Weber Shandwick & Media Trust launch UK internship programme to foster diversity among future public relations leaders

Weber Shandwick, one of the world’s leading global communications and engagement firms, has teamed up with Media Trust, the UK’s leading communications charity, to create a new paid internship programme aimed at bringing more diverse talent into the public relations industry. The programme will seek to recruit three to four young people from a broad range of backgrounds into Weber Shandwick each year. Initially, the programme will focus on engaging less advantaged young people in the London area.

Weber Shandwick’s Chief Executive Officer, UK & EMEA, Colin Byrne, said: “We are deeply committed to championing diversity in our industry and to our long running association with the great work of Media Trust. Along with our new partnership with The Taylor Bennett Foundation to encourage ethnic minorities to pursue a career in communications, this new intern programme is a practical step which I hope other PR firms will follow.”

Founded in 1994, the Media Trust has been instrumental in helping tens of thousands of charities, community groups and young people to develop their communications skills and tell their stories. This newest internship programme follows a successful pilot internship between Media Trust and Weber Shandwick with a participant from the charity’s 2015 Transforming Hidden Talent programme, Qadar Arif, who secured a full-time role with Weber Shandwick’s London-based corporate communications practice. Media Trust will extend the new internship programme pilot early in 2017 and recruit participants from its 2017 Transforming Hidden Talent peer mentoring programme as well. During the internship, each candidate will spend one month in each of four specialist practices to gain experience across a number of PR and communications disciplines, including digital & social media.

Caroline Diehl, Chief Executive and Founder of the Media Trust, said: “Media Trust is delighted to be a partner in this powerful initiative. Strengthening diversity across the UK’s media and creative industries is vital for our communities, as well as bringing innovation and new talent into the sector.”

Qadar Arif, a participant of the Media Trust’s 2015 Transforming Hidden Talent programme, said: “After I finished university it was very difficult to find a stable position in communications, but this internship programme gave me an opportunity that I didn’t think was possible. Everyone at Weber Shandwick has been incredibly supportive to help me grow and start my career.”

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