• Chancellor welcomes college and sixth form students from across the UK for virtual work experience scheme at HM Treasury

  • The youngsters spent a week working at the heart of government, attending seminars, mentoring sessions and met Chancellor Rishi Sunak

  • A number of the students were from Darlington, where the Treasury will be opening a new economic campus later this year

The virtual work experience scheme, the first of its kind to run at the Treasury with a full week of activities, was aimed at young people who wouldn’t usually think of working at the Department.

Their first day included a virtual meeting with Chancellor Rishi Sunak who spoke about his highlights from his first year in the Treasury and his own career so far.

He also took part in a Q&A with the students who quizzed him on subjects ranging from the UK’s transition to net zero to the future of cryptocurrency.

Over 100 students, aged 16-18, from a diverse mix of backgrounds applied for the scheme. The majority of the 19 places either went to youngsters from ethnic minority backgrounds, or from Darlington where the Treasury is opening a new office.

The Chancellor of the Exchequer, Rishi Sunak, said:

I was delighted to welcome our work experience students and talk to them about what it’s like at the heart of Government.

This is a really important scheme, and they heard from a variety of Treasury colleagues – ranging from press officers and speechwriters, to policy experts and private secretaries.

I hope this has inspired them to consider a career here at the Treasury. And, who knows, one of them might even be a future Chancellor of the Exchequer.

During the week, students gained some experience of what it’s like to work in the civil service and learned about the role the Treasury plays in overseeing public spending and setting economic policy through a variety of seminars on topics including public spending, financial services and tax.

They also discussed the Government’s Plan for Jobs, the Treasury’s response to the pandemic, and learned about Parliament and the Darlington Economic Campus. The group also received mentoring from Treasury employees and got to research and report on a project.

Student Anmol Patrai, from Darlington, said:

Getting a job in the civil service was something I never really thought about, but after a week’s worth of work experience with HMT I realise that there are such a range of roles within Government, many of which appeal to me.

If I didn’t go out and look for work experience I really feel that I would miss out on learning about so many prospective careers. I would highly recommend trying to explore career choices as much as possible to understand what you want to do in the future.

Student Moulika Shome, from north London, said:

Work experience with HM Treasury has been very insightful and informative. I think the idea of seeing politics and economics in action was fascinating.

We had the chance to meet the Chancellor and the Financial Secretary to the Treasury who were both friendly. I also liked how some of our sessions were interactive. In one session, we worked in teams to think of policies to reduce the educational impacts of COVID-19.

Overall, I enjoyed this work experience. Thank you to the Work Experience Team, my hosts and everyone else at HM Treasury for making us feel welcome.

Another programme will be run next year by the Treasury ‘Openness’ Network with more students and more sessions.

Further information

The Treasury ‘Openness’ Network was developed to improve public understanding of what the Department does and why its work matters. This includes engaging with young people to broaden their understanding of HM Treasury and the role of Government and making jobs in the Civil Service more accessible.

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