News: I Have a Voice completes second annual public affairs training and internship scheme

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I Have a Voice CIC (“IHAV”) completed its second annual flagship training and internship scheme providing an opportunity for 17 young people to explore career pathways in public affairs and policymaking.

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With the support of its corporate partners – public affairs agencies – IHAV equipped the summer cohort with knowledge of policy making and the fundamentals of public affairs. Every day over the two week programme, IHAV ran a crash course in communications, team collaboration and policy research to present a public affairs strategy for a campaign they were passionate about. 

After visiting each of the sponsoring partners, trainees tailored their CV’s and cover letters with help from Hanson Search before applying for the internships on offer. Five internships were placed with IHAV’s partners over the summer. 

IHAV is working to improve diversity in the sector by training and mentoring talented young people from different backgrounds and giving them access to start their careers in policymaking and public affairs. 

Rebecca Deegan (pictured), chief executive and founder of IHAV, said, “We are thrilled that the public affairs sector is supporting our drive to ensure that young people from all walks of life are able to access careers in our sector. Everyone stands to benefit from widening the talent pool. This scheme puts into action our partners’ shared commitment to investing time and energy to support young people from a diverse range of backgrounds to access and thrive in a rewarding career.”

Sovereign Strategy CEO, Hatice Beton said, “Partnering with the team at I Have A Voice and supporting this cohort through their programme has meant supporting the next generation of public affairs professionals into the workforce. It is exceptionally important to bring in novel and diverse thinking into an evolving industry and I look forward to seeing their growth and impact.”  

Olivia Warr, IHAV trainee and intern said, “The IHAV training scheme was the most amazing opportunity to understand politics and public affairs as well gain the skillset needed for campaigning and activism going forward. For me though, what stood out was the experience of being surrounded by such passionate, motivated people and getting the chance to work with them to discuss and find solutions to issues we feel impacted by whilst meeting industry professionals and getting their personal insight. I can’t recommend enough.” 

 Thayeeba Shikdar, IHAV intern and trainee said, “It has opened many avenues to progress in my careers, as I have gained a foothold for many more interviews in the public affairs/policy/government/public sector. It has helped build a strong foundation for my career as I can present both experience and knowledge of the sector when applying for future roles.” 

Ella Fallows, head of UK public affairs at Weber Shandwick, said, “I am incredibly proud that Weber Shandwick is partnering with I Have a Voice again in 2023. It’s a fantastic organisation already having a profound impact on the sector. Public affairs and policymaking can only be strengthened when it is shaped by diverse perspectives.”

IHAV is focusing its work on opening accessible routes to young people who would otherwise struggle to overcome barriers to entry in public affairs and policymaking.

With the training and internship scheme now complete and the interns preparing to start their careers, IHAV are looking forward to another year of their mentoring scheme. The scheme partners young people at the beginning of their career in politics and public affairs and partners them with a professional in the sector, encouraging them to meet monthly and share their expertise to help the mentee gain confidence and start working towards the career they want.