As a GCSE Citizenship student, it was my pleasure to be able to channel my keen interest in Politics in a day of work experience – shadowing my local MP.
I’d honestly no idea what I was going to be doing there – if I’d mainly be with the caseworkers or the MP himself, but I was excited to find out.
Mike Kane is the Labour MP for Wythenshawe and Sale East and is also the Shadow Minister for Schools and he is also my local MP. Mr Kane was re-elected in the recent election with 62.2 % of the vote share. I was able to campaign with Mike Kane during the election campaign and was delighted to enter his MP’s surgery for work experience on Friday, 30 June to experience an MP’s and an MP’s caseworker’s work.
I started the day at 10:00am with my first job of the day – sifting through the post – stamping and checking through each and every letter, invitation, leaflet etc. all coming from a variety of sources, including a local primary school and different constituents. The letters from the primary school were from year 6 pupils who were writing to their MP about food wastage so it was very encouraging to see children so young getting involved and taking action about issues they are passionate about – something everyone should strive to do. Then, after Mr Kane had finished with his advice surgery meetings, I went through all the printed emails and letters in his in-tray with him, which was an enlightening experience. As an MP, Mike can get several 100s of letters in his in tray and it is a caseworker’s job to filter through them all before passing them over to the MP. MPs get many invitations from different organisations to different events and meetings so it can get incredibly busy for them. As all Parliamentary Select Committees were dissolved for the Election, MPs are currently trying to gain support from other MPs by sending them letters as to why they should be the new Chair of a specified Select Committee. Although, one of these MPs seemed to have forgot to write their name on the letter and so one of my jobs was to do some detective work and find out who it was (the signature was undecipherable).
After that, I entered some details from the letters I had opened into the computer which had a system for recording the cases of different constituents. I was also proud to be able to help Mr Kane in choosing a question to submit to the government for the Women and Equalities Committee, which was centered on amending the government’s safeguarding policy to better protect girls in schools from sexual assault. To convince him on the topic’s importance, I also wrote a report on sexual assault in schools which outlined suggested amendments and used data to say why they were necessary.
This was an informative and interesting day for me which allowed me to fully grasp an MP’s work- I am definitely considering returning for a longer term of work experience in the future. I think an MP’s job in their local constituency with ordinary civilians, rather than their job in London in the House of Commons, is often overlooked but is incredibly important. People often see their MP as inaccessible but I found that I am now on very good terms with Mike Kane and it is easy to do so. After studying the job of an MP in GCSE Citizenship, I was especially able to understand it by shadowing my own MP for a day. It was an enjoyable experience and I would encourage anyone to contact their own local MP and ask to shadow them, too.