I am keen to give as many young people as is practicable the opportunity to gain experience of what working for a Member of Parliament involves. Each year I receive significantly more requests than it is possible to accommodate, so this page may provide some useful advice.
Residency and age
In general, work experience is only available to students whose home address is in the constituency. Please ensure that you include your full home address with any request although if you are at University supply your term time contact details as well. You will need to have reached your sixteenth birthday at the time any work experience commences.
When to apply
There is no ‘set’ time to apply however it is likely that available slots will be allocated between one and two terms in advance (e.g. an application for the summer would be made around January before the start of the spring term).
Subject to pandemic restrictions – currently ongoing - work experience offers the chance to attend a tour of Parliament, to watch debates in the House of Commons and House of Lords and possibly meetings of Select Committees or All-Party Parliamentary Groups. For this reason, work experience is not offered during recess periods which unfortunately – though not exclusively – follow school terms.
The House of Commons typical recess dates are available at this page – please study this first before you apply.
How to apply
To apply please send a covering letter and a separate written statement on why you are interested in the work of a Member of Parliament’s office (200-400 words for a secondary school pupil, 500-600 for an undergraduate). If you have a CV, please also enclose a copy. We recognise that many school students will not yet have this, although a CV will be expected from undergraduates. If you are a school student without a CV, please make a simple one-page bullet-point summary of your educational background and outside interests. There are no firm criteria for selection though the ability to demonstrate a clear interest in politics and current affairs commensurate with your age definitely helps.
Applications should be emailed to me at Andrew@GriffithMP.com including the title ‘FAO: Office Manager – Work Experience request’ in the title. Please ensure you have included all the requested information in the email.
We appreciate that there is often pressure from schools or universities to find a placement rapidly, so we will endeavour to get back to you with a firm decision within 14 working days of receiving the above information.
Details of a work experience placement
Successful candidates may spend time – usually a working week - in either my Westminster or constituency office (or both) and will take part in a range of activities that give a flavour of how a Member of Parliament works on behalf of their constituents. By way of example, participants may get involved with:
- Researching and preparing briefs on particular topics or issues
- Taking press cuttings or drafting press releases
- Attending meetings of my parliamentary staff
- Accompanying Andrew to meetings or events in Parliament or around the South Downs
- Assisting with general administrative tasks in the office
Work experience is always unpaid. Although some tasks may be set to give a real-world idea of the work of a Member of Parliament’s office, hosting a work experience student is an additional load on my parliamentary staff. If the cost of travel or purchasing food during the work experience period is likely to be a challenge due to hardship, please flag this at the time of applying and we may be able to help you approach your school, college, local authority or other bodies who may be able to help.
Ahead of your placement
Please inform us in good time of any additional requirements from your school or university, such as health and safety declarations or risk assessments, which will need to be completed before you begin.
Before starting your placement, you will be asked to sign a confidentiality agreement, agreeing not to retain or share any sensitive information you come across during your placement – this is because MPs offices handle personal information from members of the public and other bodies, and it is required in order for us to remain compliant with the relevant data protection legislation.
You will also be asked to supply contact details (phone and email) of a parent/guardian/next of kin.