Publishing organisation Penguin Random House UK will pay all work experience participants the national living wage and offer accommodation support for candidates that live outside of London.
The London-based organisation will provide a salary of £262.50 a week to participants on its two-week work experience programme, which includes 450 work experience placements a year.
The publisher will offer subsidised accommodation in conjunction with The Book Trade Charity, as part of a pilot scheme, to make the programme more accessible to individuals from outside of London.
Although internships at Penguin Random House UK are already fully paid, work experience candidates previously only received travel and food expenses.
The new pay measure forms part of a broader organisational strategy to encourage greater diversity and inclusivity in the publishing sector. This includes measures such as removing academic qualification references from the recruitment process, and banning personal referrals in favour of a random selection policy for its work experience programme.
The national living wage is the mandatory rate for staff aged 25 or over. The national living wage currently stands at £7.50 an hour.
Tom Weldon (pictured), chief executive officer at Penguin Random House UK, said: “We want to be open to the very best talent, regardless of background. We also believe it is vitally important that the publishing industry reflects the society we live in today.
“But we recognise that only covering expenses for work experience has been a barrier for many young people in the past. Through meaningful and paid work experience, we hope to open the door to the next generation of passionate and creative young people, helping them to establish their careers, and develop a skilled pipeline of future talent.”