Department for Business takes on first Government comms apprentices

The first PR apprentices to work in central government will join the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS) within the next five weeks.

Hopeful Russell Grossman thinks the scheme could be extended
Hopeful Russell Grossman thinks the scheme could be extended

Three people aged between 21 and 25 have been employed on an 18-month programme helping them qualify for a BTEC Level 4 in higher public relations, on salaries of about £17,000.

They will spend 90 per cent of their time on ‘on the job’ training, consisting of six months working in each of the press office, stakeholder and events, and internal comms teams.

Russell Grossman, director of comms at BIS, said he and Alex Aiken, the executive director of government comms, agreed that PR apprenticeships should be expanded to other government departments. ‘I think it’s realistic for that to happen by the end of 2013,’ he said.

Grossman was keen for BIS to be the first to employ comms apprentices because it is the department responsible for the Government’s funding for apprenticeships, although BIS has not received money from the scheme.

‘The funding for this is part of my normal team allocation and I’ve made savings elsewhere so that we’ve been able to accommodate these apprentices,’ he said.

Creative Process, which is also the supplier for the Government-funded apprenticeship programme overseen by the PRCA, handled the advertising and will manage the training.  

There were 70 applicants from whom BIS selected 30 candidates. They were tested for writing skills and their ability to work in a group. Nine were invited for interview.

The successful applicants were Daniel Harris, Joyce Omope and Harry Wingfield.

Grossman said: ‘We may be able to find them a job at the end of the programme, but there is no guarantee.’  

The 86-strong BIS comms department is subject to a recruitment freeze, but Grossman said it would replace people if there was a good business case for doing so.

Before commenting please read our rules for commenting on articles.

If you see a comment you find offensive, you can flag it as inappropriate. In the top right-hand corner of an individual comment, you will see 'flag as inappropriate'. Clicking this prompts us to review the comment. For further information see our rules for commenting on articles.

comments powered by Disqus

Latest Articles

Max Clifford trial jury finishes sixth day of deliberations

Max Clifford trial jury finishes sixth day of deliberations

The jury in the trial of celebrity publicist Max Clifford on 11 charges of indecent assault has been sent home and will reconvene tomorrow morning for a seventh day of deliberations.

Analysis: Fishburn chiefs keep eyes on future despite mounting departures

Analysis: Fishburn chiefs keep eyes on future despite mounting departures

Fishburn's management have defended their reinvention of the 23-year-old agency amid industry mutterings, fed by a series of director-level departures, about the direction in which it is going.

Hit or Miss? EasyJet backs Shakespeare Day campaign with world record attempt

Hit or Miss? EasyJet backs Shakespeare Day campaign with world record attempt

EasyJet aimed to break the world record for the highest ever theatrical performance for Shakespeare's 450th birthday yesterday with the Reduced Shakespeare Company performing on a flight from Gatwick to Verona.

Top PRs to gather in Barcelona for inaugural PRWeek Global Congress

Top PRs to gather in Barcelona for inaugural PRWeek Global Congress

Senior executives from IBM, Nestlé, Vedanta, GE, Cargill, Philips and Allianz will be among the speakers at PRWeek's first Global Congress.