The two-year programme will involve on-the-job training, in-house training courses and formal industry qualifications and will offer an alternative to university for those who want a career in PR and communications.
The scheme follows the recent increase in university fees and Shine CEO Rachel Bell believes it will help promote diversity in the industry.
‘If we restrict ourselves to simply hiring graduates into our businesses we’ll be picking from a steadily shrinking pool of candidates,’ she said.
She added: ‘Increases in university tuition fees will seriously impact upon the ability and desire of school-leavers to head off to university, yet many of these are exactly the same bright, dynamic, connected kids we want to bring into the industry.’
The agency plans to take on one or two recruits for the programme each year. Each apprentice will be made an affiliate member of the CIPR and will be funded and expected to complete the CIPR Foundation Award during their six months’ work and the CIPR Advanced Certificate in Public Relations before the end of the two-year programme.
The scheme will offer payment in line with recommendations from the National Apprenticeship Service.