However, PRCA CEO Francis Ingham said that the industry body’s own apprenticeship scheme, run in conjunction with Pearson in Practice, would not be affected.
‘While we would like to express our sympathy to Pearson in Practice's staff, this will have absolutely no impact on the future of the PR apprenticeship programme, nor on the experiences of the apprentices and employers currently participating in the service, he said.
‘The programme will continue to provide on-the-job training, qualifications and real-life work experience as it has been doing over the past year.
‘The PRCA has always 'owned' the apprenticeship framework, having constructed it in conjunction with employers. The deliverers of the framework are all PRCA approved trainers. The sole difference will be that at some point in the future, training will cease to take place at Pearson premises. As soon as there are further developments on this front, we will provide updates to all of those participating in the programme.’
Last September, 48 PR apprentices began their studies at a variety of agencies, and are working towards a level four qualification at the end of 12-18 months; the equivalent to the first year of a degree.
Pearson paid £95m for Pearson in Practice, then called Melorio, less than three years ago.