This speech was given at our reporting event held at the Scottish Parliament on 24th February 2015 – you can view the article covering the event here: Reporting on our Parliamentary interns pilot
After hearing from the other interns here tonight, I feel we can be in no doubt of just how beneficial this program has been. My own experiences back this up as well. I had an incredible time in Parliament working for James Dornan and shadowing several different departments within the corporate body.
When I have told friends and family about them, it sometimes sounds like I’m making it up! I know the other interns have also had similar experiences.
We have all learnt a huge amount during our time and can say with all certainty that we gained many valuable skills, which have added tangible experience and something of an “x-factor” to our CV’s. For me, prior to starting the internship I had graduated with an honours degree and was having very little luck in securing an interview, let alone a job. 11 months following my graduation my job search had been entirely fruitless. Since finishing my internship, however, it has been a different story. I have recently been successfully appointed as a Case Worker for the Student Awards Agency for Scotland.
I feel my success is a credit to the programme and the weight it has added to my CV. I hope now to catch up to and find myself on an equal footing with my peers in terms of building a career. I hope my success will serve as an example to strongly support the work of this project for many years to come, and help inspire other disabled people to seek such opportunities.
While I’m obviously delighted about my new job, I have found myself reflecting on the fact that society as a whole still has a long way to go to reach the equality we desire. Although legislation is there to ensure that disabled people are treated equally to others we clearly need to do more to ensure that it is put into practice and adhered to, so as to be able to truly level the playing field.
I’m sure I speak for all the interns in thanking the Scottish Government for funding this project and the Parliament and our host MSPs, especially James Dornan, for supporting it – and we encourage you to continue to do so as there remains much work to be done!