HarperCollins’ traineeship scheme for BAME (black, Asian and minority ethnic) graduates has welcomed two successful candidates, Assallah Tahir and Bengono Bessala, and is confirmed to run again in 2017 after producing a strong pipeline for new entry-level staff.
Tahir and Bessala will benefit from the scheme, applications for which opened in June 2016, by taking part in a 12-month paid rotational training programme. They begin the programme in HarperCollins' Communications and Harlequin divisions respectively.
The application process has created a "pipeline of talent", according to HarperCollins, inviting final assessment stage candidates to apply for other entry level roles in the business. As a result, Benjamin Odero is completing a two-month internship in the HarperCollins Children’s PR team, Marianne Tatepo is set to start a permanent role in William Collins/4th Estate in December, and four other candidates are in the interview process for further roles.
HarperCollins was recently honoured at Business in the Community’s Race Equality Awards for its grass-roots diversity forum, HC All In, winning the Employee Network Award. It this year partnered with Whizz Kids in January to offer work placements for young disabled people and is also donating every audio recording of its new titles (and entire 2,000-strong backlist) free of charge to RNIB.
Director of People, John Athanasiou, said: “I am absolutely thrilled to welcome the extraordinary talents of Bengono and Assallah as they start their traineeships here at HarperCollins, and I also can’t wait to see the brilliant candidates that come from the scheme’s talent pipeline. As I said back in June, we wanted the reach of this initiative to encourage more BAME candidates to consider publishing as a future career. I think that we’ve now started that, and it’s been such a success that we’ll be doing the traineeship again in 2017 and hopefully beyond. We have a far-reaching strategy for diversity and inclusion here at HarperCollins, which is embraced by our 1,000 staff, and seeks to bring in the best talent from the widest pool so that we can reflect the society in which we live.”