Migrant-Councillor Internship Scheme
Promoting migrant participation in Irish politics through political internships with local city and county councillors across Ireland.
For many migrants the lack of diversity and representation in key areas of Irish society is an ongoing visual reminder that we are still some distance away from being a fully inclusive society. The Immigrant Council is working to change this by promoting diversity and inclusion across all aspects of Irish life, especially politics.
The Immigrant Council is working to change this by promoting diversity and inclusion across all aspects of Irish life, especially politics.
With more migrant involvement, we will see representation grow and a better balance that reflects the changing face of Irish society. This is especially important for young migrants who often tell us they don’t see themselves represented in many leadership areas in Ireland.
One of the ways we are working to increase diversity and inclusion is our Migrant-Councillor Internship Scheme, a mentoring programme that pairs local councillors with migrants who want to learn more about Irish politics and get involved in their local communities.
If you are a migrant with an interest in politics looking to get involved, read on. If you are a local councillor interested in mentoring as part of the Scheme, read more.
Information for migrant participants
Are you interested in finding out more about local politics in your area? Would you like to experience how local politics operates on the frontline?
The Immigrant Council will run 15 local political internships across Ireland for migrants between March and June 2023. Successful applicants will be placed with local participating councillors for one day a week (or the equivalent of 7 hours over a few days) for a three-month period.
Orientation and ongoing support will be provided. Please note there is no financial remuneration for participation in this scheme, however, transport and lunch expenses as well as childcare costs for single parents will be provided.
Time commitment: The intern will need to commit approximately 7 hours per week for a 12 week period. Please note councillors work very flexible hours, including evenings and weekends and you may be required to conduct your internship during those hours too.
Internship content: A more specific schedule of engagement will be developed once an intern is placed with the councillor. The content and timetable of the schedule will be defined by the work patterns and needs of the specific councillor, and the availability and skills of the intern.
It is expected that the internship could include some of the following:
- Monthly council meetings attendance;
- Monthly area committee meetings attendance;
- Relevant Strategic Policy Committee meetings attendance;
- Local community meetings and events attendance;
- Attending the councillor’s advice clinic;
- Organising an online meeting between the councillor and the local migrant community;
- Voter registration;
In addition the intern will be required to hold regular debriefing meetings with the project coordinator. Interns will be asked to volunteer to record their experience in the form of a vlog (video diary - training will be provided).
How to apply
- be EU or non-EEA citizens or recently naturalised Irish citizens originally from a non-EEA country;
- be 18 years or older;
- have good written and spoken English language skills;
- be well-connected with your local migrant community;
- have an interest in politics;
- be reliable, with a strong commitment to the aims of the scheme;
- be able to work well under pressure and use their initiative;
- work well in a team;
- create a short, 3-minute video (in English) as part of the application process.
You can watch the latest Information session for migrant candidates MCIS Feb 2023 here
Information for councillors
Are you a local councillor interested in supporting diversity in politics? Would you like to host an intern of a migrant background?
Following a successful pilot Migrant-Councillor Internship Scheme in 2018 and 2021, the Immigrant Council will run 15 local political internships across Ireland for migrants between March and June 2023.
Participating councillors will host an intern for one day a week (or equivalent of 7 hours over a few days) for a three month period. Orientation and ongoing support will be provided.
In addition the hosting councillor will be asked to provide feedback on the internship progress to the project coordinator.
Placements starting date will be flexible to accommodate different work commitments. We aim at starting most of the internships in March 2023.
Interested in taking part?
Please send an email indicating your interest to Liliana.firstname.lastname@example.org by 30th January 2023. Please provide your name, contact details, electoral area and political affiliation.
The Migrant-Councillor Internship Scheme aims to increase migrant participation in Irish politics by giving migrant candidates experience to local politics through one-on-one mentorships with experienced Irish city and county councillors.
About the 2021 Migrant-Councillor Internship Scheme
In 2021, we ran the second internship scheme, successfully pairing 11 migrants and local councillors. Migrants were living in Dublin; Galway; Cork; Kerry and Leitrim. We have received confirmation that some of the interns will be running in the 2024 Local Elections. See some of the testimonies here.
Amir Seifi, born in Iran and currently living in Dublin, he was an intern in 2021 with councillor Daryl Barron from Dublin City Council. Amir had to leave the dictatorship in Iran to start a new life in Dublin. Passionate about politics, Amir will continue a career in politics after finishing his internship.
“We agreed that my cooperation with the councillor will continue and we have discussed plans and projects for 2022. Currently, I have decided to continue to assist him with those plans and reassess the option of running in local elections in the future. One way or another, I am contemplating and considering a career in politics”. Amir Seifi, Co. Dublin.
“This experience has driven home for me the importance of adequate representation in council meetings. I firmly believe that working in a political setting is critical in integrating migrants in the community. A Councillor from a migrant background would certainly be a great influence at council meetings in my opinion as their presence would be a constant reminder of the diversity of the population and help ensure that their interests are considered in decision making.”
- Councillor Uruemu Adejinmi, Longford County Council