Talk PR takes on PR Apprentice

Talk PR today announced its third year supporting the Taylor Bennett Foundation and signing up to the PRCA’s new PR Apprenticeship Scheme.

In summer 2011, Talk PR launched Talk Talent, a multi-level career development programme designed to break the industry wide practice of the unpaid ‘workie’, to nurture young talent and increase diversity in the PR industry. Today’s developments further strengthen the programme which comprises Open Days, the Talk Trainee Scheme and the Taylor Bennett Foundation traineeship programme.

The award winning Taylor Bennett Foundation was set up in 2008 to address the on-going lack of diversity in the PR industry – 92% of the PR industry is white compared to 88% of the overall UK workforce. The Foundation encourages talented graduates from black, Asian and minority ethnic communities to pursue a career in PR by providing them with the skills and knowledge they require to do so. It has run quarterly paid training courses ever since. The eight week programme provides graduates with practical training in media, communications and business, expert careers coaching, and the opportunity to meet leading practitioners from across sector. Since the programme began, almost 100 trainees have been through the course with over 60% now working in the industry.  

Talk PR has supported the Taylor Bennett Foundation since 2011 as a lead partner and the only consumer PR agency to do so, providing both funding for the Foundation and direct training and field trips for the trainees. Two Taylor Bennett graduates have gone on to full time jobs at Talk PR and 86% of Talk PR Taylor Bennett Graduates have gone on to have careers in PR. Talk PR’s next graduate intake start their course in January 2013.

As well as encouraging diversity in PR, Talk PR is committed to nurturing young talent by both banning unpaid work experience and investing heavily in training. In 2011 it was the first agency to sign up to the PRCA and PR Week’s Intern Campaign. Instead of work experience the agency offers quarterly Open Days which provide aspiring PRs with an in depth, first hand insight into agency life, rather than the traditional unenlightening weeks chained to a photocopier. Since 2011, over 100 school leavers and graduates have attended a day of lectures, interactive sessions and talks from industry insiders, many of which have been inspired to apply for the agency’s training scheme.

Competition is fierce to become a Talk Trainee and receive the six month paid training offered to graduates. Over 200 applications have been received for the six places the scheme has so far offered. The scheme is set to open further, including talented school leavers, and strengthen its skills training by joining the PRCA’s  PR Apprenticeship Scheme. Talk PR will take on its first apprentice in January 2013 following the launch of the UK’s first PR Apprenticeship programme which is delivered by the PRCA in partnership with Pearson in Practice. The Apprenticeship programme lasts between one and two years and provides non graduates with a clear, structured career path into the PR industry and a nationally recognised qualification, equivalent to a foundation degree.

Speaking about the importance of these talent initiatives, Jane Boardman Founder and CEO of Talk PR, said: “Our future success is dependent on attracting the best and brightest young talent. There’s no doubt that looking beyond the conventional talent pool both ethnically and educationally brings fresh insight and energy to our agency and the wider PR industry. We’re extremely proud to support the Taylor Bennett Foundation and partner the PRCA and Pearson in Practice’s Apprenticeship scheme.’’

Taylor Bennett Director and principal shareholder Heather McGregor, who created the original traineeship programme, says: “We have now trained over a hundred talented minority ethnic graduates and helped them enter the communications industry. This landmark would never have been possible without the help of agencies like Talk PR who have supported this initiative since its very early days and given exceptional training opportunities to the young people who win places on the programme.”

Francis Ingham, PRCA Director General, said: ‘‘Talk PR’s commitment to the industry shines through with this announcement. Taylor Bennett’s work and the PRCA Apprenticeship programme are vital if we are to open up our industry to the very brightest talent, regardless of background. I salute Talk PR for their decision to support both of those initiatives. They are a clear example of what every PR agency should be.’’


- ENDS -


Notes to Editors

Talk PR

Talk PR is a leading luxury & lifestyle communications agency that has built a reputation for combining the strategic thinking, global perspective and immaculate implementation of a major player with the connections and creativity of a boutique specialist. Talk PR is a trusted partner to some of the world’s leading consumer brands and is the Founder of SERMO, the first ever international lifestyle PR network. Talk PR is part of the M&C Saatchi Group.


Taylor Bennett

The Taylor Bennett Foundation, set up by communications executive search firm Taylor Bennett, is a non-profit organisation that aims to encourage young people from more diverse backgrounds to go into PR as a career. The programme, which delivers paid 8 -10 week communications training programmes for black and minority ethnic graduates, was set up 5 years ago and now has 100 alumni.  The aim is to equip the graduates with the skills and confidence to launch successful careers in PR, and around 70% of alumni go on to secure placements in the industry. The programme provides trainees with exposure to in-house and agency PR experts by means of guest speakers and regular organisation visits, specialist training delivered by partner agency practitioners, and bespoke career counselling from Taylor Bennett staff. As well as changing the lives of graduates, many from non-privileged backgrounds, the programme addresses the lack of diversity in the communications industry. 

The Taylor Bennett Foundation this year won a Business in the Community ‘Race for Opportunity’ Award, which recognises UK organisations that are working to ‘unlock the talent potential and business opportunity of having a diverse workforce’ and, in 2010, the Lord Mayor’s Dragon Award for Social Inclusion.

For media enquiries about the Foundation, contact Anne Groves: / 020 7907 7295



Who we are: Founded in 1969, the PRCA is the professional body that represents UK PR consultancies, in-house communications teams, PR freelancers and individuals. The PRCA promotes all aspects of public relations and internal communications work, helping teams and individuals maximise the value they deliver to clients and organisations.

What we do: The Association exists to raise standards in PR and communications, providing members with industry data, facilitating the sharing of communications best practice and creating networking opportunities.

How we do it and make a difference: All PRCA members are bound by a professional charter and codes of conduct, and benefit from exceptional training. The Association also works for the greater benefit of the industry, sharing best practice and lobbying on the industry's behalf e.g. fighting the NLA's digital licence.

Who we represent: The PRCA represents many of the major consultancies in the UK, and currently has more than 300 agency members from around the world, including the majority of the top 150 UK consultancies. We also represent over 100 in-house communications teams from multinationals, UK charities and leading UK public sector organisations.


Pearson in Practice

Pearson in Practice deliver world-class, learner focussed, employer driven training, purpose designed around individual needs and business objectives. Pearson in Practice provides high-quality, industry-specific training and qualifications, through Apprenticeships, work-based, technical and specialised programmes.

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