Graduate schemes

What is a graduate scheme?

A graduate scheme is a training programme usually run by a large organisation. It may also be known as a graduate leadership programme, graduate development programme, general management trainee programme, and graduate fast track scheme.

Employers take on a number of graduates in the autumn of their graduating year. Graduates are given a permanent, paid job and follow a structured training programme for the first 18 months to two years of their employment.

The training programme allows you the opportunity to experience different placements within the organisation (such as HR, finance, sales, marketing, IT and business management) to gain an understanding of how it operates. The placements are also an opportunity to explore your interests and decide what type of work and role you are most suited.

Graduate schemes search
Careers Fair

Major careers websites where you can find graduate schemes include

More jobsites

Looking to work in a small business?

Small, medium sized enterprises (SMEs). What is an SME and why work for one?
Working for small, medium sized enterprises

Find graduate schemes

How to find a graduate scheme, the advantages of training schemes and how to get on one

See also

When to apply

Applications open in early October at the start of your final year. Closing dates vary between graduate schemes - many close as early as November, and many more by end of December. However, some employers will keep their deadlines open for as long as it takes to fill all the available positions.

Graduate schemes are generally very competitive and have lengthy selection processes that can include telephone interviews, assessment centres, second interviews and psychometric testing.

Check your application deadlines

Check for key dates and deadlines to help you plan your applications. Remember you should apply as early as possible. Applications are often considered before deadline dates.

Useful resources to keep a check of forthcoming deadlines