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Work Experience

Volume 496: debated on Wednesday 9 September 2009

To ask the Minister of State, Department for Business, Innovation and Skills what provision is made to enable students to undertake work experience in his Department; by what means members of the public may obtain information about work experience in his Department; and if he will make a statement. (288732)

Prior to the creation of BIS on 5 June 2009, the former Department for Innovation, Universities and Skills had commenced a pilot work experience programme. Included in the pilot were students from a school local to one of the former DIUS London buildings. This programme continued following the merger of DIUS with the Department for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform (BERR). The new Department (BIS) had eight work experience students over a period of two weeks in July 2009, of whom six took part in the pilot programme of activities.

The availability of work experience opportunities was not advertised. The evaluation of the pilot will determine the approach to work experience taken by the Department in 2010.

Former BERR has participated for a number of years in the Summer Development Programme and the Summer Placement Scheme. Both come under the auspices of the Cabinet Office’s Diversity Programme Internships. The two internships are for students from ethnic minority backgrounds and the registered disabled. Both schemes provide a paid six to nine week full-time placement to gain a more thorough understanding of the work of the civil service. The work experience opportunities for each of the schemes are not advertised and are evaluated by the Cabinet Office.