Nick Smith MP is asking the borough’s talents to apply for a scheme that could make their voices heard in the Houses of Parliament.

The Blaenau Gwent MP is promoting the Speaker’s Parliamentary Scheme, which gives 10 people every year the chance to work in Westminster when they wouldn’t normally have the opportunity.

The nine-month internships, paid at the London Living Wage, see people from all backgrounds spend time working with an MP from Monday to Thursday.

They then spend their Fridays rotating between the many departments that make up Parliament, giving them a full experience and a big boost to their CV.

Last year’s success stories included a single parent, a part-time carer and someone who was previously working in a call centre.

Mr Smith, who has applied to be one of the hosting MPs, said he knew more than most about the need to give people of all walks of life an opportunity in the corridors of power.

“We can talk all we want about widening who represents us in the world of politics, but for too long the hurdles to even get a foot in the door have proved too high for too many”, he said.

“In the years to come I want to see plenty of people from places such as Blaenau Gwent working here and helping to shape Britain.

“But that only happens if we make the effort to give them a leg up in the first place.

“I feel it’s our duty to do that as older generations did for us, which is why I’m supporting a scheme that gives our talented workers a real chance and a real taste of a political career –  and a scheme that doesn’t rely on the bank of mum and dad as well.”

Anyone can apply to take part in this year’s Speakers’ Parliamentary Placement Scheme until 12 midday on Friday 21 August. Successful applicants will start their role in October 2015.

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