The Book Trade Charity is to give support to publishers to offer internships at above the minimum wage.
The initiative follows on from the "Entry into the Book Trade" project launched by the charity at the end of 2014, through which it offers support to candidates coming for interview for a first job in the industry, to cover costs such as travel, accommodation or perhaps an interview suit.
David Hicks, Book Trade Charity chief executive, announced the intern scheme at the Scottish Book Trade Conference in Edinburgh yesterday (24th February). "With smaller companies, many would like to take an intern, but think, 'Can I afford to pay more than the absolute minimum?'," he said. "A company may be able to afford to pay the minimum wage, but that is not enough to justify a youngster working three to six months for them. We would look at adding an allowance, a contribution to accommodation and travel, which we reckon would be a couple of thousand over the period of the internship."
The entry criteria for interns is an open one, Hicks said, though there is an intention that the scheme should fit in with the increasing focus on equality and diversity in the industry's workforce. "But most youngsters are going to be financially challenged," Hicks noted. "We'd be slightly more reluctant to back someone who fits the stereotype of the white middle-class English Literature graduate, but most people don't have Mummy providing a flat in Mayfair so we wouldn't be too discriminatory [in that direction]."
The charity has £25,000 for a pilot project on the interns scheme and will shortly host application details on its website.
Meanwhile those interested in more information can also contact firstname.lastname@example.org.