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Diversity champion Creative Access places 1000th intern in the creative industries


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Creative Access has shown its impact on creating a more diverse workforce after reaching the milestone of placing its 1000th intern.

The organisation has placed young people from BAME - black, Asian, and other non-white ethnic minorities - in three to twelve-month internships within creative industry companies since it was founded in 2012, as well as supported over 20,000 young people with essential skills for employment including CV help and interview preparation.

Creative Access interns at ITV Studios

Credit: Creative Access

Holding the position as the 1000th intern is Patricia Chidavarume, who moved to the UK from Zimbabwe aged five. An English graduate from the University of Brighton, Chidavarume struggled to find any role until she was given help by Creative Access. She is now placed as a marketing and administrative assistant at the Royal Society of Literature.

"I'm really enjoying my time at the RSL so far," Chidavarume told the National Student. "It's a great organisation that celebrates and nurtures all that is great in British literature, and is run by a hard-working, intelligent and friendly team."

Creative Access also proves that 1000 interns is not just a number, as 89% of their interns so far have secured permanent or freelance jobs after completing their internships, to the praise of leading industry experts. These include everything from major publishing houses and literary agencies to indie firms and trade associations.

The overall vision of CA is that one day the creative industries will truly reflect British society. According to Creative Skillset’s 2012 Employment Census, BAME representation across the industry is just 5.4% while the UK is 14% non-white and London in particular was over 40% BAME. Creative Access works to improve this imbalance in representation, questioning how media can represent society when society itself isn’t represented within media.

Josie Dobrin, chief executive and co-founder of CA, said: “We’re really thrilled and excited, but I would say there is still quite a long way to go, and the thing is that it’s great placing people at entry level positions but really the true challenge for us that lies ahead is actually making sure that these people can rise up through the ranks and eventually take on more senior positions because that is how we are going to fundamentally make a difference in the long term.”

Creative Access intern at Tomi Adeyemi's Children of Blood and Bone book signing

Credit: Creative Access

Starting off just working with BAME candidates, Creative Access now also works with young people from lower socioeconomic backgrounds, targeting people that the industry previously struggled to reach.

On looking forward and setting goals for the future, Dobrin said: “There is always amazing young people coming through so its providing great opportunities for them and we want to work more with the companies themselves to make sure that they are providing environments where young people can thrive, and also to support our alumni as they develop.

“It’s about making sure that right from senior management and everyone engaged from the whole way up actually buys into the concept and understands the value, not just from a moral perspective but also from an economic one, of having a diverse workforce.”

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