Penguin Random House U.K. "will now pay its work experience participants the National Living Wage in a bid to make the publishing industry more accessible and diverse," the Bookseller reported, adding that each year 450 work experience placements will be offered at the publisher "to give people a taste of what it's like to work for the trade publisher as part of a two-week structured learning program."
Under the new initiative, all participants will receive a salary of £262.50 (about $332) per week, compared to previously being compensated for travel and food expenses. PRH is also providing access to subsidized accommodation through a trial partnership with the Book Trade Charity to encourage people based outside of London to apply.
Unlike PRH's paid interns, who undergo an application and interview process similar to applying for a job at the company, "work experience candidates are 'randomly selected,' without any pre-requisite skills or experience necessary, and are referred to as 'students' in so much as they are there to learn rather than to work," the Bookseller noted.
"At Penguin Random House we want to be open to the very best talent, regardless of background," said PRH U.K. CEO Tom Weldon. "We also believe it is vitally important that the publishing industry reflects the society we live in today. But we recognize that only covering expenses for work experience has been a barrier for many young people in the past. Through meaningful and paid work experience, we hope to open the door to the next generation of passionate and creative young people, helping them to establish their careers, and develop a skilled pipeline of future talent."