The Bookseller and The Publishers Association have worked on these guidelines for employers on how to treat interns fairly, and with the best chance of success for them to learn and be part of the team.
If a publisher is serious about improving diversity, making getting into publishing easier and fairer and also hiring people in a professional and transparent manner, then following these guidelines should be easy and worthwhile.
As an industry, we should show potential jobseekers that the industry is fair, inclusive and evolving away from the idea that working for free is ‘character building’ and ‘what people should do’.
Interning is a fantastic way for those who are looking to get into publishing to gain experience and a great way for employers to encourage others to join the industry. However, a bad internship not only fails to give the intern relevant experience, it is also a waste of time for the employer. Being an intern can be daunting, particularly if you don’t come from a background which has given you confidence around professional adults, and a badly-organised internship can put them off publishing as a career.