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Departmental Work Experience

Volume 485: debated on Tuesday 16 December 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for International Development how many individuals have worked in his Department on (a) paid and (b) unpaid work experience or internships in each of the last three years; on average how many hours a week were worked by such people in each year; what types of work each was involved in; what proportion were in full-time education; what proportion did not complete their set period of work experience; and how much those who received remuneration were paid on average per week in each year. (242111)

The Department for International Development (DFID) has participated in two cross-Government internship schemes aimed at helping address the historic under-representation of women, ethnic minority groups and people with a disability in the civil service. These programmes are specifically for undergraduates/graduates from those groups and are focused on developing an increased understanding of civil service career opportunities. As such, the opportunities provided encompass a wide range of roles across the department. In each of the last three years, eight internships were offered under these schemes. Participants on the scheme worked an average of 36 hours a week. In 2006, the average salary received was £319 a week. In 2007, it was £320 a week. In 2008, it has been £337 a week. All 24 participants, with one exception (4 per cent.), completed their internships.

DFID participates in an annual programme of school work experience for up to 17 14 to 16-year-olds in both London and East Kilbride. The placements are unpaid and last for five working days.