GCS Interns and the Shadow Board

Blog post by Farhad Ahmed

Friday 26 October 2018

GCS Interns received specialist training in presentation skills from the GCS Shadow Board ahead of their pitches to senior Government communications professionals at the internship closing event.

GCS Interns and the Shadow Board

The GCS Shadow Board comprises of talent drawn from under-represented groups working at the heart of Government communications across Departments and ALBs. By attending Directors of Communications meetings they develop their capability and insight into the work and leadership style of Directors of Communication. At the same time, they act as a sounding board for diversity and inclusion matters relating to GCS initiatives, enhancing its transparency and effectiveness.

Into its second year, the Shadow Board recruited seven new members in April 2018 on the basis of their ideas and belief in creating a more diverse and inclusive government communication profession. They are actively contributing to the delivery of the GCS Diversity & Inclusion Strategy.

Split into two teams, the interns were asked to develop a communications plan, with supporting research and creative content, for broadening GCS’s appeal to young people from more socially and economically diverse backgrounds. Overall, the aim was to increase uptake of the scheme across Government Departments.

The two teams presented their plans to a panel of senior communications professionals, including Alex Aiken, Executive Director for Government Communications.

The Shadow Board acted as an audience for the teams in rehearsing their pitches, and provided feedback as experienced Government communications professionals.

Speaking about the pitches, Shadow Board member Kam Phullar, DExEU, said: “I am excited to see that we have a broad range of bright and diverse interns. Government’s role in closing the social mobility and diversity gap in the workplace is crucial and I am very pleased that both presentations focus on real solutions for addressing this. I really admired all of the interns’ personal stories, which I feel are a real testament to the importance of this programme and the ongoing opportunities created by the GCS.”

Intern Jake Rodd (Cabinet Office) said: “The feedback was excellent with some really helpful audience-related stuff, such as the need to introduce ourselves and be snappy. If I were to do another presentation, I would definitely want the Shadow Board’s feedback again.”

The GCS Internship Scheme offers university students from ethnic minority and socially or economically disadvantaged backgrounds, young carers and disabled young people, a 6 to12 week internship in government communications. This year, the GCS Internship recruited 45 interns, double the number from 2017, earning the scheme the accolade of ‘highly commended’ in the PRCA and PRWeek PR Internships Awards 2018.

Find out more about the GC Diversity and Inclusion Shadow Board in the Diversity and Inclusion Strategy.

Find out more about the GCS Summer Internship.

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