Patricia Chidavarume this week at the Royal Society of Literature; scheme backed by publishers including Stephen Page and Anthony Forbes Watson
Creative Access has this week placed its 1,000th intern in the creative industries. Set up in 2012 the organisation has placed candidates in paid 3-12 month internships with over 400 different companies. All trainees are either from Black, Asian and other non-white ethnic minority backgrounds, or from lower socio-economic backgrounds.
Interns attend induction training and monthly masterclasses, are connected with buddies (former Creative Access interns) and have access to the team for support via regular intern clinics.
Intern number 1,000 is Patricia Chidavarume, who this week starts as marketing and administration assistant at the Royal Society of Literature. She was born in Zimbabwe and moved to the UK when she was five. She attended state schools in Luton and Bedford before heading to the University of Brighton to study English. She has been passionate about working in publishing, but spent many months trying to find a role, applying to dozens of organisations with no success, until she came across Creative Access.
Chidavarume said: "The team at Creative Access have been hugely supportive and really hands on. I've finally landed my dream role. I really don't know how much longer it would have taken me to get my foot in the door without Creative Access and I'm so very grateful to have found them."
Josie Dobrin, chief executive, Creative Access, said: "We are so thrilled that Creative Access is continuing to go from strength to strength and that we are developing so many creative leaders of the future. Thanks to overwhelming industry support we have created a compelling and effective model which will continue to bring under represented talent to the creative sector in order to help better reflect our society. We are so very very grateful to all those who have supported us in our journey so far."
Anthony Forbes Watson, managing director, Pan Macmillan said: "Creative Access has transformed our approach to achieving greater diversity across Pan Macmillan and has given us the support we needed to respond urgently to this crucial challenge, as we have taken on ever more of their talented trainees each year. We salute CA's 1000 trainee milestone and thank CA for their lasting and vital contribution to enriching and strengthening the fabric of our business."
Stephen Page, chief executive, Faber & Faber, said: "Creative Access has played a vital part in helping publishers to begin transforming their workforce to better represent society. They are terrific partners for us at Faber, expert in what they do, and this landmark placement of their 1,000th trainee is a testament to the impact they continue to have in the creative sector. Long may they continue to do so."
Nicola Solomon, chief executive, the Society of Authors, said: "Congratulations to Creative Access on placing its thousandth trainee and giving 1000 people a chance to join the creative industries. We have been so impressed with our trainees, two of whom are still with us in permanent roles and many more who have now taken up other jobs in the creative industries. Thanks to CA for always being so helpful and for building a more diverse industry, one trainee at a time."