Skip to main content
23 May 2023

Realise your full potential in publishing with LDN Apprenticeships

LDN Apprenticeships are rated an ‘outstanding’ apprenticeship training provider by Ofsted. We have been delivering apprenticeships for over 12 years, across a range of business sectors, and focus on creating opportunities for diverse talent to reach its full potential.

In 2019, after discussions with The Publishers Association, we launched the Publishing Assistant apprenticeship to help varied talent succeed in the sector. Since the first cohort, we’ve collaborated with some brilliant publishers – including Bloomsbury Publishing and Pearson – to open fantastic opportunities for new talent to enter the UK publishing industry.

Learn while you work: the purpose of apprenticeships

Apprenticeships are designed to support learning whilst working, allowing apprentices to apply their knowledge, skills and behaviours immediately in their day-to-day role. They are an effective way to embed knowledge in a structured and practical way.

In publishing, they produce well-rounded professionals who understand how their role fits into the wider publishing process, and how that process works end-to-end. Publishing apprentices have a commercial and practical understanding of publishing and often perform above the standard expected of them.

Apprentices are given time during their contracted hours to do their apprenticeship work. Monthly one-to-one coaching sessions support them throughout, and monthly live sessions allow them to embed and share their knowledge with fellow apprentices, whilst developing a wider network. There are also quarterly masterclasses where industry experts share their knowledge, and twice-yearly development days which offer a valuable opportunity for apprentices to meet and network.

Attract and retain talent

Apprenticeships are a great way to attract and retain non-traditional talent into the publishing sector. The structured learning and support, alongside the network they develop, means that apprentices achieve a 95% positive progression rate. As a result, apprentices either stay with their employer or find a role at another publishing, or related, company. Alumni cover a broad spectrum of roles, including digital editors, production editors, account managers, assistant editors, assistant project managers and publishing executives.

It is also a great way to support employees who have moved from a non-publishing to a publishing role, so they can learn on the job. 

The majority of apprentices stay in the sector after completing their apprenticeship and have already started to progress within the industry. Many apprentices on other programmes have also progressed to senior positions – including the current education minister, Gillian Keegan, and the CEO of London Gatwick Airport, Stewart Wingate.

The Publishing Assistant programme

The 15-month long publishing assistant apprenticeship provides a broad introduction to the publishing industry, from editorial and design through production and legal to marketing and sales. It covers:

  • Getting to know the publishing industry, including the publishing process and systems, the commercial aspect of publishing and metadata.
  • Editorial processes and skills, editorial design principles and production.
  • Digital publishing.
  • Rights and law.
  • Sales and marketing, including digital marketing.

After 12 months, the apprentice undergoes an End Point Assessment (EPA). In the EPA, the apprentice’s portfolio is reviewed, the apprentice delivers a presentation and has a professional discussion. If successful, they are awarded a pass or a distinction.

The ideal preparation for a successful career in publishing

The breadth of the LDN publishing apprenticeship gives our apprentices a real advantage over candidates with 2–3 years’ experience and allows them to discover the area of publishing they are most comfortable with.

As one of our line managers said of the scheme,

I think this is an excellent experience for apprentices. They gain an incredible wealth of knowledge of the whole industry, work with the best people and it really sets them up to interview well and thrive in roles in publishing.“ Lucy Brown, Commissioning Editor, Bloomsbury Publishing

and from Tom Avery – Publishing Director at The Tate,

Aki has almost single-handedly produced a publication proposal for one of Britain’s brightest young artists, in collaboration with colleagues at Tate and with regional galleries and an international cultural foundation. The book should be one of our key titles for 2023, and it’s largely thanks to Aki’s hard work and tenacity.

Marcus Simmons

Marcus Simmons is Sales Director at LDN Apprenticeships. Visit the LDN Apprenticeship website to find out more about the Publishing Assistant programme.

Follow LDN Apprenticeships on Instagram, LinkedIn and Twitter.