A Month of Media for Apprentice Alice

cropped-palace-of-westminster-203489_1920.jpg5th April 2012

6 months in to the apprenticeship and time really has flown!  I feel at home in the office and am enjoying the daily routine and tasks assigned to me. It is now Easter recess and with MPs busy in the constituency, Port Cullis seems a very quiet place. Yesterday the newest MP George Galloway walked by and it felt almost strange to see an MP in the house. It may be quiet in the corridors of Westminster however there is plenty to keep us busy in the office; especially with Liz away it is our job to keep the Westminster office running.

Mike has been busy the past couple of months and I’ve been enjoying writing press releases to increase publicity. I have written press release for a broad range of topics such as WWF’s Earth Hour, Sport Relief, the NHS Care Campaign and violence in Syria. I am keeping up to date with current affairs for each morning on arrival I write a media bulletin to send out to everyone in our office and the Edinburgh office. I have to be selective and choose key news stories as well as articles in Scotland and Parliamentary Business of interest.

There has been a lot going on in terms of Scottish press recently. Not long ago the issue of Scottish Independence was a media highlight which led to a lot of policy case work where constituents wrote in with independence queries, suggestions and concerns. Also on an extremely positive note, Edinburgh recently received the good news that months of hard work and campaigning by Mike had paid off as his constituency won the bid for the Green Investment Bank.  A triumph for Team Crockart!

Edinburgh West constituents seem to have a keen political interest and we receive a lot of letters. From Fair Fuel to the NHS there is a lot of room to research and find out about legislation and policies which have an effect on people’s everyday lives.

With casework and media to work on there is one final project I ought to mention which I have been working on.  Mike is hosting a Skills Breakfast event as part of his campaign to encourage local businesses to give young people work opportunities such as apprenticeships, provide paid work experience amongst further opportunities as part of the Youth Contract. I have been collating a list of businesses to invite and drafting invites/letters in addition to general planning of the event. This will be a great opportunity to go to Edinburgh, meet our lovely colleagues in the Edinburgh office and get involved in a campaign which promotes the kind of scheme I am lucky to be on.

Speaking of the media, The Parliamentary Academy last week had an article published in the Evening Standard. See here to read it: http://t.co/0K5NkIb8. I was interviewed as part of the piece about apprentices across London doing different and wonderful jobs. I had to have a few photos taken outside Parliament and Big Ben which was a bit daunting, and with tourists passing by I had a glimpse of how the life of a celeb could be… I’m not sure I would want to be one receiving so many inquisitive stares!

In terms of the apprenticeship itself, we have been working on our NVQ and individual tasks. We really benefitted from a master class on the use of social media from Nick Denys, a well-known blogger for Platform 10. Being fairly new to twitter this really helped my understanding and I was able to go home and use the site more efficiently. We have come a long way in 6 months and it is interesting to catch up with the other apprentices and hear how we have all settled into our roles. At the end of the apprenticeship I hope to continue my work here in Parliament, and have thought about doing a part time degree in the evenings. For now though, I am going to concentrate on making the most of the apprenticeship and continue to enjoy the perks of working in the office.

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