Everything You Need to Know About Graduate Schemes In The UK

Apr 15

A graduate scheme is a structured training program that allows recent graduates to gain practical work experience with a company. The structure of the scheme usually involves mentoring, training and work in different areas of the organization. The structure of the scheme varies depending on the workplace and the employer but grad schemes tend to last between six months and two years.

Why should you apply for a graduate scheme?

1.      Job training and support

Entering the workforce as a wet-behind-the-ears graduate can be very tough. There's no syllabus to follow, everything is new and working a fulltime job is probably not something you're used to. Graduate schemes are designed for these reasons. They allow you to learn the skills you need to succeed at work and provide the training and support you need to start your career. They usually include mentoring programs from a senior at the organization, or other forms of ongoing training and mentorship.

2.      High earning

Graduate schemes typically offer their employees comparatively lucrative salaries. New graduates may earn an average of £25K, an amount that will likely rise with experience. Along with a respectable salary, many graduate schemes offer a range of perks to graduates from- holiday allowances to private medical insurance. For example, Aldi's Graduate Area Manager program offers graduates a package that includes an Audi A4 or a BMW 3 series. 

3.      Job security

Graduate schemes usually last between one to three years. As long as you work well and do not break the rules, this means a reasonable degree of job security. Furthermore, the structure of the schemes means you'll become experienced and qualified enough to pursue even more advanced opportunities at the end of your contract if you so choose.

Which companies offer graduate schemes?

Graduate schemes are offered across many careers and job sectors so you have many options when it comes to picking an employer. A few fields and employers that offer graduate schemes include:

  • Information Technology: There are graduate training programs run by Information Technology and Telecommunications companies in the UK including Google, Microsoft, Intel, HP and CISCO.

  • Advertising and Marketing: Many companies provide graduate schemes for graduates in marketing and advertisement. Notable mentions include Halfords Graduate Scheme, IBM's Marketing Placement and Amazon's Retail Graduate Programmes in Manchester.

  • Accounting and Finance: Quite a few banks in the UK offer Graduate schemes including Standard Bank, Barclays, HSBC and Lloyds Banking Group.

  • Transport: WYG, Arriva London and many other transport companies seek graduates for their finance commercial and even IT-related airline graduates schemes

  • Retail: Big retailers in the UK including Aldi, John Lewis, Marks & Spencer and Boots train their staff through Retail Graduate schemes for various customer relations and management roles.

Where can I find more information on Employer programs?

If you are interested in working for a particular company, you can visit their website and engage with their recruiting team. You may also follow their social media on popular channels like Instagram, Facebook and Twitter. By engaging the recruiter, you stand in a better position to understand the ideas, culture and values of the company. Furthermore, students can attend career fairs while still at university and communicate with students who have chosen a career with the company and find out about the work ethics in the company.

Eligibility and Requirements

 In many cases, you'll be able to apply for graduate schemes from the end of your second year onwards. Ideally, you should apply during the first term of your final year after conducting your employer research. While deadlines for application are usually set for November-December, a large number of employers have 'ongoing' recruitment processes.

This means that they take applications all year round. However, you are advised to apply early because more often than not, these employers close their scheme as soon as their vacancies are filled.

On the Other hand, many employers give closing dates and also state that they will close their recruitment process as soon as they've filled up their vacancies. For success in recruitments, you are advised to read up on the application and interview methods used by employers. In cases where large recruitments are conducted, employers use online application systems to sort prospective candidates for the various training opportunities. If your application is successful, you may then be invited to an interview.

For most students, the pathway to a profitable career is a graduate scheme right after graduation. Graduate schemes with the best companies in the UK are every competitive, however, and simply have good grades is often not enough.

To successfully get through a graduate scheme, you will need to pass through a series of steps, from creating a C.V to attending an assessment centre, and subsequent interviews. If this sounds overwhelming, that is because it actually is for many people. With our expert guidance, however, you will be in a much better position to land the graduate scheme of your choice.

Would you like to get started now? Talk to us, and we would be delighted to get the process started.

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