Home » Graduate schemes and training: what you need to know
Graduate schemes and graduate training
Graduate schemes and graduate training programmes are offered by many large employers. They typically last a year, but some extend to 18 months or even two years. It's the defined time frame and structure that normally distinguishes a graduate scheme or programme from the wider class of 'graduate job'.
A single employer can run more than one type of training programme within their organisation. For example, investment banks typically run separate streams for their operations, sales and trading, investment banking and technology roles, among others.
Engineering employers can run a management programmes or finance schemes alongside their engineering training. Accountancy and professional services firms will specialise in training graduates in particular areas of work such as tax, audit, assurance or advisory.
Graduate employers promote their graduate jobs, schemes and training opportunities on targetjobs.co.uk, in sector-focused careers publications like TARGETjobs City & Finance and TARGETjobs Engineering, and in graduate career directories like the TARGETjobs GET Directory. These publications can be picked up free from most university careers services or departments, or you can download the latest editions here.
Employers offering graduate schemes are very active on campus during the autumn and spring terms.
Employers offering training programmes are also very active on campus during the autumn and spring terms, taking part in graduate recruitment fairs and hosting employer presentations and events. (Graduate recruiters doing the ‘rounds’ of universities to promote their opportunities and meet with candidates has traditionally been called the ‘milkround’.)
Graduate schemes enable new recruits to settle quickly into a professional work environment, receive relevant skills development and get hands on experience, either working in a specific role within an established team, or through working on a number of assignments in different areas of the organisation over the duration of the programme. If an employer has a large graduate intake, it is more than likely that you will have opportunity to network and socialise with your peers.
You may have opportunities to work overseas or at different locations in the UK, or you may be based in one place. If you would prefer not to travel and you like a regular home life make sure you are aware of how much mobility is expected when you consider careers and employers.
Training in career areas such as engineering, accountancy, human resources, law, construction, management and property is often accredited by a relevant professional association. This type of support will assist you in qualifying to practise professionally.
The majority of training schemes have application deadlines between November and December for programmes starting the following September/October. You need to do your employer research and be ready to apply during the first term of your final year.
The golden rule of graduate schemes: apply early, even if the employer has an 'open' or 'ongoing' recruitment process.
An increasing number of employers have ‘ongoing’ or ‘open’ recruitment processes meaning that, in principle, they take applications year round. Despite this flexibility, you are still advised to apply early. While these recruiters don’t give a hard and fast deadline, they may make offers from the start of the application period and they will recruit until their vacancies are filled. If all the best candidates apply early you might miss out if you’re not on the ball and one of them.
For recruitment success, make sure you’re clued-up on the applications and interview methods used by employers. Many large graduate employers use online application systems to sort prospective candidates for their schemes and training opportunities. If your application is successful you may then be invited to an assessment centre or interview. Be prepared for psychometric tests – they can crop up in online applications and at interviews and assessments.
Accountancy and financial management graduate schemes and programmes
- Mitsubishi UFJ Securities International graduate programme: middle office (risk, product control and internal audit) 19 May
Engineering graduate schemes and programmes
- AMEC engineering graduate programme 17 May
- Morrison Utility Services three-year graduate programme 31 May
- Raytheon manufacturing graduate leadership development programme 7 June
Financial services graduate schemes and programmes
- Tesco Bank graduate programme – digital development 31 May
- Bank of America graduate analyst programme 8 June
Information technology graduate schemes and programmes
- Experian technology graduate scheme 18 May
- Sky software engineering programme 2013 24 May
- Vodafone discover technology programme 31 May
- Kames Capital IT training programme 31 May
- G-RESEARCH software development graduate programme 10 June
Logistics and transport graduate schemes and programmes
- Allied Bakeries operations future leaders scheme 16 May
Management and business graduate schemes and programmes
- AzkoNobel EMEA purchasing graduate development programme (France) 2 June
- Veolia Water graduate programme 9 June
Public service and government graduate schemes and programmes
- Buckinghamshire County Council graduate programme 31 May
Sales graduate schemes and programmes
- Hewlett Packard sales graduate development programme 17 May
- Royal Mail graduate operations programme 29 May
This is just a selection of what you can apply for on targetjobs.co.uk just now. To find more, go to the graduate job search.
Research graduate employers for applications and interviews: go to our employer insights section for the low down on how to get hired by the Big 4, investment and finance firms, consultancies, industry juggernauts and more. Follow employers to get updates by email.