The Speaker’s Parliamentary Placement was set up to challenge the culture of unpaid internships and encourage a wider group of people to apply to work with Members of Parliament. The scheme, championed by the Speaker of the House of Commons, the Rt. Hon. John Bercow MP, offers a nine-month paid internship working for a MP.
The scheme has 10 positions available with MPs from the main political parties. Commencing in October, the internship is structured to be four days a week working in a MPs’ office, with the Friday being placed in a role in the House of Commons Service. This internship allows those placed to see what actually occurs behind the scenes in Parliament, and for Parliament to be a more diverse institution which is reflective of the society that it serves.
Since the scheme’s inception in the autumn of 2011, it has become a stable fixture within Parliament. Previously supported by the Social Mobility Foundation, the scheme is now administered by the Creative Society, which welcomed a fifth cohort in October 2015. Many of those who have participated in the programme have secured permanent jobs, while others went on to further education. A key aspect of the scheme is that people from any location and of any age are welcome to apply. Successful candidates have been people from all over the UK and of all ages, indicating how inclusiveness and diversity are at the heart of this scheme.
Applications for the October 2016 cohort will open in Summer 2016. See here for further details: http://www.thecreativesociety.co.uk/projects/speakers-internship-scheme/
The Speaker’s Parliamentary Placements Scheme is an initiative currently led by Dan Jarvis MP with strong support from the Speaker of the House of Commons.
Previous Interns on the Speaker’s Parliamentary Placements Scheme
Simon worked with Stella Creasy, Labour Member of Parliament for Walthamstow. Following the end of the scheme, Simon took up a full-time job with Wes Streeting, Labour Member of Parliament for Ilford North. Simon aims to stand as a Member of Parliament one day. Along with Ryan Bruce, Simon is currently hoping to establish a programme to engage young people in the political process.
Ryan worked with Rebecca Harris, Conservative Member of Parliament for Castle Point. Having completed a Master’s Degree at the University of Dundee, Ryan decided to apply for the scheme. He was placed with Rebecca and is now employed full time as one of her Parliamentary Assistants. Ryan says the scheme has been life-changing and he has loved every minute of it! Along with Simon Allen, he is currently hoping to establish a programme to engage young people in the political process.
Thomas worked with Ed Davey, Liberal Democrat Member of Parliament for Kingston & Surbiton and Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change. Tom was a recent university graduate who went on to work full-time for Mr Davey until his defeat at the General Election. Tom successfully stood as a Liberal Democrat candidate for Kingston Borough Council during the 2015 elections and has applied to do a Master’s Degree at King’s College.
Thomas worked with David Blunkett, Labour Member of Parliament for Sheffield Brightside and Hillsborough until the General Election when Mr. Blunkett stood down. Following the Election, Thomas worked for Harry Harpham MP, Mr. Blunkett’s successor. Thomas will be taking up his place at university in September.
Carissa worked for Sadiq Khan, Member of Parliament for Tooting and currently running to be the Labour Candidate for London Mayor at the 2016 Mayoral Election. Carissa is a University Graduate and a carer. Following the scheme, Carissa took up a full time post on the office of Sadiq Khan.
Richard worked for Mark Garnier, Conservative Member of Parliament for Wyre Forest. Following many years in the charity retail sector, Richard applied for the SPPS. Richard has loved his time working in Parliament and is currently looking for a full time job in Westminster.
Luc worked with Dan Jarvis, Member of Parliament for Barnsley Central. Luc moved from Leeds to take part in the scheme and is a recent graduate of Keele University. Following the completion of the scheme, Luc continued to work for Mr. Jarvis, who took over the running of the scheme following the stepping-down of Hazel Blears, and has also found work in the Department of Information Services of the House of Commons. Luc hopes to remain working in politics.