Houses of Parliament
On the Houses of Parliament graduate scheme, you'll work at the heart of democracy
The Houses of Parliament Graduate Scheme is not part of the Civil Service Fast Stream, but you can apply for it alongside the Fast Stream as one of your four preferences.
On this scheme, you'll be based in either the House of Commons or the House of Lords. You can express a preference at final interview if you'd like and we'll do our best to take it into account. You'll be employed directly by whichever House you work for, rather than the Civil Service.
You'll work with politicians from all parties to scrutinise Government policy and support the UK's democratic process. You will learn to command the confidence of MPs or members of the House of Lords by providing them with impartial and assured advice, no matter how challenging the issue may be.
Through a variety of roles you might manage inquiries and evidence sessions for a select committee, or be involved in directly supporting the work of the Commons or Lords Chamber and assisting in the passage of legislation.
You'll be working closely with MPs or members of the House of Lords from day one and will learn the intricacies of how Parliament works. You are likely to find yourself working on high profile select committee inquiries or watching MPs or peers in the Chamber act on advice you've given.
- you need to be eligible to work in the UK
- you must have, or expect to have, a 2:2 or higher in any degree subject including degree apprenticeships
- Existing civil servants and parliamentary staff can apply without a degree
What will you experience?
You can expect to scrutinise and make recommendations on Government policy, help to facilitate parliamentary debates, and advise members on the best ways to achieve their parliamentary objectives. You will also assist in the management of Parliament and its daily business.
You'll also be on a rota to take divisions (record votes), putting you right in the middle of all that's going on in Parliament, as well as undertaking other tasks to support the running of Parliament's core business.
You will work closely with MPs or members of the House of Lords on a day to day basis and will be expected to build good working relationships with the Chair and members of the Committee you work for.
This scheme will give you the experience and skills you need to develop your potential to be a future leader in the Parliamentary service.
In order to progress off the scheme, you'll apply for promotion. You'll be supported through the process, and when successful, your salary will increase to around £56k. The time it takes to be promoted varies for each individual, but you can expect to be promoted within 2-4 years.
Your progression through the programme
Year one: Each posting usually lasts 12 months, although you might have a slightly shorter or longer placement. Once you arrive, future moves will be discussed with you as part of regular development conversations.
You can expect to spend most of your time on the programme working for a select committee.
Years two and three: You might work for a different select committee, with increasing responsibility as you progress through the programme. You might also work for one of the offices supporting the day-to-day running of the Chamber, for example, the Public Bill Office which deals with legislation. You'll also be starting to think about promotion.
Year four: You'll be matched to a role that increases your experience in the House and gives you the opportunity to develop your skills in relevant areas.
Supporting your learning
Most of your learning will be on the job, and you'll be in real roles with responsibility from the start. You'll also receive additional support, including:
- an induction when you first arrive;
- regular training sessions and seminars;
- specialised programme of learning to help you gain an understanding of Parliament and parliamentary procedure;
- training and development opportunities, including visits to organisations relevant to Parliament; and
- Support from your line manager, the programme lead in whichever House you're based, a peer buddy, and a senior mentor.
Up to 56k
If you successfully complete the scheme and are promoted, you could earn around £56k.
What benefits will I enjoy?
As well as having a unique chance to work on the biggest political issues of the day and to develop skills in a variety of areas, there are a number of additional benefits, including:
- season ticket loan;
- access to a subsidised in-House gym;
- access to our workplace equality networks, for support and promotion of inclusion of opportunity across a range of characteristics; and
- annual leave starting at 30 days and rising to 35 days after your first full year
Learning and Development on the Houses of Parliament Scheme
Alongside the scheme-specific learning offer, you will complete the universal training which provides core foundation skills and leadership & management skills.
The online assessments consist of Work Style Questionnaires, a multimedia Situational Judgement Questionnaire, Numerical Test and Work Based Scenarios.
If you pass the online assessments, you'll be invited to undertake a half day assessment centre. This will be conducted virtually on line. The Fast Stream Assessment Centre (FSAC) will consist of a leadership scenario, a team scenario and a written scenario. Information will be presented via an app that you will be able to access remotely.
If you are successful at the assessment centre, you'll be invited to take part in a final selection process.
This specialist assessment will look at your capability and motivation to be part of this programme. You'll be sent detailed guidance before the assessment to explain what is involved.