But where does your fresh talent come from? The interns and work experience staff who rise through the ranks – are they the best of the best? Or are they just friends of friends? The account manager’s son or daughter?
The fact is, workplaces across Britain desperately need to be opened up, and PR is no exception. Too often it’s who you know – not what you know – that counts. But in a truly fair and open society ability trumps privilege – not just because it’s right, but because it’s good for business too.
That’s why, as part of the Social Mobility Strategy I published in May, we have set up a Business Compact which commits businesses to opening themselves up.
First, under the Compact, businesses commit to advertising work experience opportunities in local schools, rather than filling them through private networks. Internships should also be advertised and recruited in a fair and transparent way, and financial support provided to ensure fair access.
Second, companies should use name-blank and school-blank applications to help end unfair discrimination.
And, third, businesses are encouraged to go out into their communities, getting staff into schools to mentor students and talk to them about careers. Robert Peston’s Speakers for Schools programme is blazing a trail on that front.
The principles behind the compact are simple: fairness, opportunity, investing a little more time in the next generation – your future workforce.
So I am delighted that many of the country’s biggest organisations and employers have already signed up – including the PRCA and PRWeek. I want to encourage every company across the PR industry to join too.
Nick Clegg, Deputy Prime Minister