standards for the industry

British Airways – trailblazer Cabinet Office – trailblazer
Cambridge Constabulary City & Guilds Group
Golin – trailblazer PRCA – trailblazer
Quantum PR Random House – trailblazer
See.Saw Communications Sheffield University
Sky UK – trailblazer Templemere PR
The Oracle Group UK Scout Association
University of Westminster – trailblazer Warner Bros

 

Find out more about the latest changes to the PRCA Apprenticeship scheme

Do you offer apprenticeships or were you an apprentice yourself? Share your stories in the comments below.

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