Camden Council in London has set up a PRO academy in a drive to keep staff.
Head of PR Steve Gladwin has been given an undisclosed budget by executive council officers to set up a two year job-based training scheme, which, he says, is designed to become an industry standard.
Gladwin is seeking accreditation from the NVQ training board for universal recognition of the course. He claims it will assist trainees to reach Level 4, a senior attainment equivalent to NVQ-trained senior journalists.
'People want more than money when they take up a given career,' he said.
'The Camden Council training scheme is designed to nurture trainees to senior proficiency level,' he added.
Gladwin used to teach at the Westminster Press training scheme in Hastings and ran his own media training school for five years.
He has been drawing up the Camden course over the past 12 months.
Trainees will fill out a curriculum log-book and attend specialist courses, such as handling media interviews, at University College London.
Gladwin said the Camden academy will fill the gap between university courses and training schemes run by the Institute of Public Relations.
The IPR said it was in favour of any training which raised professional standards. 'We would like to discuss the benefits of this scheme further with our local government group,' said IPR spokesperson Ann Mealor.
Gladwin, who leads a team of eight and reports to council CEO Deirdre Colledge, added: 'The course is foremost designed for local authorities' PROs. But there is scope for it to be modified for the commercial sector.'
He said trainees will start on pounds 18,000 per annum.