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Global publishing group Penguin Random House has announced that it will no longer require candidates for new jobs to have a university degree, in a new turn to attempt to open employment opportunities to a more diverse range of candidates.

The company said it wanted to open up opportunities to attract more varied candidates into publishing, an industry that has been criticised for its lack of diversity.

Penguin Random House human resources director Neil Morrison said that growing evidence shows there is no simple correlation between having a degree and future professional success.

Morrison said: “We want to attract the best people to help grow and shape the future of our company, regardless of their background – and that means that we need to think and act differently. Simply, if you’re talented and you have potential, we want to hear from you. This is the starting point for our concerted action to make publishing far, far more inclusive than it has been to date. Now, we need to be more visible to talented people across the UK.

“We believe this is critical to our future: to publish the best books that appeal to readers everywhere, we need to have people from different backgrounds with different perspectives and a workforce that truly reflects today’s society.”

The move comes just months after accountancy firm Ernst & Young, one of Britain’s biggest graduate recruiters, made a similar announcement, announcing in August that it would no longer consider degree or A-level results when assessing potential employees.

Professional services company PricewaterhouseCoopers has also announced plans to ditch A-level results when recruiting graduates, because of the unfair advantage given to independent school pupils.

Penguin Random House said it hoped to send a clear message that graduates were still welcome to apply and that the university they attended would not affect their chance of success, but also that not having a degree would no longer preclude a candidate from getting a job.

Rebecca joined the HRreview editorial team in January 2016. After graduating from the University of Sheffield Hallam in 2013 with a BA in English Literature, Rebecca has spent five years working in print and online journalism in Manchester and London. In the past she has been part of the editorial teams at Sleeper and Dezeen and has founded her own arts collective.