PA launches #Workinpublishing to attract young talent

PA launches #Workinpublishing to attract young talent

The Publishers Association is hosting #Workinpublishing across its social media channels next week, in a bid to raise awareness about the industry, change perceptions and to highlight it as a career option for school leavers.

Throughout next week (23rd - 27th November), the PA will be posting tips, blogs and industry-focused videos about jobs and opportunities in publishing, as well as hosting live Twitter chats and Q&As through Periscope to “demystify” publishing and demonstrate “the dynamism and innovation” within the sector.  

The campaign aims to attract school leavers from under-represented backgrounds in particular.

The #Workinpublishing campaign is coinciding with the PA’s presence at the Birmingham Skills Show, where, in partnership with the Independent Publishers Guild (IPG), it has a stand for the first time - next to the BBC and gaming industry - to encourage some 75,000 visitors to "have a go at publishing". Visitors can participate by creating their own interactive e-book with CircularFLO or learn how to write a book blurb or to design a bestseller. The PA and IPG have also assembled a team of volunteers from across the industry to be on hand to answer questions students might have about which part of publishing is best for them. It is hosting three seminars during the show: 'How to get into publishing with Stephanie Cox', publisher at Emerald Publishing Group, the Society of Young Publishers North and Jazmin Yanez, head of Human Resources at Hachette (19th November), 'Publishing: more than you ever imagined' with Marine Debray, corporate project executive of HarperCollins and Maria Vassilopoulos, business development manager at The Bookseller (today, 20th November); and a 'Digital Publishing Showcase' with Ken Jones, CircluarFLO and Asif Bashir from Unique Inspiration (21st November).

The aim of the campaign is to illuminate the many different career options available inside the industry. Susie Winter, director of policy and communications for the PA, said: “Members are acutely aware that publishing should be more representative and has work to do in attracting a broader range of young people into publishing. To do so, young people need to know about publishing, and the wide range of jobs on offer, and just how much the term ‘publishing’ represents: consumer, academic, professional, educational, children’s, apps and e-books and much more. It’s as much about ensuring publishing is seen as a career option for lawyers and accountants as it is for digital coders and science graduates.”

Winter added: “Importantly, while this is a week of focused activity, our push in this area will not stop. This is a long-term, ongoing, commitment.”

The PA has also been contacting university career centres to ensure students have all the information they need about joining the publishing industry readily available, and it has also been developing a "tool kit" to make it easy for those already in the industry to go back to their old or local school to talk about publishing as a career option. 

Chief executive of the PA, Richard Mollet, said: “#Workinpublishing aims to promote the publishing industry to young people looking to break into the sector, as well those who are yet to discover the wide range of career possibilities available. This programme demystifies publishing and demonstrates the dynamism and innovation underway in the sector. Whether working in research journals or children’s books, cookbooks or novels, a job in publishing involves connecting and engaging people with the written word.”

IPG Chief Executive, Bridget Shine added: “The IPG is delighted to be partnering with The Publishers Association on the #Workinpublishing initiative, and we encourage everyone in the industry to support it. As our members tell us, the need for publishers to attract diverse young talent and broad skill sets has never been greater. We hope that #Workinpublishing will put publishing on the radars of more young people as they make their career choices.”

The PA is encouraging the publishing workforce to support #workinpublishing week by getting involved and sharing their invaluable industry insight. The PA's Twitter handle is @PublishersAssoc for further updates.