What is the Next Editors Programme?

The Next Editors Programme is an 18 month-long positive action traineeship which offers talent from Black, Asian and minority ethnic backgrounds the opportunity to develop key skills and expertise required for a role as a Commissioning Editor at a book publisher. We are offering four traineeships, each of which will take place in one of four editorial teams within our publishing houses.

The traineeship will comprise a balance of on-the-job learning with one of our publishing teams together with a formalised training programme, and with additional support through mentoring and coaching.

Why have you developed this programme?

We’ve developed this programme because we have an underrepresentation of colleagues working in Commissioning Editor roles from Black, Asian and minority ethnic backgrounds, and so are taking positive action to resolve this (under the Equality Act 2010).

Having a more representative talent pool at this level is so important because our Commissioning Editors play a hugely significant role in what we publish. If we are to fulfil our mission of publishing books for everyone, then we ourselves also need to represent the rich diversity of UK society and ensure our editors are seeking out and publishing stories for all kinds of readers.

Diversifying our Commissioning Editor population was one of the actions we outlined in our Diversity and Inclusion strategy, as part of our focus on improving representation across the company. You can read the strategy in full here.

What do I get from being on this programme, and what happens after 18 months?

This traineeship is designed to provide you with the skills and expertise required for a Commissioning Editor role. You’ll receive a tailored training plan, mentorship and creative opportunities throughout the 18 months, and will receive an annual salary of £32,000. You would also be eligible for the annual pay review in January 2023.

Although the nature of positive action programmes mean we cannot guarantee a role at the end of the traineeship, we can guarantee that you will have gained a wealth of experience and knowledge that is tailored to putting you in the best position to apply for future Commissioning Editor roles.

If you transition from the traineeship to a new role with Penguin Random House, we’ll continue to offer you tailored career support with mentoring, career check-ins and training so that you can achieve your long-term career goals.

This tailored support is extended even if your next career move is not with us. We’ll support you with regular check-ins beyond the programme, as well as offering a fully funded package to support your transition. This will include sessions with an expert and dedicated career counsellor, access to learning events and seminars, as well as specialist CV and interview advice.

Who is able to apply?

Our Next Editors Programme is open to applicants from Black, Asian and minority ethnic backgrounds who are interested in developing the skills required to take on a Commissioning Editor role in the publishing industry.

This is not an entry level programme, so we’re looking for people who already have some experience in the world of work. This can be in any industry or role – we’re not looking for people who have specific publishing experience. Instead, we’re looking for the potential to be a Commissioning Editor by demonstrating the qualities which are transferable.

You must also be over 18.

Can I apply if I already work in publishing?

Yes you can. Our goal is to improve representation of different ethnicities within the Commissioning Editor population at Penguin Random House, so if you already have some experience within publishing you are still eligible. You will be assessed based on the transferable skills needed for this role, alongside applicants who may not have any publishing experience. 

Do I need to have previous experience to apply?

The Next Editors Programme is more senior than our entry level programmes, so we’ll be looking for candidates with the skills and experience that are transferable from their working life so far. This doesn’t need to be work experience from within publishing, we’re very interested in the variety of experience and expertise that you’d be able to bring from another industry. As long as you have demonstrated the skills needed, we want to hear from you.

Is the traineeship open to all ages?

There is no upper age limit for the traineeship, our only requirement is that you are over the age of 18.

When will the traineeship start?

The 4 trainee places will start the traineeship together as a cohort.

The traineeships will begin mid-March 2022, and as the recruitment process progresses, we will continue discussions to consider all applicants different notice periods / availability to start.

What are the working hours?

To get the most out of the programme, you'll be working full time, five days a week.

Your contractual working week will be 35 hours, 9:30am - 5:30pm.

We take a flexible approach to working hours, so you can work with your manager to agree a best approach.

Will I be able to work remotely / flexibly?

The traineeship is a fast track learning experience. It's designed to be done mainly in person. This is so that you can get the most from the experience and training within 18 months, such as interacting with colleagues from different departments and shadowing and participating in meetings. 

As a company we are currently trialling a hybrid working environment so similarly to the wider company, there will be opportunities to work from home, to be determined with your host team on an individual basis.

You should expect to be based at our London offices for the majority of the traineeship, with occasional travel to meetings and events.

What support is there for me as a disabled applicant?

If you have a disability, we want to make sure you can be your best at each step of the recruitment journey. We’ll ask you at each stage of the process if you need an adjustment. This could include (but isn’t limited to) using a BSL interpreter or extra time in a task. If you’re successful in securing one of the trainee places we’ll before you join if there’s any adjustments you’ll need when you start. We’re members of the Business Disability Forum, and have access to support through Unum, occupational health, Employee Assistance Programme and other specialist providers.

As a Disability Confident Committed organisation, we will offer an interview to disabled candidates who are eligible for the programme and best meet the essential criteria for the traineeship.

After submitting your application online, if you would like to opt in, please send an email to PRHCareersUK@penguinrandomhouse.co.uk with the subject:

"Next Editors Programme [Recr TTL 351]"

This lets us know you would like to participate in the Disability Confident interview scheme.

There may be times where the volume of applications means we cannot take all eligible candidates to interview.

If you opt in but are not given an interview, we’ll let you know if this is because of the volume of applications or if you haven’t met the essential criteria this time.

If you have any questions about the scheme or would like to request any reasonable adjustments please email us at PRHCareersUK@penguinrandomhouse.co.uk with your query or request a call with Ellie in the HR team.

disability confident committed badge

If you have a question that hasn’t been covered here, you can contact the careers team by email at PRHcareersUK@penguinrandomhouse.co.uk 

Sign up to the Penguin Newsletter

For the latest books, recommendations, author interviews and more