Tynwald is a fascinating place to work, said Sam Bowers who, together with Cameron Byrne, was accepted for the Tynwald 2021 internship programme in September, an experience described by Cameron as ‘eye-opening’.
Former Castle Rushen High School student Cameron, 21, holds a law degree from Nottingham Trent University and is no stranger to Tynwald. In 2017 he took part in Junior Tynwald when he won the Outstanding Participant Award and was praised for his ‘excellent supplementaries’ by the former President of Tynwald, Steve Rodan OBE.
‘Being involved in Junior Tynwald, as well as having done work experience here, sparked my interest in joining the programme, said Cameron. ‘Early in my internship I was involved in the Tynwald website migration process which was a new experience for me. That was something I never thought I’d be doing and I was surprised to learn that the migration was an in-house project.
‘Joining just before the general election meant it was a fairly quiet time, but it gave me an opportunity to get to know about the Legislative Buildings and to see something of the complex behind-the-scenes work done by the Clerk of Tynwald Office’s team in preparation for the new administration. Since then, it’s been really interesting to meet the new and returning Members and to be able to become part of the team serving them, in particular being involved in research requests.
‘The research work has been quite eye-opening into the workings of the Clerk of Tynwald’s Office. And then there are all the fascinating bits of history you discover, such as the role of the Sword of State in the proceedings.’
For 22-year-old Sam, his interest in becoming an intern was sparked when his girlfriend mentioned to him that one of her clients, Emma Gaines, had been on the internship programme in 2019. ‘I’d never heard about the programme before that,’ said former Queen Elizabeth II High School student Sam, who graduated from Northumbria University with a degree in history and politics.
‘What’s been great is that when we joined, it wasn’t a “baptism of fire”. With the elections about to be held, we were eased gently into the work and got to know how the whole Tynwald “system” operated. Soon after I joined, though, I was working on a Commonwealth Parliamentary Association paper about climate change, which was interesting. And being involved in the website migration project was quite a revelation, too.
‘When you’re at university it’s all about expressing opinions, whereas our role here is to remain impartial…and that was a steep learning curve for me. Observing the protocols and proceedings of how sittings are conducted was interesting and before I came here, I hadn’t even realised there was a public gallery.
‘I’d strongly recommend the internship programme. Tynwald’s a very professional place to work. From day one everyone has been friendly and very approachable. There’s always someone you can go to ask for advice.’
Cameron left the programme after eight weeks to take up a post in the Attorney General’s Chambers as a legislative drafter. Reflecting on his time at Tynwald he said: ‘In a lot of companies access to the senior leadership team can be difficult but here, I’ve valued being able to have time with Jonathan King, the Clerk of Tynwald, and Joann Corkish, Deputy Clerk of Tynwald.
‘When you think of the term “parliamentary intern” you might think it’s all about filing and making the tea. But that’s far from the case. You’re an integral part of a team serving Members. I’ve always been quite a confident person but having been a Tynwald intern has certainly given me added confidence about being in a professional workplace setting.’
Sam added: ‘I soon felt I was part of the team and appreciated how I was given responsibility so soon after I arrived. I think it’s fair to say Cameron and I feel really confident about representing Tynwald.’
The one-year intern position in the Office of the Clerk of Tynwald is an initiative developed to provide an individual the opportunity to gain experience of the full range of activities and services undertaken in a small modern parliament.
The advertisement for the parliamentary internship will be announced in May 2022 with a start date of September 2022.
For further information contact:
Deputy Clerk of Tynwald
Tel: 01624 686303