Leading publishing industry figures have hailed the impact of Creative Access (CA) after the social enterprise group placed its 1,000th paid intern this week.
Since 2012, the organisation has found candidates from BAME or low socio-economic backgrounds three to 12-month internships with 400 different creative industry companies. It has also supported more than 20,000 young people in getting the skills needed for employment, including help with CVs and interview preparation.
Its 1,000th placement was secured for Patricia Chidavarume, who starts a marketing and administration assistant role at the Royal Society of Literature this week. Born in Zimbabwe, Chidavarume moved to the UK aged five, going to school in Luton and Bedford before studying English at the University of Brighton.
Chidavarume said she had tried for months to find a publishing job before CA helped out. She said: “I’ve finally landed my dream role. I really don’t know how much longer it would have taken me to get my foot in the door without Creative Access and I’m so very grateful to have found them."
Anthony Forbes Watson, m.d. at Pan Macmillan, said CA had transformed his company’s approach to getting a more diverse workforce. He said: “We salute CA’s 1,000 trainee milestone and thank CA for their lasting and vital contribution to enriching and strengthening the fabric of our business.”
Faber & Faber chief executive, Stephen Page, also praised the group, saying it played a vital role in better representing society. He added: “They are terrific partners for us at Faber, expert in what they do, and this landmark placement of their 1,000th trainee is a testament to the impact they continue to have in the creative sector. Long may they continue to do so.”
Since its launch, 89% of CA interns have secured permanent or freelance jobs after completing their stints. Major publishing houses, indie firms, literary agencies and trade associations have all got involved.
Successful interns include Sahina Begum, who was placed at Kogan Page before getting a marketing executive role at Bonnier, and Tanjiah Islam, now a marketing assistant at Orion.
CA chief executive Josie Dobrin said: “We are so thrilled that Creative Access is continuing to go from strength to strength and that we are developing so many creative leaders of the future. Thanks to overwhelming industry support we have created a compelling and effective model which will continue to bring under represented talent to the creative sector in order to help better reflect our society. We are so very grateful to all those who have supported us in our journey so far – way too many to mention – and look forward to continuing to evolve and support both the young people and the organisations with whom we work.”