Penguin Random House UK offers fully paid work experience to open up opportunities in publishing – here’s all you need to know about the changes in our FAQ.

Posted 18.04.17 by prhcareers

You might have noticed that we’ve announced some big news about our work experience placements.

From April 18th we’ll pay all work experience placements the National Living Wage – calculated at £7.50 per hour or £262.50 per week.

You have until the 2nd May to apply for work experience placements in June and July – head here if you’re curious to find out how to get involved.

As part of our aims to make publishing more inclusive, we want to break down barriers to entering the industry and make sure it’s open and accessible to everyone. Last year we took steps towards this by offering all places based on random selection and stopping all personal referrals for work experience. You can read about more about what we’ve been up to here.

Now, by paying everyone who completes work experience with us a National Living Wage, we hope to open up the opportunity to gain meaningful experience in publishing to even more people.

Even though you’ll be paid, there will be no contract or selection process like a CV or interview. Placements are randomly selected, based only on your availability and preference for a department. The reason we offer places in this way is because work experience is not a job which requires special skills– it’s a learning experience.

More information about the programme can be found on our careers page, or in the FAQ below:

How do I apply for work experience?

Applications are made on our careers site. We have a quarterly application window where you’ll be able to apply for placements 2-3 months in advance.

Applications for work experience between June and July are open now until 2nd May – please click here to apply.

How does the application process work?

You can apply through our online application form on our careers page.

Places are allocated through random selection, depending only on your availability and department preference.

We’ll start by asking for your contact details and a few bits of information to make sure you’re eligible to take part in work experience (more information below).

We’ll then ask a few questions around what makes you tick, why you want to join us on work experience and what you hope to get from it. We’ll also ask you if you have a preference regarding the department you’ll join, as well as what your interests are, as we’d like to try and match you with the most suitable team that.

We won’t select anyone based on their answers to these questions; they will just help us to get to know you better and understand what you want to get from your time with us.

We’re really passionate about what we do and love to see curiosity, so keep this in mind when telling us about yourself, especially as your answers will be your first introduction to the department.

Who can apply for work experience?

There are a couple of requirements we need you to meet in order to apply.

Firstly, we can only offer placements to those who are over 18 and have the right to work and train in the UK.

Secondly, we’re also really passionate about giving as many people as possible the chance to try out work experience with us, so please wait at least 6 months to apply again if you’ve already completed a placement with us.

What can I expect on work experience?

During your placement, you’ll be sitting within a team, getting a feel for the kind of work they do and learning what goes on around you. So it should be a good insight into what a work place is like and how we get things done.

You’ll have a buddy who’ll be there to guide you through your placement, and be first port of call for any questions you have along the way.

What are the hours and duration of the placement?

Our office hours are typically 09.30 – 17.30, Monday to Friday. Placements are normally two-weeks long but if you would prefer to join us for a week, let us know once you secure a place and we’ll see if we can accommodate this.

Where does work experience take place?

We offer work experience at all three of our London offices (Strand, Pimlico and Ealing).

What can I do to increase my chances of getting work experience?

Placements are randomly selected, based on your availability and department preference. You’ll need to have answered all application questions in order to be eligible, but we don’t select anyone based on these.

Do you offer work experience to those still at school?

For now, no. You must be over 18 to take part.

When should I expect to hear back after applying?

As much as we’d like to, high demand means we’re unable to offer everyone a place. We’ll let you know whether you have secured a place of not within a few weeks of applications closing. If we don’t have a place for you this time round, please do keep trying in the future.

Occasionally, additional opportunities for work experience do become available outside of the application windows, so there may be the odd occasion that you hear about an opportunity a month or two down the line.

When can I next apply?

Applications are open now for placements during June and July, and they close on 2nd May. Our next application window will open in June for placements between August and September. Keep an eye out on our careers page for more information nearer the time.

What’s the difference between your work experience placements and internships? Can I apply for both?

Our summer internships are 10 weeks long and interns are set a specific work project based on a real business challenge to work on and ‘own’. They’re paid the London Living Wage – currently an hourly rate of £9.75.

In contrast, work experience lasts two weeks and provides a structured learning experience and taster of a department, Penguin Random House and publishing in general. Placements run throughout the year but we have specific times of the year where you can apply. For more information, head to our careers and Facebook pages.

Please feel free to apply to both.

I’ve seen that you may be able to offer subsidised accommodation for those based outside London? How can I apply?

Accommodation will be provided through a trial partnership with The Book Trade Charity. More details on this and how to apply will be available soon.

Will you still pay my expenses or subsidise travel costs?

During your placement you’ll be paid a National Living Wage, which is £7.50 per hour or £262.50 per week. This salary exceeds the amount we previously offered in expenses and travel subsidy; we no longer offer those.

We will also give people coming from outside of London access to subsidised accommodation through a trial partnership with The Book Trade Charity. More details on this will be available soon.

I applied last time – do I need to apply again?

If you weren’t offered a place last time we’ll contact you to let you know when the next opportunity to apply will be.