MP Teresa Pearce speaks in favour of parliamentary scheme
PUBLISHED: 09:37 17 June 2011
An MP who raised her children in the borough has spoken in favour of a parliamentary scheme which offers youngsters the opportunity to carry out paid internships.
Labour MP for Erith and Thamesmead, Teresa Pearce, supports the Speaker’s Parliamentary Placements Scheme which hopes to attract people from disadvantaged or diverse backgrounds in a bid to make the institution more inclusive and open.
Speaking at the launch event which was held by the National Union of Students on Thursday, she said that the government needed to do more to crack down on the exploitation of interns.
She added: “We need proper enforcement of the national minimum wage law to make sure that young people are not being taken advantage of in a tough job market.
“I have seen how the unpaid internship system in Westminster blocks access to people from ordinary backgrounds.
“There will be many bright, politically-engaged young people in Erith and Thamesmead who would love to work in Parliament but aren’t able to because they can’t afford to work for free for months on end.
“We need to make politics more representative of our society and not just something for the elite.”
The MP is encouraging youngsters in her constituency to apply to the cross-party scheme which is open to those from disadvantaged backgrounds.
For more information go to www.socialmobility.org.uk.”