Last night I attended the launch of the Encompass positive action trainee scheme in LSE’s spectacular New Academic Building.  This project seeks to recruit and place 50 people from black and ethnic minority backgrounds in trainee LIS roles around the country.  Encompass is the result of collaboration between CILIP and PATH (Positive Action Training Highway), and currently has four London based employers signed up – Lewisham Libraries, the National Institute for Medical Research, LSE and the Houses of Parliament.

The traineeships last for three years, with trainees working and concurrently studying for an LIS masters degree part-time.  They will work for four days a week and study for one day.  In the third year of their contracts, the trainees are also given support to Charter, and are therefore given every opportunity to begin successful LIS careers.  This will raise the number of BEM LIS professionals (only 2% of CILIP members consider themselves to be from BEM backgrounds currently), and so give rise to the new perspectives and fresh ways of thinking that are the products of a more diverse and representative profession.

The scheme is also vastly beneficial to employers for a number of reasons.  It enables them to achieve strategic goals to do with equal opportunities and staff development.  It is in their fiscal interest to employ a part-time trainee.  And perhaps most importantly they have the opportunity to recruit new professionals, thus embracing all the energy and enthusiasm with which we are so intimately familiar.

I would encourage anyone reading this to raise their employer’s awareness of the Encompass scheme and the benefits it can bring to them, the profession and the individuals involved.



Filed under Careers

3 responses to “Encompass

  1. Amanda Birungi

    The birth of ENCOMPASS will certainly open new opportunities for not only black and ethnic minority CILIP members but also for LIS new professionals. I call upon all LIS new professionals to make the most of this new initiative.

  2. Tina Reynolds


    What opportunities do you think it will open up for LIS new professionals who are not BME?

    Or indeed BME library professionals who have already qualified?


    • Amanda Birungi


      we can’t rule out the fact that there will be new roles created as a result of the project. By this I mean, opportunities for LIS new professionals to apply for roles in fields such as project management and information management. There is a need to look at the additional benefits that come along with the start of new projects for example, for individuals involved in this case new professionals.


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