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Departmental Work Experience

Volume 485: debated on Wednesday 17 December 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for Innovation, Universities and Skills how many individuals have worked in his Department on (a) paid and (b) unpaid work experience or internships in each year since its establishment; 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. (242112)

Since its creation in June 2007 to date, the Department has made seven paid internships and 11 unpaid work experience places available. For internships, four interns were placed in summer 2007 and three interns in summer 2008. All interns were university-level students in Cabinet Office programmes. For work experience, four year 10 and 11 students were placed from 28 July to December 2007 and five year 10 and 11 students were placed from January to December 2008. The Department did not run a co-ordinated programme for work experience in 2008 but did sponsor a further two students as part of the Windsor Fellowship programme in July 2008. Information on work experience hours is not collected centrally but it is expected that students and graduates would work similar hours to full-time staff on the relevant site and at the discretion of the team to which they have been assigned. Information on students who did not complete their set period of work experience is not collected centrally and, along with the work hours worked, could be obtained only at disproportionate cost.

Payments for internships for 2007 and 2008 were £285 per week in London and £245 per week outside London.

All interns and work experience students and graduates undertook a range of structured and supervised tasks to learn and feedback on the delivery of a range of projects for the Department using the core skills of Professional Skills for Government.

The Department is currently in the process of planning its own work experience programme for 2009.