The Top Graduate Schemes in Manchester

Apr 15

Top Graduate Schemes in Manchester

Graduate schemes are well-structured programs that companies use to prepare potential future staff to work with them.

They are mostly training programs to help graduates understand the inner workings of the company that recruits them. But they are also in many ways like a normal job, as you work full time, get paid a full salary, and get some or all of the benefits that come with the job.

The time-frame for graduate schemes varies from company to company, but usually last anywhere from 6 months to two years. During a graduate scheme, you are exposed to different areas of a company typically by rotations through various departments of the company to help you come to grasp with how the company works. This also helps graduates decide on which departments they prefer.

Deadlines also vary widely as some companies require applications up to a year in advance. This makes it advisable to start applying in your final year. However, you can still apply after graduation and be accepted if you meet all the requirements.

Best Graduate Schemes to Apply to in Manchester

Graduate schemes are offered by companies across various sectors (finance, healthcare, marketing, etc), and across most of the UK’s major cities. They are more commonly offered by large companies and competition for the positions is usually high.

That said, here are some of the top graduate schemes you can apply for in Manchester:

Finance Graduate Schemes

If you are interested in banking, compliance or finance, here are some companies that offer great graduate schemes to help you kick-start your career:

1.       Barclays

Barclays is one of the UK’s biggest banks, and a top destination for fresh graduates. Barclays offers graduate schemes with competitive salaries and a large range of roles. They also have applications open all year round.

2.       Lloyds

Another, banking giant, Lloyds Banking Group has branches all over the UK including Manchester. They offer a wide range of unique graduate schemes e.g. programs in enterprise leadership, insurance and financial planning, technology-oriented banking solutions and so on.

Retail Graduate Schemes

As most graduates typically aim for roles in finance, these positions are typically highly competitive. Retail, however, offers many of the benefits and perks sought after in the finance industry. Here are some retail industry graduate schemes offered in Manchester:

1.       Marks & Spencer

This multinational retailer has over 900 stores across the UK. They specialize in selling clothes, home products and food products. They offer graduate schemes that help train their future staff for roles in various areas including fashion design, store management, merchandising, food technology, and more.

2.       Boots

Boots is one of the biggest retailers with 2,500 shops across the UK and Ireland. They specialize in health and beauty products. Boots offers graduate schemes in areas like human resources, finance, procurement and more.

3.       Tesco

This huge groceries and general merchandise retailer has over 3400 stores across the UK. Tesco offers graduate schemes in Manchester, that give graduates the opportunity to have real-life working experience from day one. They also offer competitive salaries, bonuses for good performance, and attractive benefits like 10% off at Tesco after working there for 6 months.

Information Technology & Communications

If you have an interest in IT, there are many corporations that offer graduate schemes to help you start your career. Here are a few:

1.       Google

You might think that Google only offers schemes in the area of IT. But it also offers schemes in areas like consulting, marketing and sales. The main aim of their schemes is to help applicants improve in whatever they decide to pursue. They have attractive scholarships package and unique benefits like video games. Find out more here

2.       British Telecom (BT)

BT is one of the top telecommunications services companies in the world with several branches across the UK including Manchester. They offer schemes that allow graduates to assume a vast array of roles in many areas. These include cyber security, project management, product management, marketing, finance, commercial management, business analysis & improvement, etc

3.       British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC)

The BBC offers competitive graduate schemes in Manchester, encompassing various areas like design, engineering, production and journalism.

4.       Sky Group

This prominent telecommunications and media company currently has up to 22 locations in the UK including Manchester. They offer graduate programmes in areas like technology, software engineering, cyber security, business analysis and more.


1.       NHS Graduate Schemes

With over a million employees, the NHS is the largest employer in Europe. They offer graduate schemes over a vast range of locations across England including Manchester. When applying, you should indicate your preferred working location and personal circumstances, if any, so that they consider that when deploying you.


1.       KPMG

KPMG is an international network of firms that provide tax, audit and advisory services. They have several branches in the UK --including Manchester-- and offers graduate schemes in a vast range of services including audit, consulting and deal advisory services.


2.       British Petroleum Company Plc (BP)

This multinational oil and gas company with its headquarters in London has several branches in the UK. It offers graduate schemes that give you to opportunity to gain experience working alongside some of the brightest minds in their industry. They also offer an attractive salary and benefits package.

Applying to a Graduate Scheme in Manchester

A graduate scheme gives you the benefits of practical training and real work experience. Graduate schemes that involve rotations around different departments are particularly helpful for figuring out which career path you would enjoy most.

Now that you know what some of your options are, the next step is getting ready to apply for a graduate scheme near you. The process is competitive, and being a good student will not be enough to get you through the process. If you would like some help from real industry experts, get in touch with us today, and we would be delighted to walk you through the process.


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