Propeller acts to pay interns as industry moves towards fairer payment

Propeller is the latest PR agency to change its intern policy as the industry continues to move towards ensuring fairer payment and greater diversity.

Paid work: Propeller backs paying interns (Credit: Thinkstock)
Paid work: Propeller backs paying interns (Credit: Thinkstock)

As part of the joint PRWeek/PRCA campaign, the agency was last month named as being among a number of employers advertising an unpaid position.

Propeller, which previously offered to cover expenses, will now be paying the minimum wage for any intern who joins, with placements likely to last three months or longer.

Kieran Kent, who recently became MD at Propeller, said: ‘The move in the industry is towards paid internship policies and this is something we are supportive of at Propeller. The policy is being brought into practice now and will be with us going forward.’

The agency joins almost 100 businesses that have signed up to the PRCA’s intern guidelines. New signatories Liquid and the Royal Pharmaceutical Society have taken the tally of organisations agreeing to pay interns to 93.

The news comes as GolinHarris announced it is to launch a revamped intern scheme, dubbed ‘Bright Young Things’, seeking six interns to take up three-month paid contracts.

The agency had previously paid interns, but has created the new scheme, which soft-launched in March, to attract a wider variety of candidates.

‘We are very deliberately drawing on a far more diverse talent pool with our Bright Young Things recruitment. For example, this is not a graduate-only programme,’ explained director of marketing and talent Jane Fordham.

However, the practice of unpaid internships still appears to be continuing in some quarters. An online advert posted in May by Progressive Digital Media sought a full-time PR intern for between one and four months with only food and travel expenses covered.

Progressive Digital Media had not responded to repeated requests for comment at the time of going to press.

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