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Speaker's Parliamentary Placements Scheme
Launch of recruitment phase for second year

Updated 24 July 2012

Update 24 July 2012:
We hear from the Home Office that they will be funding up to three additional paid internships specifically for disabled people, who will each be placed with an MP over October 2012 - July 2013. Here's the quote from the HO website:

Speaker's parliamentary placement scheme

The speaker's parliamentary placement scheme (Opens in a new window), administered by the Social Mobility Foundation, gives people from diverse backgrounds the opportunity to get a taste of working in politics. It provides nine month paid work experience placements, working with an MP and gaining experience across departments in the House of Commons. Up to three of the placements are reserved for disabled people as part of the access to elected office strategy. The deadline for applications is 30 July.

Hazel Blears MP has welcomed the launch of the recruitment phase for the second year of the Speaker’s Parliamentary Placements scheme, and urged people from all backgrounds to apply for the chance to work in Parliament.

The cross-party scheme, created by the Salford and Eccles MP, gives people from disadvantaged backgrounds the opportunity to spend four days a week working in the office of an MP, and the fifth working in a variety of roles across Parliament to get a better understand of how Parliament works.

The recruitment process is run by the Social Mobility Foundation, and application materials and further information can be found on their website:

Commenting on the launch of the scheme, Ms Blears said:

“I am delighted to see the launch of the second year of the Speaker’s Parliamentary Placements scheme. This scheme is important in helping to change the makeup of Parliament and make sure that the people elected to and working in Parliament are more representative of the people that we serve.

“For too long people have been frozen out of politics by the culture of unpaid internships, and this has meant that Parliament has become inaccessible for those who can’t afford to live and work in London for free.

“The scheme challenges that culture by giving interns a fixed wage, support with housing, personal development training and the chance to develop skills for their future – I encourage everyone interested in politics to apply.”

The Speaker of the House of Commons, John Bercow MP, added:

“I’m delighted that the first year of the Speaker’s Parliamentary Placements scheme was so successful, and I am confident that it will continue to go from strength to strength. This scheme opens up Parliament to people who wouldn’t normally have the chance to work here, and is vitally important in helping to make politics more representative of the public as a whole.

“Hazel Blears MP’s work on this is to be applauded, and the cross-party nature of the scheme explains why is has been so successful. I urge people – of all backgrounds – who are interested in politics to apply, and to take advantage of this opportunity to experience work at the heart of British politics.”

For further information please visit

The deadline for applications is 9am on Monday 30th July.

Added 9 June 2011

Hazel Blears MP Celebrates Launch of Speaker’s Parliamentary Placements Scheme

Hazel Blears has welcomed the launch of the Speaker’s Parliamentary Placements scheme and said that it will play a vital role in making Parliament more accessible for people from disadvantaged backgrounds.

The scheme, a cross-party initiative that will give 12 people from ordinary backgrounds the opportunity to undertake a paid internship in Parliament, was formally launched by Speaker Bercow last night (Wednesday 8 June), with applications now being accepted through the Social Mobility Foundation website.

Commenting on the launch of the scheme, Ms Blears said:

“I am absolutely delighted that our scheme has now been launched and is open for applicants. Over the past few months the role of internships has been under intense scrutiny, and those of us who work in politics know too well that the system of unpaid internships freezes people out of political life.

“I hope that our programme can act as a catalyst for change by demonstrating that unpaid internships are unjust and unfair. There’s a real difference between short, work experience placements which are voluntary, and long term internships which are exploitative.

“Our scheme will make Parliament more open and accessible. It will give people from working class backgrounds the opportunities that currently just aren’t open to them, and take an important step towards making our politics more representative of ordinary people.

The Speaker added:

“I am delighted to support the Speaker’s Parliamentary Placement Scheme. This excellent cross-party initiative will create a number of paid internship positions in Parliament for people from disadvantaged backgrounds. At a time when Parliament needs more than ever to reconnect with the British public, it is vital that the opportunity to gain experience of working here is open to as diverse a range of people as possible, not just to those who can afford it. I very much hope this scheme goes from strength to strength.”

Applicants can apply using the online form provided on the Social Mobility Foundation website –


· The Speaker’s Parliamentary Placements scheme is a cross-party scheme established by Hazel Blears (Labour, Salford and Eccles, Eric Ollerenshaw (Conservative, Lancaster and Fleetwood) and Jo Swinson (Liberal Democrat, East Dunbartonshire)

· The first intern placements will begin in September 2011

· For more information please contact Steve Clapperton on 0207 219 6595 or at



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