Ten universities sign up to PR Internships For All initiative

Ten universities have signed up as academic partners for the PR Internships For All campaign and pledged their support to agencies seeking interns from diverse backgrounds.

The initiative, which encourages the top 25 agencies to offer paid internships to students from universities outside the elite Russell Group, was launched by PRWeek and the PRCA in April.

The following universities have pledged their support to help agencies:

  • Bournemouth
  • Bucks New University
  • DeMontfort
  • Greenwich
  • Leeds Met
  • Lincoln
  • London College of Communication
  • Sheffield Hallam
  • UCLan
  • Westminster

Anastasios Theofilou, senior lecturer in public relations at Bournemouth University, said: "The blend of academic learning and practical experience aids their employability and means their PR careers start 'on the run'. We also encourage students to undertake additional internships to expand their experience and so we give full support to the PR Internships For All initiative."

Of the top 25 agencies in the UK, 14 have committed to offering internships of at least a month to students from universities from outside the Russell Group in the next 12 months. Already signed up are:

  • Bell Pottinger
  • Brunswick
  • Cohn & Wolfe
  • Edelman
  • Fishburn
  • FleishmanHillard
  • Freuds
  • FTI Consulting
  • Golin
  • Hill+Knowlton Strategies
  • MHP
  • MSL Group London
  • The Red Consultancy
  • Weber Shandwick

Agencies with fewer than 100 employees will be required to take on a minimum of three interns; a minimum of five for those between 100 and 200 employees; ten or more for agencies of more than 200 people.

They will also be able to take part in the campaign by hiring trainees from the Taylor Bennett Foundation trainee programme. All interns must be hired for at least a month and be paid at least the national minimum wage.

Participating agencies will be entered into a new bespoke awards programme to recognise their commitment to broadening the industry’s intake of young talent, and will benefit from ongoing coverage throughout the campaign.

The PRWeek/PRCA Census 2013 demonstrated the industry’s failure to become truly inclusive, as 91 per cent of people in the survey were white, a fractional improvement on the previous 2011 Census when white people accounted for 92 per cent of the business.

The PRCA is inviting all universities from outside the Russell Group to join as partners of the PRIFA campaign. Universities interested in signing up or finding out more about the scheme should contact PRCA comms director Matt Cartmell on matt.cartmell@prca.org.uk.

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