A TEESSIDE PR consultancy has become the first in the region to publicly commit to a minimum wage for interns.
Darlington-based Recognition has become one of more than 30 PR agencies across the UK to sign up to a campaign to ensure all interns are paid for their work.
The move follows an initiative by the Public Relations Consultants Association (PRCA) – the professional body that represents UK PR consultancies – and PRWeek, a trade publication for the PR industry.
The PRCA placed a list on its site of all member agencies who commit to paying at least the minimum wage to interns.
Graham Robb, right, senior partner at Recognition, said he was proud the firm was setting an example.
He said internships allowed companies to evaluate the potential of possible employees.
Meanwhile, interns get the opportunity to build their CV and gain hands-on experience in a career sector.
Graham added: “There are many firms using interns in the North-east but not paying them.
“Sometimes clients don’t know their work has been done by unpaid interns.
“By paying interns a modest sum you can give them a real taste of the cut and thrust of life in the workplace. The scheme is to be welcomed and I am proud to say Recognition has paid its interns for a long time.”
Tom Hawkins, PRCA research and policy executive, said: “I’m delighted to see another member agency wanting to join up to our expanding intern list.
“PR is a people business that must attract the best and brightest talent, not the best connected.
“Our industry must improve in helping to ensure that nobody is deterred from a career in PR because of their background.
“Recognition is making a progressive commitment to paying interns that not only improves social mobility, but adds value to the service it provides.”
Other agencies to have signed up to the pledge include Edelman, MHP Communications, Burson-Marsteller, Grayling, Portland and Cohn & Wolfe.