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
- Mazars trainee accountant scheme 18 October
- Tesco Bank general leadership graduate programme 23 October (Tesco is a UK 300 employer)
- Fidelity Worldwide Investment Fidelity Solutions graduate programme 25 October
- Standard Life business change and technology graduate trainee programme 25 October (UK 300 employer)
- Arcadia Group Ltd graduate finance analyst Exceed development programme 30 October (UK 300 employer)
- Bank of Ireland UK graduate programme 31 October
- Willis graduate development programme 6 November
- Allianz actuarial student scheme 6 November (UK 300 employer)
- Lane Clark and Peacock trainee actuary programme 13 November
- Macquarie Group 2016 graduate opportunities – asset and fund management 13 November
- Atos business scheme 16 November
- Royal Bank of Scotland core functions – finance graduate programme 27 November
- AIG graduate programme 29 November
Banking and investment banking graduate schemes and programmes
- Bank of America Merrill Lynch 2016 analyst programme opportunities 29 October (UK 300 employer)
- Goldman Sachs International new analyst programme 1 November (UK 300 employer)
- Lazard financial advisory analyst programme 2 November
- Sky finance graduate programme 3 November (UK 300 employer)
- Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group UK graduate programme 6 November
- RWE Supply & Trading GmbH graduate scheme 10 November
- M&G Investments investment graduate scheme 12 November
- Deutsche Bank graduate programme 27 November (UK 300 employer)
Civil and structural engineering graduate schemes and programmes
- Mott McDonald 2016 UK civil graduate scheme (UK 300 employer) 15 November
Engineering graduate training schemes and programmes
- Associated British Foods – Grocery engineering graduate scheme 30 October
- Nestlé UK Ltd engineering graduate programme (electrical and automation) 30 November (UK 300 employer)
- The Bosch Group graduate specialist programme 14 October
- Mondelez International science/engineering graduate programme 15 November (UK 300 employer)
HR and recruitment graduate schemes and programmes
- Bateman Carter executive search graduate training programme in sales and research 31 October
IT and technology graduate training schemes and programmes
- PwC consulting technology graduate opportunities 31 October (UK 300 employer)
- BT network engineering scheme 25 November (UK 300 employer)
- Microsoft graduate opportunity – technical 15 November (UK 300)
Logistics, transport and supply chain graduate training schemes and programmes
- DHL procurement graduate programme 6 November (UK 300 employer)
- Atkins transportation – graduate development programme 8 November (UK 300 employer)
- Diageo supply graduate programme 13 November
Management and business graduate training schemes and programmes
- Enterprise Rent-A-Car (ERAC) graduate management training programme 30 September (UK 300 employer)
Management consulting graduate training schemes and programmes
- McKinsey & Company business analyst role 29 October (UK 300 employer)
- Boston Consulting Group associate/junior consultant roles 31 October (UK 300 employer)
- Bain & Company associate consultant roles 1 November (UK 300 employer)
- Parthenon-EY associate management consultant roles 3 November
- OC&C associate consultant (entry level) role 8 November
- L.E.K. Consulting associate graduate scheme 8 November
- Roland Berger Strategy Consultants junior consultant roles 13 November
- Javelin Group associate consultant graduate programme 20 November
Marketing, advertising and PR graduate training schemes and programmes
- WPP Fellowship programme 6 November (UK 300 employer)
Property graduate training schemes and programmes
- Spicerhaart lettings graduate management programme 31 October
- JLL graduate scheme 8 November
- Goldcrest graduate land development programme 30 November
Public service, charity and social work graduate training schemes and programmes
- Cancer Research UK policy information and communications graduate programme 9 November (UK 300 employer)
- Frontline graduate programme 12 November
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.