Creative Access calls for publishing mentors

Creative Access calls for publishing mentors

Diversity social enterprise Creative Access is launching a new mentoring scheme and is seeking volunteers from the publishing industry.

Creative Access places entry level black, Asian and minority ethnic (BAME) candidates into creative internships and has worked with publishing companies including Penguin Random House, Hachette and The Bookseller. The not-for-profit social enterprise has placed almost 800 interns over the past five years, including over 150 young BAME candidates in publishing organisations across the UK. However, despite the "excellent start" given during their internships, many of alumni "still feel the need for ongoing guidance and advice as they progress their career", said c.e.o. Josie Dobrin.

To remedy this, Creative Access is launching a mentoring service to help support its alumni community. The enterprise is particularly looking for more senior individuals – located anywhere in the UK - who have the time and skills to commit to working with alumni to help them build on the foundations of their career and progress through to more senior levels.

Dobrin told The Bookseller: "There are so many brilliant people around who have a huge amount of advice and expertise to offer up and coming talent. The difference between having a mentor and not having one can really be make or break for someone’s career. If the publishing industry is serious about diversity and inclusivity, people need to take individual responsibility for investing in young people."

The social enterprise has already begun to match mentors and mentees and aims to match 100 pairs within six months.

"The publishing industry has always been hugely supportive – and early adopters – of Creative Access and what we are trying to achieve, so I’m expecting (and hoping) that lots of people will come forward to volunteer", said Dobrin.

Interested parties should complete this form or contact Creative Access via its website. There is no deadline for signing up as the scheme is a rolling programme Creative Access hopes will continue "as long as possible".

Creative Access was previously a charity funded by the government before £2m worth of financial support was pulled last year.

This prompted an outcry in the publishing industry and a petition was to save the charity garnered over 3,000 signatures including those of authors Cathy Rentzenbrink and Nikesh Shukla, and joint c.e.o. of Curtis Brown Jonny Geller. Meanwhile, Pan Macmillan pledged £50,000 to help the charity.

Dobrin has previously said responses from the trade and the help offered by Pan Macmillan along with Faber and Hachette had been "brilliant".

Creative Access now operates as a not-for-profit social enterprise.