A graduate scheme is a structured training programme run by an employer to develop future leaders of their organisation. These types of opportunities are more likely to be offered by larger organisations and will usually last for 1-2 years, with your start date likely to be in September of the following year.
These opportunities are always widely advertised and are promoted at the very start of the academic year, with opportunities likely to close by January. However, some roles will open as early as June and will have closing dates as early as October… so, if you are interested in graduate schemes, we would encourage you to apply early. Whilst some of these opportunities will have fixed closing dates, many will have ‘rolling recruitment’ and so applications will be considered on a rolling basis and may close early.
These schemes will allow you to experience different placements within the organisation, often on a rotational basis, which will help you to understand how the organisation operates. The average starting salary for a graduate scheme is £25,000 and graduates are generally recruited and trained with the expectation that you will remain with the organisation when you have completed the scheme. This should be detailed as part of the role description, or you could ask recruiters about this at an event.
The majority of these opportunities are open to students from all backgrounds, meaning that in most cases you do not need a relevant degree – employers will instead focus on your potential and transferable skills. Some graduate schemes will have academic requirements and these will range from having a 2:1 minimum degree, a 2:2 minimum degree or even a minimum number of UCAS Tariff points. You should check these before applying and if you do not meet the requirements, it may be worth checking with the recruiters to see if there is any chance they will still consider your application (e.g. you have extenuating circumstances or you have evidence of relevant skills and experience).
Graduate schemes tend to have various stages within the application process and will generally start with an online application form – you may then be asked to complete assessments such as: online tests, assessment centres and interviews.
Use the links below to begin your search:
If you have a disability, you may find the following websites useful for vacancies and advice: