The publishing and media industry is one of the most competitive for work placements in the UK, with a higher applicant-position ratio than financial and legal services. Despite this, those with relevant qualifications and experience in the editorial, writing and publishing fields are highly sought after across the world, with several international companies stating a preference for people who graduated from British universities, who have also worked within UK companies. Experience, of course, is the one thing that many graduates seeking employment have problems with. Most publishing and media companies – both within and outside of the UK – expect candidates to have experience in their chosen roles. To this end, Arkbound has helped to develop a programme for people looking to enter the publishing and media industry, which will increase their chances of employment in this sector.
The Publishing Excellence Programme provides office-based work and training within publishing and media. Arkbound is one of a handful of organisations across the UK that offers this Programme. With a focus on practical proofreading, creative writing and editing, the Programme is unique in its ability to provide a proven track record that will assist with future employment. Upon conclusion of the Programme, each candidate shall be provided with a reference that reflects upon their work, together with an in-depth report and embossed certificate. They will have a stronger understanding of the publishing and media industry, together with new skills that fit with their chosen area.
|The basics of proofreading
||The basics of proofreading
|Copy-editing in practice
||Copy-editing in practice
|Book editing OR magazine editing
|Book publishing process
|Digital publishing and blogs
||Book publishing process
|Creative writing tasks
|Working in the industry
||Working in the industry
||Magazine content co-ordination
||Digital publishing and blogs
|Creative writing tasks
The Publishing Excellence Programme is delivered in partnership with other publishers, whose unique expertise and experience allows candidates to pursue specific areas of interest. Other publishers currently involved with the Programme are:
Valiant (Non-fiction books and magazines) – Birmingham
UpScribe (Non-fiction and fiction books)– Newcastle
The Write Factor (Non-fiction and fiction books) – North Devon
Mothers’ Milk Books (Women’s interest books) – Nottingham
The Programme also seeks to involve and collaborate with other publishers, as well as organisations connected to the development of creative writing, journalism and publishing in general. Through these connections, the Programme has the capacity to offer cross-placements with different organisations, who will help each candidate by sharing information sheets, mentorship, and contacts for onward employment.
1-1 Tuition and Training
Each successful candidate will receive 1-1 tuition and training in all modules of their chosen Programme components. They will be allocated a dedicated mentor, who will usually be an experienced editor. For specialised module sections, they will also have the opportunity of meeting outside speakers – from published authors to press relation officers.
Depending on the component selected, elements of the Programme will include work in different locations (such as reporting on an event or venue), interactive seminars, and creative workshops.
Upon successful completion of the Programme, candidates will be supported to find onward employment. In some cases, a delivery partner may be able to directly recruit a candidate, or will refer them to a company that can. There will no additional fees or costs in this process. Completion will also result in a detailed reference, report and certificate that candidates can list on their CV and provide potential employers.
Those who complete the Programme will also receive first consideration for any publishing positions and internships that are available within the participating publishers. Funding and match-funding is available to ensure such positions are accessible and fairly remunerated (see below).
Candidates for the Publishing Excellence Programme will be expected to have high standards of written English, with proficient use of Microsoft Word. Each candidate will need to pass two assessments before being accepted onto the Programme (regardless of its length). Further, each candidate must be legally allowed to work in the UK.
The full cost of the Publishing Excellence Programme is £900 or £1,700 for the 8 and 12 week components respectively. These costs cover use of office equipment, staff supervision, course materials, use of building facilities, attendance of training activities and events, together with all associated tuition. Arkbound is able to fully sponsor candidates (covering all costs) who are genuinely unable to cover the costs and who demonstrate exceptional skills in the assessments (see below).
Arkbound can sponsor the following categories of applicants:
- Those who are Not in Employment, Education or Training (‘NEET’);
- Those who are on benefits due to a disability;
- Those who have been referred by a qualifying charity or community organisation.
There are limited spaces for fully sponsored applicants, but each one will not be expected to pay any costs and will also have expenses for travel, food and any course work covered. Where Arkbound is unable to fully sponsor a candidate, there are other funding avenues available (see below).
The participating publishers have links with several funders who may be able to cover the costs of the Programme, and any expenses incurred whilst undertaking it. These include:-
The Printing Charity (they run an annual Print Futures Award, open to anyone under 30 that covers up to £1500). https://www.theprintingcharity.org.uk
The Stationers’ Foundation (their Major Awards programme is open to anyone under 25 and covers up to £2000). They also award financial assistance and scholarships. https://stationers.org/education-charity/education/scholarships-and-awards.html
The Book Trade Charity (they provide grants for internships for people under 30 with financial difficulties, covering between £1000-£2000).
Other funding (there are a variety of other funding opportunities, both localised and associated with particular areas – the participating publishers will help candidates identify and apply for these where appropriate).
Candidates will be allocated core assessments that they will be expected to complete during, and upon conclusion of, the Programme. These assessments will either have a focus on book or magazine publishing (three assessments). In the case of the 12-week component, there will be six assessments in total that cover both books and magazines.