GCS invites applications for diversity internships

The Government Communications Service is offering a number of paid summer internships, but applications must be received by midnight tonight (28 February).

A previous intake of Government Communications Service interns
A previous intake of Government Communications Service interns

The internships will run for six to 12 weeks, starting in June and July, and are designed to give candidates from minority backgrounds the chance to find out what it is like to work in government communications.

Interns will receive a salary of £350 a week. Most opportunities will be based in London, although some will be available in Bristol, Bootle, Edinburgh, Leeds, Nottingham, Newport, Milton Keynes and Wiltshire.

Candidates must be eligible to work in the UK and either be in their final two years at university in a communications-related subject or be working towards a degree-equivalent qualification (NVQ level 6) in a communications-related subject.

They must also be from one or more of the following backgrounds:

  • • Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME)
  • • Socially or economically disadvantaged (based on parental occupation)
  • • Care leaver
  • • Registered as disabled

The recruitment rules are designed as part of the GCS Diversity and Inclusion strategy to help the GCS better represent the communities it serves.

Telephone interviews are expected to be conducted in March and places awarded in April.

GCS has promoted the programme to 127 universities, including Russell Group and non-Russell Group institutions, and more than 40 charities, including the Taylor Bennett Foundation and the Drive Forward Foundation.

It first ran the scheme with 13 interns in 2016, growing to 26 in 2017.

Alex Aiken, executive director of the GCS, said: "The GCS Internship reflects our commitment to diversity and inclusion.

"We want to attract, recruit and develop people from across society. GCS Interns bring a wealth of insights, ideas and energy into the work we do. Their internships across different departments gives them the opportunity to undertake real work experience and build their CV towards gaining a permanent role."

Last year figures from the Office for National Statistics revealed that just 12 per cent of civil servants working in comms roles are from BAME backgrounds, while the male/female split is 42/58 per cent. Fewer than one in 10 (eight per cent) are disabled.

The figures prompted GCS to work towards establishing an outreach programme targeting secondary school pupils as an addition to its internship and apprenticeship programmes.

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