Frequently asked questions

Frequently asked questions

 

Who do I contact for more information?

Please email sandwichstudent@parliament.uk if you require any further information or have any questions. This inbox is checked daily and you will receive a response within two working days.


Alternatively, please call 0207 219 1425 to speak to the Sandwich Student Coordinators.

 

Can I send my Curriculum Vitae instead of an application form?

In order to be considered for a placement at the House of Commons, you must fill in the appropriate application form. If you are applying for more than one of the placement opportunities, you will need to submit an application form for each placement. We do not accept CVs in the recruitment process.

 

Can I apply if I am a foreign student?

Anyone who is studying at a university in England, Wales, Northern Ireland or Scotland who is on a four year undergraduate sandwich course can apply for the placements, provided that they meet the necessary requirements (as outlined in the relevant job descriptions and information booklet). Any appointments will be subject to our pre-employment enquiries.

 

How do I apply?

You will need to visit https://houseofcommons-careers.engageats.co.uk/Welcome.aspx and register as an external candidate. You will then need to search for the placement opportunities that you are interested in and complete the relevant online application form.


If you require any assistance in completing the online application form, please email sandwichstudent@parliament.uk or call 0207 219 1425.

 

What is the closing date for application forms?

The closing date for applications for the 2015-2016 Sandwich Student Placement Scheme is Midnight on the 31st January 2015.

 

What is the recruitment process?

After the closing date, all application forms are assessed to see how your skills, qualifications and experience relate to the vacancy. Those who best match the criteria will be selected for interview.


The interview panel is normally made up of three, occasionally four people, who each ask the candidate questions. The questions are intended to expand on your application and to demonstrate to the panel how far you meet the essential requirements of the post. Short-listed candidates may be asked to complete a test as part of the selection process either before or at the interview. 


Confirmation of your application will be subject to the satisfactory outcome of the normal pre-employment checks, such as security clearance to Counter Terrorist Check level, health clearance, references and proof of educational/professional qualifications.

 

When will I be invited to interview?

All candidates selected for interview will be notified by the Recruitment team via email. If you have not heard from the Sandwich Placement Coordinators before the end of March 2015, you should assume that you have not been selected for interview. Short-listed candidates will be interviewed in Westminster in February/March 2015.

 

Can I have additional study leave?

You will normally be allowed to take 12 paid study leave days (pro rata) in addition to your annual leave entitlement. This will be dependent on the department and your length of service over the year.

 

Is this a paid placement?

Yes, you would be paid monthly in arrears. Your salary will be paid into your bank account on the last working day of each month.

 

Can I change my working hours?

The hours of attendance for these placements are normally 35 per week. This includes daily meal breaks of one hour. Exact hours of attendance each day are to be agreed with line management. When the House of Commons is in Recess somewhat shorter hours may be worked depending upon the needs of the section.

 

Do I have to work bank holidays or the weekends?

You will not be required to work on bank holidays or at weekends. Contract hours will be from Monday to Friday.

 

What training opportunities are there?

Each placement provides ‘on the job’ training in each of the sections that the student will spend time in. The student will also get the opportunity to agree a Personal Development Plan and a Forward Job plan which will set personal objectives and list any training requirements at the beginning of the placement.

 

Are there any refreshment facilities on the Parliamentary Estate?

There are a wide range of restaurants, cafeterias and bars across the Estate.

 

What other facilities are there on the Parliamentary Estate?

The main facilities on the Parliamentary Estate are as follows:

  • Westminster Gymnasium
  • Sports and Social Club
  • Church facilities
  • Access to the Line of Route tour (when open)
  • Tickets for the Public Gallery
  • Pavement Tickets for the State Opening of Parliament
  • Cash Dispensers
  • Post Office
  • Passport Photo booths
  • Souvenir shops
  • Welfare Service
  • Practice Nurse

More information can be obtained from the Staff Handbook and Intranet website once you are working on the Parliamentary estate.

 

Do you have any information on accommodation in London?

The House of Commons is unable to provide information on accommodation. However, websites such as Gumtree and Loot provide free listings of a wide range of accommodation in the London area.