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Employers with HR graduate schemes

Which employers offer HR graduate training schemes?

All sorts of companies run HR graduate programmes, including the top employers in sectors such as retail, healthcare, construction and engineering.

As a graduate looking to get into human resources (HR), it may seem as if your options are virtually unlimited – after all, every organisation needs HR staff. However, there is one easy way to narrow down your job hunt. Some employers offer HR schemes specifically for graduates alongside their other training programmes. These are generally described as ‘HR’, ‘HR management’ or ‘personnel’ programmes. You may also come across graduate programmes described as ‘people programmes’ or with similar titles; these usually provide training in a mix of HR, communications and other related roles.

Applicants for HR schemes normally require at least a 2.1 and the most commonly requested key competencies are ‘people skills’ and ‘business acumen’. HR schemes are usually open to graduates of all degree disciplines and many of them give you the option to work towards widely recognised Chartered Institute of Professional Development (CIPD) qualifications. To give you a head start, here’s a selection of HR schemes from a range of industries:


  • Balfour Beatty offers a two to three-year HR scheme within its business graduate programme.
  • Bechtel runs a four-year HR graduate scheme as part of its graduate development programme.

Energy and engineering

  • Graduates enrolled on the HR option within the Rolls-Royce graduate development programme can choose to work towards a CIPD qualification.
  • BP offers a three-year HR scheme within its graduate development challenge programme.


  • KPMG offers a two-year HR placement within its central services graduate programme.
  • Barclays runs an HR option within its global business functions scheme.


  • Graduates with a 2.2 or higher can apply for the NHS Graduates scheme, which has a HR management option.
  • GlaxoSmithKline offers a three-year HR option as part of its future leaders programme. The scheme has four rotations and three core areas: HR services, business-aligned and centre of excellence.

Public service

  • There is also an HR option for graduates looking to join the Civil Service fast stream.

Retail and consumer goods

  • Tesco offers a two-year personnel programme that covers areas such as learning and development, reward and resourcing.
  • Unilever runs a two-year programme with rotations in business partnering, expertise and factory HR.