Apprentices reflect on their experiences during National Apprenticeship Week 2017

03 March 2017

The House of Commons is proud to run an apprenticeship scheme in partnership with the London Apprenticeship Company. To mark National Apprenticeship Week 2017, which runs from 6-10 March, three House of Commons apprentices reflect on their experiences of Parliament.

The idea behind the scheme is to offer young people an opportunity to gain valuable experience of working for the House of Commons Service while earning an NVQ qualification to increase their employability for the future.

Gabrielle, Apprentice in the House of Commons Pass office, said:

"I undertake security checks and provide passes to staff once their clearance has come through. It’s great to get stuck into the real gritty work rather than just admin tasks, and learn about the different types of passes…I was a National Citizen Service (NCS) Ambassador at school and they were promoting Parliament’s apprenticeship scheme. I was looking for an option other than university so this was a great opportunity for me…there’s a lot of opportunities here to learn about different roles and teams in Parliament and I’m encouraged to make the most of that. I have been given the opportunity to shadow an MP over summer which is really exciting…one tip I’d give to others would be to do some work experience beforehand to prepare you for taking that step from school to work. People think you need a degree to work in Parliament but you don’t. This scheme is a great way to learn about yourself on a personal level as well as on a professional one."

Rayhan, Apprentice in the House of Commons Diversity and Inclusion team, said:

"I manage diaries, the office inbox and plan and publicise events. It’s a really diverse role where I can experience lots of different tasks and develop a variety of skills on a daily basis…before this, I took a two year break after my A Levels then started studying Law at City University. I was three months into my degree when I realised studying wasn’t for me and I wanted to do something more hands-on. I was already looking into apprenticeships, but then the London Apprenticeship Company contacted me and told me about the House of Commons apprenticeship scheme. Parliament sounded like a really exciting place to work and it seemed like I fitted the criteria so I applied…the apprenticeship is helping me figure out what I want to do in the future through the various training and shadowing opportunities available...this apprenticeship is open to everyone and everyone is given a chance. Working in Parliament isn’t as daunting as it sounds!"

Amal, Apprentice in the House of Commons Outreach and Engagement team, said:

"I help coordinate events in Parliament and around the UK. I get to interact with lots of different teams as well as the public which I really enjoy and love not being sat at a desk all day...before joining, I was doing my A Levels and working part-time in a call centre...I found out about the House of Commons apprenticeship scheme online and, since I was going to study politics at university anyway, I thought why study politics when I can experience it first-hand...I’m trying to meet and network with as many people as I can while I’m here and I feel supported with lots of opportunities to do so. For example, I shadowed my local MP and the Clerk of the House of Commons which was so interesting...it’s great to be able to meet people from all kinds of backgrounds and it’s really helped me to mature…to anyone thinking about taking part in the House of Commons apprenticeship scheme I would say ‘do it’, because you won’t regret anything if you apply. There’s so many opportunities and so much support for you to find something that you do like. It’s a fantastic chance for you to grow and develop and I’d really recommend it."

The House of Commons Service aims to improve the representation of people in our workforce, to ensure we are reaching out to the widest pool of talent, and representing the House in a positive and inclusive light.  The long term goal is for our workforce to be representative of the people we serve, be a respected institution, and demonstrate our commitment to being an inclusive workplace where people feel valued.

Anne Foster, Head of Diversity & Inclusion for the House of Commons said:

"The House of Commons and the Parliamentary Digital Service are proud to support talented young people to kick-start their careers. Our apprentices can experience a variety of different roles in the House of Commons while they study towards an NVQ. The long term goal is for our workforce to be representative of the people we serve, be a respected institution, and demonstrate our commitment to being an inclusive workplace where people feel valued and can progress their careers with us."

Image: Parliamentary copyright

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