A foundation set up by a recruitment consultancy to encourage black and ethnic minority candidates to work in public relations has been awarded charitable status.
The Taylor Bennett Foundation, set up by specialist communications headhunter Taylor Bennett in 2008 to encourage black and minority ethnic (BAME) candidates to join the communications profession, now has around 100 alumni, of whom almost 70% are working in communications.
The Foundation’s 8-10 week training courses, run four times a year, pay trainees a training allowance (roughly equivalent to the national minimum wage) and travel expenses, and are sponsored by a range of PR agencies.
Taylor Bennett CEO Dr Heather McGregor commented:
‘We are thrilled that the Foundation has achieved charitable status. It will enable it to expand its activities and, with the help of its many supporters and business partners, put the Foundation on a sustainable basis for the long-term. This will truly help to change the face of the communications industry.’
Major supporters have included Brunswick as the founding agency sponsor; Talk PR as the first consumer PR agency to become a sponsor; and, more recently, MHP and Edelman as course sponsors. The University of East London has been involved from the beginning and, in the past five years, the programme has been supported by a growing number of business partners, universities and industry bodies including the CIPR and PRCA.
Taylor Bennett won the Lord Mayor’s Dragon Award for Social Inclusion for the Foundation’s work in 2010 and, in 2012, the ‘Collaboration and Partnership Award’ in Business in the Community’s ‘Race for Opportunity’ Awards.