Access Aspiration is funded by the Mayor’s Fund For London, to create more visibility of careers and pathways into employment for 16-18 year olds, through aspirational employer encounters and experiences.
Young Londoners from low income backgrounds, particularly those from Black, Asian, or Minority Ethnic communities, face an extremely competitive labour market when they leave education. This is compounded when other barriers come into play. Only 17% of London’s professional jobs are occupied by people from lower income backgrounds compared to 30% nationally. The problem is not only one of access, but also of representation. Research has shown that more than a quarter of young people from low income backgrounds believe that ‘people like me’ do not succeed in life.
Access Aspiration is designed to tackle these issues by providing careers support and guidance for young Londoners who are making key decisions about their future, but struggling to make links with employers.
We know that people from Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic communities are underrepresented in the publishing industry, as are people from low income backgrounds. We must change that. Our partnership with Access Aspiration helps us to reach young people from these groups at a key moment in their lives, where they are making decisions about further education and pathways into employment.
Usborne staff across all of our departments are volunteering their time to deliver in-person events in schools and digital content for students to access online. We hope to demonstrate that children’s publishing is a viable career choice for people from all backgrounds, and to encourage a more diverse new generation to join the publishing industry.
Alongside our partnership with Access Aspiration, Usborne staff are encouraged to visit schools and colleges in their communities to talk to children of all ages about our industry and what we do, from how a book is made for primary kids to careers in publishing for older students. We offer paid volunteering days to facilitate this, and the sessions for Access Aspiration.