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', which is the catch all term for entry-level roles that require people with graduate level education.
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 and in sector-focused careers publications like TARGETjobs City & Finance and TARGETjobs Engineering. These publications can be picked up free from most university careers services or departments, or you can download the latest editions on our graduate careers publications page.
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.
The golden rule of graduate schemes: apply early, even if the employer has an 'open' or 'ongoing' recruitment process.
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 early during the first term of your final year.
An increasing number of employers have ‘ongoing’ or ‘open’ recruitment processes meaning that, in principle, they take applications year round. Despite this seeming 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 may close their scheme once they have filled all their vacancies. Some employers do give a specific closing date, but also state that they will close their recruiting process as soon as they have filled their spaces. KPMG is an example of this.
For recruitment success, make sure you’re clued-up on the applications and interview methods used by employers (check out our employer hubs for employers with tips to get hired). 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 and financial services and insurance graduate schemes and programmes
- HM Revenue and Customs tax professional programme 26 November (UK 300 employer)
- BGL Group graduate finance programme 28 November
- McGraw-Hill Financial S&P credit ratings excellence development (CRED) programme 28 November
- ICAP graduate programme 30 November
- Operis analyst roles 30 November
- FactSet graduate consultant roles 30 November
- Baker Tilly graduate scheme 2015 30 November
- Financial Conduct Authority graduate opportunities 30 November (UK 300 employer)
- Barclays graduate opportunities within risk 30 November (UK 300 employer)
- Santander graduate opportunities 30 November (UK 300 employer)
- American Express graduate programme (UK 300 employer) 1 December
- Standard Life operational & business management graduate traineeship 5 December (UK 300 employer)
- Capital One analyst graduate schemes 5 December
- Motability Operations graduate programme 12 December (UK 300 employer)
- Willis graduate programme 19 December
- London Stock Exchange Group graduate programme 20 December
Consumer goods graduate schemes and programmes
- RB commercial (sales/marketing) graduate development scheme 24 November (UK 300 employer)
- Warburtons operations graduate programme 28 November
- Associated British Foods customer development graduate scheme 30 November
Engineering graduate schemes and programmes
- Petrofac process engineer graduate development programme 28 November (UK 300 employer)
- E.ON engineering scheme 30 November (UK 300 employer)
- Mondelez International graduate engineering programme 30 November (UK 300 employer)
- Intellectual Property Office patent examiner roles 30 November
- Severn Trent Water technical leadership – engineering 12 December
- Pall Europe operations leadership programme 14 December
- Network Rail mechanical engineering graduate programme 29 December (UK 300 employer)
HR graduate schemes and programmes
- Whitbread PLC HR graduate scheme 30 November
IT and technology graduate schemes and programmes
- Results Through Digital Group graduate training scheme 28 November
- Capital One software engineer graduate scheme 5 December
- Unipart IT leadership programme 8 December
- Close Brothers Group plc IT graduate programme 23 December
Investment banking graduate schemes and programmes
- J.P. Morgan graduate programme 30 November (UK 300 employer)
- Morgan Stanley 2015 EMEA investment banking division associate programme 7 December (UK 300 employer)
- Baillie Gifford investment management training programme 24 December
- Deutsche Bank global analyst training programme 28 December (UK 300 employer)
Logistics, transport and supply chain graduate schemes and programmes
- Associated British Foods supply chain graduate scheme 30 November
Management and business graduate schemes and programmes
- Fung Group programme for management development 30 November (UK 300 employer)
- Enterprise Rent-A-Car (ERAC) graduate management training programme 30 November (UK 300 employer)
Marketing graduate schemes and programmes
- The Phoenix Partnership graduate scheme – marketing 30 November
Property graduate schemes and programmes
- Knight Frank surveying graduate scheme 28 November
- Carter Jonas graduate programme 30 November
- BNP Paribas Real Estate graduate programme 8 December
- CVS graduate rating surveyor programme 18 December
- Redrow rotational programme 19 December
Retail, buying and merchandising graduate schemes and programmes
- Tesco retail operations – stores graduate programme 1 December (UK 300 employer)
- John Lewis Partnership retail management graduate scheme 3 December (UK 300 employer)
- Marks & Spencer retail management graduate scheme 12 December (UK 300 employer)
Sales graduate schemes and programmes
- Diageo commercial graduate programme 24 November (UK 300 employer)
- Volkswagen Group UK graduate scheme 2015 28 November (UK 300 employer)
- Wipro business development associate programme 1 December
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. You can find out more about the UK's most popular graduate employers in a range of career sectors from our UK 300 pages.