Graduate schemes and graduate training
Graduate schemes and graduate training programmes are offered by many large employers. They typically last a year or longer; some extend to 18 months, while others last for two or three 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 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.
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
- RSA Insurance Group accounting and finance graduate programme 2018 15 December
- Deloitte graduate programme – audit & assurance 29 December
- RBS customer solutions graduate programme 31 December
- Aviva global graduate scheme 31 December
- Aon talent, rewards & performance graduate programme 31 December
- RSA accounting and finace graduate programme 2018 31 December
- National Audit Office graduate chartered accountancy scheme – London 8 January
- NHS financial management training scheme 9 January
- Liberty Global finance graduate programme 14 January
- Highways England graduate accountancy scheme 22 January
- Mazars audit graduate trainee scheme 28 January
- Willis Towers Watson reward analyst graduate programme 31 January
Banking and investment graduate schemes and programmes
- Baillie Gifford & Co investment management graduate programme 15 December
- Deutsche Bank graduate programme 11 December
- London Stock Exchange Group business graduate programme 22 December
- Barclays qualitative analytics graduate scheme 31 December
Business and management graduate schemes and programmes
- Enterprise Rent-A-Car graduate management trainee programme 31 December
- McDonald's trainee manager positions open all year
Civil and structural engineering graduate schemes and programmes
- Arup graduate civil/structural engineer graduate scheme 31 December
- Costain graduate civil engineer scheme 31 December
- Balfour Beatty graduate civil engineer graduate scheme 15 April
Consulting graduate schemes and programmes
- Accenture consulting graduate programme 5 January
- Frontier Economics analyst programme 8 January
- CIL Management Consultants management consulting graduate analyst scheme, based in London or Frome with a September 2018 start – 10 January
Consumer goods and FMCG graduate schemes and programmes
- Innocent grassroots graduate scheme 31 December
- Kerry Foods business technology graduate programme 31 January
Engineering graduate schemes and programmes
- Atkins infrastructure ground engineering, tunnelling and underground space graduate scheme (2018) 18 December
- Network Rail electrical/electronic engineering graduate scheme 22 December
- Abellio graduate leadership development programme 2018/19 (generalist and engineering management) 28 December
- Jaguar Land Rover systems engineering graduate programme 31 December
- Rolls-Royce engineering graduate development programme 8 January
- Royal Mail engineering graduate programme 9 January
- Dyson graduate electronic and robotics engineers 14 January
- Wates structural engineering graduate training programme (temporary works team) 31 January
Hospitality, leisure and travel graduate schemes and programmes
IT and technology graduate schemes and programmes
- BT software graduate scheme 15 December
- Dixons Carphone IT and techology graduate programme 18 December
- Atos technical graduate schemes 8 January
- Cognizant digital graduate roles 31 January
- Sopra Steria graduate consulting and management scheme 31 January
Media, publishing and journalism graduate schemes and programmes
- FTI Consulting strategic communications graduate scheme 31 January
Property graduate schemes and programmes
- Berkeley Group graduate scheme 26 January
Public service, charity and social work graduate schemes and programmes
- ngdp – the national graduate development programme for local government 4 January
- Unlocked graduates leadership development programme 31 January
- Police Now national graduate leadership programme 23 February
Retail graduate schemes and programmes
- Fenwick graduate buyers training scheme 31 December
- Halfords retail management graduate scheme 2018 31 December
- Iceland graduate scheme: buying, general management or retail 31 December
- Lidl graduate management development programme 9 February
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.