How the Scheme Works
The Speaker's Parliamentary Placements Scheme is a paid internship scheme that gives participants the opportunity to spend more than nine months working with an MP in Parliament.
The scheme is administered by the Social Mobility Foundation, a charity which organises the recruitment of participants and makes sure that it reaches people who wouldn't normally consider applying for jobs in Parliament.
Each participant is paired with an MP and works in their office Monday-Thursday each week, gaining knowledge of the role of a Member of Parliament and their responsibilities, as well as performing research and dealing with constituents.
In addition, on Fridays participants work in a variety of roles across the House of Commons to gain a better understanding of how Parliament works and how legislation is made. They are given access to training courses which ensures that the scheme is strongly geared towards their personal development.
Sponsoring organisations offer the participants the chance to develop their skills further by undertaking placements with them, and by providing careers advice and training.
Each participant will leave their role with new skills and a first-class insight into political life.
Hazel Blears is the MP for Salford and Eccles and has led MPs from all main parties in creating and developing the Speaker's Parliamentary Placements Scheme
"I am extremely concerned about the role that unpaid internships have in Parliament.
"The vast majority of people can't afford to live and work in London for free. Unpaid internships freeze people out of working in politics, and this creates a culture in which ordinary people don't believe that politics is for them.
"I helped set up this scheme with my colleagues Eric Ollerenshaw MP and Jo Swinson MP to try to widen access to politics. I'm delighted with the calibre of the people on the scheme, and the excellent assistance and advice provided by our donors.
"Some of our participants may pursue other careers; some have already expressed their desire to go on and become MPs. Who knows, this scheme may even find a future Prime Minister!
"Regardless of what their future holds I am extremely proud that this scheme has given people the opportunity to sample political life."
When recruiting for the Speaker's Parliamentary Placements Scheme, the Social Mobility Foundation was determined to select candidates who felt passionately about politics but wouldn't normally have the opportunity to get involved.
They succeeded! Each of our interns has an inspirational story to tell. For example, James left school in Glasgow at 16 to become a joiner, before being made redundant during the recession. He saw the scheme advertised in his local newspaper, and is now working with Ed Miliband.
Abdul has fled conflict in Western Africa to start a new life, and wants to learn more about our politics so that he can return and help build a better future for his country.
Without this scheme they wouldn't have the opportunity to work in Parliament. It is giving people who are passionate about social change the opportunity that those from more privileged backgrounds sometimes take for granted.
The scheme is a small step towards making Parliament and people who work there more representative of the public, and of that we are extremely proud.
Interview with the Mps
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CROSS - PARTY SUPPORT
Some issues transcend party politics. This truly is a cross-party scheme
backed by all parties, and here's what the party leaders have to say :
The Rt Hon."I believe passionately that anyone should be able to rise up in life if they have the will and the work ethic to do so, regardless of where they are from or who they know. Anywhere there are barriers to aspiration we should be tearing them down – and that should include our own profession and our own offices.""I am delighted to support the Speaker’s Parliamentary Placement Scheme, in association with the Social Mobility Foundation. The Scheme has got off to a great start and I encourage both Parliamentarians and applicants from across the country to get involved in this innovative and important initiative."
David Cameron MP,
"I certainly welcome the efforts of Hazel Blears and all those others who have been involved in the Speaker's excellent initiative; it is a small beginning but very significant."Nick Clegg MP,
Deputy Prime Minister
"This scheme is an excellent way of breaking down barriers and opening doors for people who would normally be frozen out of politics, and it will help to make Parliament more representative of the people that we serve."Ed Milliband MP,
Leader of the Opposition
The Speaker's Parliamentary Placements Scheme is funded by donations from organisations who share our desire to provide more opportunities for people from working class backgrounds. Without their support the scheme wouldn't exist, so we are extremely grateful for the support that the following organisations provide.
the scheme please contact: