Calling all word nerds and problem solvers! Hansard is looking for new parliamentary reporters. Do you love language? Have you ever thought about modes of communication, and the difference between the spoken word and the written word? Perhaps you’re a linguist or translator, a philosopher or historian. Maybe even a mathematician. Or none of those things. We don’t mind, as long as you:
- have a strong command of the way the English language works, in all its forms
- can understand and follow complex arguments (even when you don’t necessarily know too much about the subject)
- can search the internet quickly and accurately
- aren’t afraid to ask for help and to assist others—teamwork is everything at Hansard
You don’t need to have studied politics or know much about how Parliament works. You’ll pick that up just by being here. Good general knowledge and an ear for current affairs certainly doesn’t hurt, though. And this is definitely not about being a grammar pedant. It’s about accurately reflecting the content and tone of MPs’ words, and that sometimes means bending the “rules”.
The first stage of the recruitment process is an application form and proofreading test. If you impress us, we’ll invite you to Parliament to have a go at doing a turn (that’s what we call reporting a small chunk of debate). We know you’re unlikely to be familiar with the process, so we won’t expect your attempt to be perfect. We just want to get a sense of your potential.
Finally, if you make it through those steps, there’s an interview. As well as us getting to know you, that’s a good chance for you to quiz us. We realise that working at Hansard is not the most well-known of careers, so we’re happy to answer the many questions you’ll probably have.
Hopefully you’re thinking, “This sounds interesting. When can I apply?” or even “I know someone who would be ideal for this!”
But some of you might be questioning how well equipped you are, even though you love the sound of the job. You might be wondering whether it’s right for you because you don’t know a lot about how Parliament works. If you’re one of those people—don’t worry, we’re not looking for the finished article.
In fact, a career at Hansard begins with a comprehensive training course that lasts for six months. The first three months are based in a training room, with frequent visits to the Chambers and Committees of the House of Commons, so you start to become accustomed to every aspect of your new role. Due to covid-19 restrictions, this part of the course might look a little different from usual this year, but we’ll make the experience as immersive as possible in the circumstances. During the following three months you’ll be doing the job for real while analysing your own work and getting in-depth feedback. And you’ll get a postgraduate diploma in parliamentary reporting when you pass the course. Bet your mates don’t have one of those.
Applications are open for two weeks, from 11 to 25 January. We’re looking forward to hearing from you. And if this job isn’t for you, but might be of interest to someone you know, please share this post with them.