At last year’s Inclusivity Conference run by the London Book Fair and the Publishers Association, we made two pledges:-
Our first pledge was to continue the outreach work that we have been doing for many years: To educate other qualified Careers Advisers that publishing is open to all. This has involved us travelling around the country to participate in events, as well as write for relevant publications and organisations such as the CDI. Our next outreach is on Thursday, 2nd March 2017 to the Central Careers Hub and we are always open to doing more.
The second pledge is slightly more complicated and concerns building a work experience scheme for 14-16 year olds. Suzanne Collier, founder of bookcareers.com started her career in book publishing at the age of 16, and has done very well out of it. Back in 1983 there were a wealth of opportunities, not restricted by age. It seems ridiculous now that the industry has regressed and many publishers of today will not allow under 18s on their premises. There have been a raft of excuses given, from ‘I don’t know why’ to the standard response of health and safety. One or two publishers do allow under 18s, but this is only through a school with whom they have a long-standing arrangement.
We want to change this and would like to hear from any publishers who would be open to discussing and participating in work experience schemes for under 18s. We particularly want to focus on the 14-16 age group as this is the time children tend to make their first clear decisions as to a future career. There are no plans as of yet whether the experience will be a class visit for the day or one or two pupils for a week at a time. But if you are at a publisher and would like to encourage inclusivity by opening up the industry to those from all walks of life and all backgrounds, please get in touch. Book Publishing is a great career choice, let’s make it open to all.
Watch a video about our pledges.
And Suzanne Collier’s thoughts about the Inclusivity Conference and the actions we all must take.