The Publishers Association’s Work in Publishing campaign, aimed at encouraging young people between the ages of 14 and 24 to pursue a career in publishing, takes place this week (16th–20th November), involving publishers including HarperCollins, Penguin Random House and Hachette.
Encouraging the trade to amplify careers information and join in by sharing why they love to #WorkInPublishing on social media, the PA has said it hopes the campaign will reach more people than ever before. Ruth Howells, deputy director of external affairs at the PA, said: "There’s still time to get involved. We would love to see as many people as possible sharing insights and advice to inspire young people to join this vibrant and creative industry."
As part of the activity planned for this year’s Work in Publishing campaign, HarperCollins will be doing schools outreach, providing downloadable CV advice and templates as well as hosting a webinar to demystify publishing plus daily "How I got into Publishing" Zoom panels.
Penguin Random House’s "JobHack" programme will be hosted virtually for Work in Publishing Week, featuring talks throughout the week with different colleagues across the business speaking about their roles and career journeys. The publisher is also supporting the Spare Zoom Project, as previously reported, matching people already working in the industry with people across the UK looking to learn more about a potential career in publishing, connecting them to have an informal 30-minute virtual conversation via Zoom, the video conferencing app.
Hachette UK will be sharing information about its year-long traineeship scheme with Creative Access for candidates from black, Asian and minority ethnic backgrounds, meanwhile. Since the scheme began in 2017, all of the trainees on the programme have gone on to embark on careers within the publishing and creative industries, and 60% have continued in roles at Hachette UK. This year Hachette UK has extended the programme by six months due to Covid-19. It had five trainees in this cohort: three are now in permanent roles at Hachette UK, one is on the extended traineeship, and one left in October for a permanent role at another publisher.
In their advice to publishers that are seeking to improve in the area of diversity and inclusion, graduates of Hachette UK's traineeship scheme said publishers "need more people of colour in the room", including at more senior levels. One trainee, Hamzah Hussain, publishing executive at Bookouture, added to this: "It is important to attract people to creative industries like publishing at an earlier stage. We should show young people how and why publishing could be a great career choice for them – and that's not only for English Lit students. I've said before: It's great to have the door open to people, but you need to give them a reason to step through it."
Continuing Work in Publishing Week's activity, the Publishers Association, Pop Up Projects and the House of Illustration are partnering to host five webinars, intended to support the professional development of aspiring and emerging illustrators from underrepresented and marginalised communities.
There will also be a competition to win a year’s free membership to the Society of Young Publishers, while Inspired Selection is hosting daily lunchtime Twitter Q&As with sector specialists and sharing information about different areas of the industry across its social channels throughout the week.