NHS tops survey of UK's most popular graduate employers

As The Guardian UK 300 is published following a poll of more than 23,000 undergraduates studying at top universities, the most sought-after employer is revealed as the NHS.

It’s the second time in three years that students’ choices put NHS Graduate Schemes top of the list of organisations and companies to apply to, despite media headlines that public sector recruitment has been falling.

Rob Farace of NHS Leadership Academy says: ‘We are delighted to top The Guardian UK 300 again for the second time in three years and at the same time are humbled by the affection and regard people have for the NHS and our graduate scheme.’

NHS graduate management trainee Tom Lindley, whose profile is one of 30 featured in The Guardian UK 300, is still buzzing with enthusiasm for his job. After eight years in the NHS he says joining was the best decision he has ever made.

‘I love to see real, tangible differences resulting from my work and making a positive impact on patient experience,’ he says. The survey, conducted by international research firm trendence, indicates that students in their first and second years of study are also considering applying to the NHS on graduation, though that trend is mostly led by female students, rather than male.

Students prepared to move overseas for the right job

Besides the companies and organisations students would most like to work for, the annual survey also highlights students’ views about working. More than 70% of students polled in almost every sector agreed they would be prepared to move either within Europe or worldwide for the right job and that sentiment is reflected in many of the global names within the list, which is topped by:

  • NHS Graduate Schemes
  • Google
  • GlaxoSmithKline
  • Apple
  • BBC

International companies Jaguar Land Rover, Rolls-Royce, Ernst & Young, PwC, Deloitte, and BP are all ranked in the top 20, while the United Nations, Amazon, the European Commission and the Guardian Media Group itself all make a first appearance in the top 300.

Unique reference, unrivalled insights

GTI Media sales director Simon Rogers says The Guardian UK 300 is extremely important for students to find out how employers are viewed in all the sectors of work that they are interested in.

‘It’s this sort of detail and analysis that makes The Guardian UK 300 a useful and unique reference work for student jobseekers,’ he says.

The Guardian UK 300 editor Sandra Kessell says the survey results give an unrivalled insight into the nation’s employers.

‘There are some fascinating interview profiles in the publication this year, with some of the top directors in the country agreeing to answer questions about their businesses or organisations and their career paths. It has been very interesting to talk to younger rising stars and to hear why they had felt drawn to their employers and not just in those sectors that appealed to them when they first set out applying for jobs. I expect many of them will reappear on our radar over the course of their careers as they shape the future of businesses and organisations in the years ahead.’

You can read The Guardian UK 300 by downloading a copy or pick up a print edition as more than 100,000 will be available at university careers offices around the country.

Are you interested in taking part in The Guardian UK 300 research in 2014? There are prizes available for a lucky few who complete the survey. Look out for further information in the course of the year.