Downing Street hunts PROs for training scheme

Downing Street is on the lookout for applicants from PR departments

across government to take part in a new training scheme.



The scheme will bring press officers into temporary positions at Number

10 where they will be assigned mentors and given a chance to experience

government PR life at the highest level.



A Downing Street spokeswoman confirmed the programme would be launched

once Parliament comes back from its summer recess in October.



However, she denied reports that the scheme was a 'school for spin', to

help Alastair Campbell, Downing Street director of communications and

strategy, strengthen PR efforts against Sunday newspaper

journalists.



Those on the programme are expected to work during the weekend from

Thursday to Monday.



The spokeswoman claimed there was nothing unusual in the programme, and

that similar training had been run by earlier administrations.



The secondments will be for five weeks at a time during the next year

and there is expected to be only one secondment from a Whitehall

department at any one time.



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