Leeds Metropolitan University’s Business School has joined forces with several organsations to encourage public relations companies to hire, and pay, interns from diverse backgrounds.
The other organisations include Public Relations Consultants Association (PRCA), PRWeek, Taylor Bennett Foundationand Intern Aware
The ‘PR Internships For All’ campaign is calling on the Top 25 PRCA public relations consultancies to hire interns from non-Russell Group universities for at least a month on the national minimum wage during the next 12 months.
Francis Ingham, director general of the PRCA said: “We welcome Leeds Business School’s involvement in the campaign.
"As one of the forerunners of PR education in the UK we believe the university has an important role to play in helping to improve diversity in the public relations profession.“
Robert Minton-Taylor, Senior Lecturer in PR at Leeds Metropolitan University, said: “We are committed to working with PRCA member agencies to help them source the right candidates for internships.
"PR Internships For All will give students a real opportunity to contribute to the success and vitality of the PR industry with the best PRCA member agencies in the country rather than being seen as a source of cheap labour. It’s a win-win situation.“
Observational research conducted last December (2013) by final year PR students at Leeds Met has shown that some students feel they are excluded from taking part in internships and work experience programmes because many are unpaid.
The ‘PR Internships For All’ campaign aims to provide a practical solution to the problem.
Leeds Business School will also support the campaign by offering PRCA member agencies guidance on how Leeds Met students are going to meet the aims and objectives in the internship and what evidence the students will need to produce to demonstrate achievement of those aims and objectives.