Careers, Employability and Skills

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Graduate Training Schemes

There are a number of graduate training programmes, in many cases government-sponsored initiatives. They are designed to both support particular sectors of industry and business make better use of graduate talent and provide an opportunity for new graduates to develop their employability skills and gain practical experience before embarking on their graduate career. While there’s no guarantee of a permanent job at the end of a programme, many participating graduates do find their first permanent job as a result, often with the company they were placed with. Each programme may differ in its eligibility requirements so check with the training provider before applying. Programme features often include:

  • Work placements with employers
  • Opportunity to gain a higher level qualification relevant to the targeted work area
  • Training allowance rather than a salary 

Northern Ireland

  • Graduate Acceleration Programme (GAP) – work placement programme for new/recent graduates designed to develop employability skills and offer a specific qualification (Business in the Community information on the programme)
  • Intro – work experience in a business environment and opportunity to work towards a management qualification
  • Propel – entrepreneurial programme run by Invest NI aimed at developing business ideas  in the knowledge sector

Northern Ireland and Republic of Ireland

  • InterTradeIreland Fusion and Acumen – work placement with a business and relevant postgrad diploma within Technology Transfer (Fusion) and Sales/Marketing (Acumen) across the island of Ireland

Republic of Ireland


  • Knowledge Transfer Partnerships – UK-wide programme with projects involving a partnership between a graduate, organisation and university or research organisation
  • AB Agri – training in a variety of functions within the food, drink and animal feed sectors   with the Agriculture Group of Associated British Foods plc