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Hachette UK unveils 2021 traineeship programme and partnerships

Hachette UK has unveiled its 2021 traineeship programme, partnering for the first time with literary agency Curtis Brown and booksellers Waterstones. It will open for applications later in February, with 10 trainees joining Hachette UK in May for the year-long programme.


Hachette UK has reviewed and refreshed its existing traineeship programme and added a number of exciting new elements for 2021. The trainees will spend the entire year within one of the trade divisions or the Education business, rather than rotating between divisions as in previous years. They will specialise in either editorial, or marketing and publicity, or rights, and they will also spend time in Hachette UK’s central departments, such as contracts and sales. Those specialising in editorial will spend a month of their traineeship at Curtis Brown to learn how to represent authors and matchmake them with publishers. Some of the trainees will spend a month at Waterstones to learn the art of bookselling and understand consumer buying behaviour. All the trainees will also participate in a bespoke learning and development programme, with the opportunity to learn about the journey of publishing a book from pitch to production.


This will be Hachette UK’s fourth intake of trainees and the programme will continue to focus on making publishing more accessible to under-represented groups, as part of the publisher’s ‘Changing the Story’ vision for diversity and inclusion. It is actively seeking applications from candidates from a Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) background, applicants from lower socio-economic backgrounds and particularly men from both of these backgrounds, to improve representation of these groups in Hachette UK’s editorial staff base.


David Shelley, CEO of Hachette UK, commented: “This year, Hachette UK will mark the fifth anniversary of ‘Changing the Story’ and we have a number of exciting things planned to further strengthen our commitment to inclusion. The first of these is the launch of our 2021 traineeship, which was conceived by Changing the Story Patron Sharmaine Lovegrove to nurture a new generation of talent from groups that are under-represented in publishing. The programme will be even bigger and better this year thanks to our new partnerships with Curtis Brown and Waterstones, whose involvement will give our trainees an invaluable opportunity to experience the publishing process from end to end.”


Sharmaine Lovegrove, publisher of Dialogue Books and patron of Hachette UK’s ‘Changing the Story’ programme, commented: “Our role as publishers is to connect brilliant authors to curious readers. By having more direct contact with authors via an agent and readers via a bookshop at such an early stage of their careers, our trainees will be set up with first-hand knowledge of authors and readers as they scale the industry over time. I am so proud to work for Hachette UK and to have the opportunity to innovate and make connections enabled by our HR team and business leaders that will have a lasting, positive and inclusive impact. It was immediately clear that Curtis Brown – for their creative professionalism, range of authors and inspirational agents – were the literary agency for us to partner with and that Waterstones – as the jewel in our bookselling crown, with such a wide variety of readers across society visiting their shops – would be the ideal bookshop partner.”

Felicity Blunt, Literary Agent at Curtis Brown, commented: “Curtis Brown is committed to making a meaningful and lasting change around inclusion within our industry. We believe that change is only possible if we join forces across the entire industry. Hachette has set out a dynamic agenda with its pioneering programme ‘Changing the Story’ and recent work on pay transparency. We are honoured to partner with Hachette in what will be an exciting new traineeship scheme. We very much look forward to opening our agency’s doors to Hachette’s trainees and offering them an in-depth experience of working directly with both authors and their work on domestic, international and multi-media platforms.”


Kate Skipper, Chief Operating Officer of Waterstones, commented: “We are delighted to welcome 2021’s intake of Hachette UK trainees to Waterstones, as part of such an exciting and innovative programme to attract new talent to the industry. Our intention is to share the passion and enjoyment of bookselling, along with the thrill of helping a customer discover a new book or author they would never otherwise have stumbled upon. If this year’s trainees leave us understanding the power of human recommendation, whilst also experiencing the immense amount of fun that bookselling brings, we will have served them well for their future careers.”


Applications for Hachette UK’s 2021 traineeship programme should be made via Creative Access: www.creativeaccess.org.uk.