Understanding Graduate Schemes
There isn’t a strict definition, but graduate schemes tend to be defined by the following criteria:
- Operated by large organisations which are often household names e.g. Civil Service, NHS, PwC, GSK, BT
- Fixed term – usually 18 months – 2 years. Most people are offered permanent jobs with the organisation at the end of the fixed term.
- These are real jobs with some additional study/support elements. Many operate a rotational system so that graduates spend some time working in different departments.
- Well paid – they usually have better pay and benefits than other graduate options.
- Competitive – when you read in the media c.80 people applying for every graduate job, it’s generally graduate schemes they are talking about.
- Some organisations set entry requirements of 2.1 or above and some set UCAS requirements. There is also usually a long recruitment process.
- Timeline – most (but not all) are open for applications in autumn and many (but not all) close by December.
- Graduate schemes are not the only route to a graduate job! Most graduates find graduate level work outside of graduate schemes.
Find graduate schemes:
Social Work, Community Development and Youth Work
- Community NI
- Community Care jobs
- Social Work and Care jobs
- Focus Ireland - Housing and Homelessness charity - 12 month Community Service Volunteer programme for graduates with training, experience, professional supervision. A living allowance is provided.
- Great Social Care
- LGjobs - local government jobs
Police, Law and Criminal Justice
- Victim Support Northern Ireland
- The Northern Ireland Prison Service
- The Youth Justice Agency
- Cafcas (Children and Family Court Advisory and Support Service (England and Wales)) have introduced a graduate scheme
- Probation Bulletin - jobs board for probation work (England and Wales)
- HM Prison Service
- Centre for Effective Services (NI organisation connecting research, policy and practice to improve outcomes for communities, children and young people across the island of Ireland). They run a Graduate Intern Programme.
- Government Social Research service - apply through Civil Service Jobs (NI, GB) and the Civil Service Fast Stream
- Jobs.ac.uk - jobs in higher and further education
- Office for National Statistics
- NatCen - National Centre for Social Research