Deputy prime minister Nick Clegg visited the Random House offices on Vauxhall Bridge Road earlier today (5th June) as part of his "Opening Doors" campaign to make access to jobs fair and open to all talented young candidates.
Clegg made the visit with entrepreneur James Caan and 40 young people. Random House Group chairman and c.e.o. Gail Rebuck hosted the event, which saw Yawande Odunubi, who works in RHCP design, talking about her experiences of coming into Random House via the creative access internship programme.
Also speaking were digital key account manager Crystal Mahey-Morgan, digital publisher Dan Franklin, Century publishing director Ben Dunn, UK sales key account manager Chris Turner, Cornerstone press officer Philippa Cotton and Vintage senior designers Matthew Broughton and James Jones.
Clegg said: "We have a big problem in this country. Every year employers are closing their doors to talented young people. This is a terrible waste of talent and potential that could be otherwise boosting our economy and driving growth in our businesses. In good times whis would be tragic. In tough economic times, it is unforgiveable. Today I'm on a mission to ask companies, large and small, to open their doors to the incredible talent out there and sign up to our campaign."
Random House was an early signatory to the campaign. Initiatives the publisher has already put in place include using Facebook to open up work experience opportunities to all, financially supporting students from less privileged backgrounds and offering paid internships.
Rebuck said: "We are committed to doing as much as we can to make sure that we open up access to working in our terrific industry. We want to leave behind the days when getting into publishing was down to who you knew, not what you knew. We are an industry in transition, in the midst of a digital revolution and it is today's digitally savvy young people who will help us continue to expand the audiences for our authors."
Caan said he was supporting Clegg’s campaign because he knew that other people with a similar background to himself struggle to get the skills and training they need to get jobs or enter business. “That’s why I’m joining forces with the prime minister,” he said. “Together we are committed to ensuring that no matter where you’re from, who your parents are, or what school you went to, you should be able to succeed in life and fulfil your potential by creating a fairer process to get a job.”
Organisations signing up to the campaign commit to working with local schools and communities to raise aspirations, ensuring fair access to work opportunities with financial assistance and recruiting openly and fairly.
More information can be had via the Opening Doors page on www.gov.uk/dpm.