Houses of Parliament Fast Stream
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Houses of Parliament Fast Stream

November 22, 2019

Narrator>>The Houses of Parliament fast stream
offers a unique opportunity at the heart of UK democracy. The Houses of Parliament fast
stream differs from other fast stream programmes as you’ll be working for Parliament, the
legislature, as opposed to working for government as a civil servant. Your work will therefore
centre on the scrutiny and shaping of policy and the process of passing new legislation
rather than the implementation of government policy. As a fast streamer in the Houses of
Parliament you’ll have the opportunity to work with Peers in the House of Lords and
MPs in the House of Commons to support them in their parliamentary duties. You could be
assisting committees as they scrutinise government policy, advising on procedure for the passage
of legislation, or working to support the running of Parliament in some other capacity.
Wherever your career takes you you’ll be part of a fascinating and dynamic institution
and be able to witness at first hand the cut and thrust of politics and the events that
shape our parliamentary history. You’ll also gain an expert knowledge of parliamentary
processes, the customs and practices that govern proceedings and law making in both
Houses. And you’ll experience all this in the historic surroundings of the Houses of
Parliament at the very centre of Westminster. So what does the fast stream look like in
the House of Parliament? Nicole Mason>>My name’s Nicole and I’m
currently on the Lords’ fast stream. The role that I’m in at the moment is I’m
a Clerk to the sub-committee. It’s an EU sub-committee which looks at the internal
market, infrastructure and employment. At the moment I’m working on an inquiry, that’s
kind of the major project I’m doing now, and it’s to do with youth unemployment in
the EU. So if you’re very lucky to be working on it, as a young person. I’ve seen my friends
and they are currently in the process of getting a job and accessing the labour market so it’s
been really interesting. We’re currently at the final stages of the inquiry so I’m
starting to draft the report which will eventually be debated in the House of Lords, which is
very exciting. Lloyd Owen>>Hi, my name’s Lloyd Owen and
I’m currently head of campaigns management in Parliamentary Outreach. I’m in my third
year of the fast stream having joined in 2011. I graduated from Sheffield University in 2007
having studied History and Archaeology. I wasn’t really sure what to do with myself
after that so I went away to do a law conversion course. After working for a year or two I
decided that actually law wasn’t for me so I decided to look around for a few other
options and ended up applying for the fast stream process. I wasn’t sure what I quite
wanted to do at the end of that process but I decided to plump for the House of Commons.
When I came here on an open day I decided that sounded like it was the perfect place
for me. Wandering around the fantastic buildings that we’ve got, meeting the really interesting
people and hearing about the incredibly varied career that was on offer here. It really seemed
to me like it was the option perfectly suited to my skills.
Nicole Mason>>It’s very difficult to pinpoint sort of one exciting, surprising thing, because
I don’t think the fast stream is similar to any job I’ve ever done and you know we
work in this beautiful historic building which is completely different to anything that I
can imagine, apart from working for another parliament. So in terms of what surprised
me I’d say the amount of responsibility that I was given from day one.
Lloyd Owen>>In terms of the interview itself, we tend to looking for skills such as quality
of written and oral communication. You spend a lot of time here writing briefing papers
for members of committees or writing research papers for other colleagues and you often
have to provide advice over the telephone or in person to a range of MPs on a variety
of different subjects. So being able to communicate clearly and effectively is really important.
The other key thing is political impartiality. It would be impossible to do your job here
if you were an ardent supporter of one particular party. It’s really important to be interested
and pay attention to what’s happening in the political world but at the same time you
need to stay back from the cut and thrust as it were of day to day politics and provide
your advice in an impartial and clear manner. Nicole Mason>>I suppose one of the things
I would say is that everyone is really friendly, even the Members, which you might not necessarily
think are friendly, are really friendly and down to earth. To say I again, there’s I
suppose a perception that the House of Lords might be very old fashioned and bureaucratic
but I don’t feel that it is, it is very different to working in the private sector
but it’s… I think bureaucratic would be the wrong way to describe it. So for someone
who’s quite dynamic and has lots of ideas coming in, I think it’s very important to
realise that if you have an idea of how things should be done, you can bring that forward
and you’re expected to make suggestions and to think about how things should be done.

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