Artisan Marketing Communications offers clients PR and marketing communications advice, practical support and implementation.

Sunday, January 14, 2007

Apprenticeships for marketing and PR

Jamie Oliver, you might find him irritating or inspirational, but he often talks sense.

He has taken a side swipe at the government for pushing university at school leavers and not investing in apprenticeships.

What is the point of of 50% of school leavers going to college when there are not enough jobs for them? And The Guardian commented on Saturday that even Oxbridge graduates are guaranteed nothing.

Why not have apprenticeships for marketing and PR?

Some years ago I was talking to an academic who was setting up a post graduate course for PR. I asked him excitedly where he had worked. The answer, in a blase fashion was, "I haven't worked in PR."

I have wondered ever since how you can teach something you have never even tried.

I have also noted that many professions can be learnt in the world of work with perhaps some college release.

Do not misunderstand me, university and learning do have merit. And you should learn for the enjoyment and interest of a subject, even if there is no job waiting for you. We sometimes forget that.

Yes, marketers and PRs should invest in professionals qualifications - it shows interest in their profession and a desire to add to their skills. But the key skills / attributes are surely enthusiasm, openness to improving skills, writing, analytical skills, ability to interact with colleagues and clients and common sense.

If those interested in marketing and PR wish to do an English degree - fine. All I am saying is there should be an alternative and the government should not encourage such large numbers to go into university because they do not have a clue what to do with them or the misapprehension that having such large numbers in education will make us an economic superpower.

Would marketing and PR wither away if universities cut 75% of graduates in marketing, PR and business. The answer is surely "no!"


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