BCW (Burson Cohn & Wolfe) Africa who are a partner to Engage Communications in Kenya, have launched the virtual version of its flagship internship programme, BCW Africa Starting Blocks, continent-wide.

Starting Blocks provides students from local universities with practical, on-the-job training combined with a theory programme spanning critical elements of public relations. The programme has been built on a long-standing partnership with South African universities which has ensured that it answers their requirements for final year students who need to complete an internship in order to graduate.

The first Starting Blocks virtual programme commences on 01 October 2020, with 45 participants hailing from 10 countries across the continent – Uganda, Kenya, Rwanda, Mauritius, Eswatini, Cote d’Ivoire, Ghana, Nigeria, Morocco and South Africa.

The programme covers lectures and practical exercises, and teamwork and feedback sessions.  All practical work is based on a case-study which will allow the interns to see progress using one case through all the different elements they learn.  There will also be “critical conversations” with leaders from the industry who will be our invited guests. These interactive sessions will allow our participants to pose their questions to experts in their fields, who will also share best practice examples and their top tips with the learners.

Robyn de Villiers, Chair and CEO, BCW Africa, had this to say, “2020 has given us all the opportunity to pause and reflect, to repurpose and improve on things we have done successfully in the past and to innovate to ensure we deliver on an even-better future. The expansion of the BCW Africa Starting Blocks programme across the continent is part of our ongoing commitment to our Africa network partners and to the up-and-coming talent the continent offers.  According to the World Bank, Africa has the largest return on education of any continent, with each additional year of schooling raising earnings by 11% for boys and 14% for girls. We are delighted to be able to make a contribution to furthering the educations of students of the communications profession through BCW Africa Starting Blocks, and we look forward to this initiative growing from strength to strength in the coming years.”