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
- Hargreaves Services plc graduate roles in finance and treasury 10 July
- Heinz commercial finance graduate scheme 18 July
- Royal Bank of Scotland graduate programme 31 July (UK 300 employer)
- UHY Hacker Young accountancy graduate scheme, based in Birmingham 31 July
Construction and building services graduate training schemes and programmes
- Crest Nicholson graduate training programme 4 July
- Mott MacDonald 2015 UK project and cost management graduate scheme 5 July (UK 300 employer)
- Balfour Beatty construction management graduate training programme 31 July (UK 300 employer)
- Mace graduate development programme 31 July (UK 300 employer)
- Bechtel graduate opportunities 31 August (UK 300 employer)
Consumer goods graduate training schemes and programmes
- Pernod Ricard graduate commercial scheme 8 July
- Premier Foods graduate development opportunities10 July
Engineering graduate training schemes and programmes
- DENSO Europe IGNITE graduate programme – software engineer 6 July
- Babcock International Group mechanical engineering programme 31 July (UK 300 employer)
Hospitality, leisure and travel graduate schemes and programmes
- The Original Bowling Company graduate management training programme 31 July
IT and technology graduate training schemes and programmes
- Argos graduate digital and marketing opportunities 11 July
- HMGCC software developer roles 25 July
- Experior Group graduate SAP test consultants 31 July
- Rentalcars.com graduate training programme – commercial analytics 4 August
Management and business graduate schemes and programmes
- Cambridge Assessment graduate programme 6 July
- Enterprise Rent-A-Car graduate management training programme 31 July (UK 300 employer)
Public service, charity and social work graduate schemes and programmes
- MI5 – The Security Service intelligence officer development programme 15 July (UK 300 employer)
Sales graduate schemes and programmes
- Express Vending graduate sales programme 2 July
- Enterprise Recruitment graduate training scheme 11 July
Teaching and education graduate schemes and programmes
- Seymour House early years teacher training programme 10 July
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.