Spire Students visit Whitehall

On the 17th October, a group of SPIRE students visited the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) and the Cabinet Office, invited by SPIRE graduates James Waller and Joshua Colebourne, to learn about issues in British security and about careers in the Civil Service. Led by Gemma Loomes of SPIRE and Keren Coney from the Careers Office, nineteen students attended.

Before lunch, the group was based in the FCO and heard about the work of the FCO, the Ministry of Defence (MOD) and the Department for International Development and their interactions. The students were able to talk to a number of officials within the FCO about their roles and careers. After lunch, we moved to the Cabinet Office to discuss security issues. Alistair Rae gave an informative talk about the operation of the MOD, before we were treated to a guided tour of 70 Whitehall. The students were then given an opportunity to engage in a crisis exercise to think about how to best protect British interests and to find solutions to real life problems. Two members of the Government Communication Service then provided a highly engaging session relating to the ways in which government engages in communication. The day concluded with a series of career-based discussions with Cabinet Office staff.

In the evening, staff and students socialised with Keele Alumni which provided an opportunity to meet over 30 Keele graduates with interesting varied career paths.

The whole day was very much enjoyed by staff and students and provided a fascinating insight into the operation of Whitehall.

Students on the trip were very enthusiastic about it:

“It really was an eye opening experience and has given me some direction into what I want to do in terms of careers once I have my degree. I thoroughly enjoyed the experience”.

Another said:

“It was an amazing trip and I had a wonderful time during the visit. The trip really gave me an insight into the inner workings of the British Government and being able to talk to people who run the government on a day to day basis is amazing”

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