The inaugural cohort of "driven, enthusiastic" publishing assistant apprentices have completed their training, with 15 out of the 16 continuing to work in the publishing industry on graduating.
Of the number, 60% achieved a distinction in the programme, which was launched in 2019 and is run by LDN Apprenticeships, supported by the Publishers Association. The programme awards the candidate with a Level 3 publishing qualification. Owing to the pandemic, the scheme was extended and adapted to be deliverable online, consisting of on-demand content, masterclasses and monthly live sessions led by publishing coaches.
One of the first cohort was furloughed for a period and is expected to complete training later this year. Twelve of the apprentices have secured jobs with the employers they completed their apprenticeship with and some have secured positions at publishers including Simon & Schuster, Hera Books and Oxford University Press.
Simon Bozzoli, c.e.o. of LDN Apprenticeships, said: “We are very proud of our first group of publishing apprentices. Their results are a testament to their hard work and the grit and determination they have shown during a very challenging 18 months. Our aim is to make the Publishing Assistant Apprenticeship the best entry-level training programme for people new to the industry. We are excited to be scaling up this incredible apprenticeship and we look forward to working with many more publishing employers of all sizes to introduce a diverse group of future leaders to the publishing industry.”
Ruth Howells, deputy director of external affairs at the Publishers Association, commented: “Huge congratulations to our first cohort of apprentices. We have enjoyed hearing about your experiences and wish you all the best in your publishing careers. The Publishing Assistant Apprenticeship has been a success and achieved our principle aim of creating another path into the industry. We encourage publishers to consider recruiting apprentices. Please do get in touch with us or LDN Apprenticeships if you have any questions.”
Cameron Briggs, who was apprenticed to Oxford University Press, said: “My time on the publishing assistant apprenticeship has been brilliant for improving my industry knowledge and my confidence as an editor. The supportive coaches and staff at LDN as well as the inspiring group of people in the cohort gave me the confidence and drive to strive for excellence in my work.
“It’s thanks to this support that I was able to secure a new editorial role in educational publishing during the apprenticeship (mid-pandemic) and also pass my apprenticeship with distinction. It has helped me massively in navigating the start of my career in publishing and in seeing the big picture of the industry.
“The knowledge and skills you learn are great, but the true value is in the network of supportive, like-minded people who are always pushing each other on. I feel I have built a strong network that will continue to support me through my future career. Overall, I've had a great experience being an apprentice.”
Joanne Murphy, head of production at Bloomsbury, said: “It was a huge boon to my production team to have two LDN publishing apprentices on-board for 15 months. It enabled us to work through a number of projects that we would not have been able to complete otherwise which had a direct and positive impact on our output, title availability and ultimately sales.
“Most of all their energy, drive and enthusiasm proved to be a real morale boost for the whole team who really enjoyed working alongside them. I was delighted to be able to offer them permanent positions in the team at the end of the apprenticeship and they continue to be huge assets; not least because the apprenticeship has taught them so much about all areas of publishing and so many skills that they are a valuable resource for their colleagues and a great aid in helping guide new starters and introduce them to the business. The Publishing Assistant Apprenticeship Standard Curriculum is designed to be the perfect introduction to publishing with the content of the course authored by leading industry figures.”
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