Higher fees, more competition for every university place and every graduate job, fierce competition for internships – the CIPR understands these are just a few of the challenges that face aspiring public relations professionals in their study or as graduates in the early stages of their career.
The CIPR values young communicators and their commitment to education and this year is embarking on “Year of the Student and Teacher” to run from 1 April 2011 to 31 March 2012.
The Chartered Institute aims to boost the prospects of PR professionals in the early stages of their career with a yearlong initiative highlighting practical support and a range of opportunities for graduates and students, whether they are studying for a CIPR qualification directly or on a higher or further education PR course anywhere in the UK.
‘The CIPR Year of the Student and Teacher’ will include:
For students and lecturers:
- Access, through the CIPR Research and Development Unit (RDU), to overviews of the latest industry and academic research
- Access to academic journals
- Providing clear and concise guidance for applicants on the questions to ask and what to look out for when applying for internships and work placements
- CV clinics and job interview technique training and support
- Special events for undergraduate, postgraduates and MBA students in conjunction with the CIPR Regional and Sectoral Groups, with seminars hosted across the UK.
- A year of Student competitions open to undergraduates and CIPR Certificate and Diploma students
- Re-launching the CIPR Graduate Opportunity service and broadening the scope of the scheme to ensure graduates have access to industry wide opportunities to find jobs, internships and work placements
- Providing employers with a toolkit reflecting the CIPR’s Work Placement Charter and wider industry thinking, clearly setting out the most appropriate and ethical way to offer and administer internships
- Offering graduates reduced rate access to all training courses and materials for the first three years of their PR career
- Graduate competitions including the chance to win a free place on the CIPR’s own postgraduate Diploma (subject to meeting all other eligibility criteria) and One to One PR masterclasses from local senior practitioners
- Access to specifically targeted programmes such as internships to address diversity issues in the profession
During the next two weeks CIPR Group Chairs and CIPR university course leaders will come together at the CIPR and discuss how the Chartered Institute can further support and encourage students and those who are teaching them, offering a host of new initiatives while maintaining and revitalising its traditional services for students.
The CIPR will also foster networking for CIPR University students and CIPR’s own qualifications students, both at home and abroad.
CIPR’s chief executive Jane Wilson said:
“The CIPR is committed to the providing practical assistance and guidance to members at every stage of their journey, but the first steps are probably the most important on the path to a successful career in PR.
“The CIPR is committed to providing meaningful support for students from all backgrounds as they study PR and to graduates as they seek to gain access to the profession.
“We appreciate that course leaders need support, that students want to make contacts through the industry to broaden their career horizons and that on leaving university they are often burdened with debt.
“We intend to help by making our services available, accessible and affordable as well as relevant to these groups.”
Anne Gregory, former President of the CIPR and director of the Centre for Public Relations Studies at Leeds Metropolitan University, said:
“This is a great initiative by the CIPR and illustrates the commitment it has to nurturing the young talent in our industry. At a time when students are facing significant debt and difficulties to pursue their chosen career, it is good to know that the CIPR is supporting them.
“These young professionals make a significant contribution through their work placements and internships and they are grateful to employers for providing these opportunities, indeed many interns do such a good job that they return as full time employees once their course is completed.
“The broader educational and research initiatives are also welcome. A mark of a serious profession is a healthy and robust link between academia and practice, each challenging the other to promote good practice and rigorous thinking”