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Work Experience

Volume 487: debated on Wednesday 11 February 2009

To ask the hon. Member for North Devon, representing the House of Commons Commission what arrangements there are for people to undertake internships in the House service. (254902)

The House service currently provides a number of opportunities for people to undertake internships.

The Scrutiny Unit, in the Department of Chamber and Committee Services, has three Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) interns a year, each spending three months with the unit. It has also for the first time this year taken on two interns from the London School of Economics who will be with the unit for six months. For the last two years the Joint Committee on Human Rights has had a scholar (effectively an intern) who has come on recommendation from the Hansard Society. Each placement lasts approximately three months.

The Parliamentary Office of Science and Technology runs formal fellowship schemes with scientific societies and research councils, whereby students registered for a PhD in UK universities can spend three months working at POST through an extension of their maintenance grants. The number of students taken varies year on year between 12 and 16. POST has started placing some of these students with select committees.

The Department of Information Services takes on PhD students, funded by the ESRC, to work as interns in the International Affairs and Defence Section (IADS) and the Parliament and Constitution Centre. Two students per year have been taken, each for three-month placements.

In addition to internships, the House service also provides opportunities for sandwich students, apprenticeships, work experience placements and placements for people with learning difficulties.