Speaker’s Parliamentary Placement Scheme

We are delighted to continue our support of the Speaker’s Parliamentary Placement Scheme as the fifth year of interns join the programme.

Backed by the Speaker Rt Hon John Bercow MP the scheme was created by Rt Hon Hazel Blears MP, Eric Ollerenshaw MP and Jo Swinson MP. It is a cross-party initiative that has opened up Parliamentary internships to people who have always wanted to work in politics but haven’t had the opportunity. The interns are working for a Member of Parliament four days a week and spending Friday in training with House of Commons. All of the interns receive the London living wage.

Rt Hon Hazel Blears MP talks about the Scheme and our involvement.


The interns have come from a range of backgrounds. Abdul fled conflict in Western Africa to start a new life and wanted to learn more about our politics so he can return and help build a better future for his country. James left school in Glasgow at 16 to become a joiner and he applied for the scheme after being made redundant. He spent his 9 months working for the Rt Hon Ed Miliband, in the Leader of the Opposition’s Parliamentary office.

We are giving them and the other interns specialist career support to help them make the most of their internship experience in order to accelerate their careers. We are providing:

  • One-to-one mentoring. A meeting with a dedicated recruitment consultant held early on in the internship. The meeting offers support and guidance to ensure that they maximise the opportunities during the scheme.
  • CV review. There are lots of different opinions about what a perfect CV should contain and how it should look. The dedicated recruitment consultant helps the interns get to the nub of what should be in their CV and help them develop a clear, concise narrative of their skills and experiences.
  • Interview training. For some people interviews are nerve wracking whilst others breeze through them. The interns receive practical techniques to create the positive impact they need to secure positions.
  • Job search advice. We help the interns identify the best routes for them to pursue their next job from identifying who they should meet and which are the best job websites.

Ellen Wright’s experience on the scheme
Former Parliamentary Assistant, Mary Macleod MP – Press Officer, McDonald’s

“For me this scheme has been truly life changing and Ellwood Atfield’s support has proved invaluable. Not only in advising on possible next steps after the scheme but more importantly in helping me to get the most out of the scheme itself; helping me identify areas to improve and the ways in which I could best use my time in Parliament to develop a real career.”

I worked closely with Jules Shelley and Tom Ewen who generously gave up a great deal of time to talk through my background, previous experience and my work in Parliament to help find the career which would be the right fit for me. They not only coached, but also challenged me; identifying my strengths and encouraging me to build my confidence, but also gave me support and advice – helping to take the mystery out of the world of politics and public affairs.

I spent nine months working with Mary Macleod MP as a Parliamentary Assistant and have since gone on to secure a new role through Ellwood Atfield as a Press Officer in a high-profile company with global brand recognition. Of course, a huge part of the reason that I am now in such a good position is through the generosity and belief of Tom, Jules and the Ellwood Atfield team.

“With dedication and a commitment to my own personal development, there is now scope for me to achieve a great deal in my career. Yes, Ellwood Atfield recruit the people who talk for you, but importantly for me, they helped me find a voice to talk for myself.”

For more information about our involvement with the Speaker’s Parliamentary Placement Scheme please contact Nicola Bates.

Would you like to advance your career or appoint someone?