Defra 2024 graduate opportunities

Company Company Profile

At the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) we embrace change. We embrace creativity and innovative thinking. We embrace collaboration and determination – and we embrace the huge impact that our people have on the nations’ lives. Join us, and you will find a dynamic and progressive organisation that is committed to creating tangible results for the British population – a place where your career ambitions matter, and regardless of your background, your skills will be developed and enhanced.

What we do

At Defra, our work is deeply varied and far-reaching. From maintaining water quality to supporting the UK’s fishing and farming industries, we strive to support the rural economies, ensuring there is enough food for everyone and that production processes are sustainable. We also take responsibility for air quality, seek out innovative new ways to tackle climate change, engineer the nation’s defences against natural threats and hazards and identify the measures that we need to put in place in order to protect the world and its resources – and leave the environment in a better state for future generations.

The policy profession

Committed to shaping the policies that shape life, this is a team where innovation and creativity are expected. Bringing the most cutting-edge research together with subject experts, the team are at the helm of the biggest issues the UK has ever faced. From reducing landfill and water wastage to using natural resources in a more sustainable way, our policy colleagues identify the changes that need to be made to ensure the ongoing viability of the planet.

The skills we look for in future employees

Across the department, we seek colleagues who have exceptional verbal and written communication skills. With the capacity to translate complex issues into a language that a variety of audiences can understand, you will be both a great listener and adept at influencing those you are engaging with. As a team, we adapt quickly to meet new challenges and to adopt the most progressive thinking, so you will be a flexible collaborator, with the capacity to work with ambiguous information. Confident in your ability to make decisions when under pressure, you will excel with us if you can see the bigger picture at all times. Crucially, you will be open-minded with a willingness to learn.

Developing Your Career

You will be supported by ongoing training and development opportunities, plus mentorship and support from senior colleagues. As a forward-thinking team that encourages cross-departmental working, you will also enjoy plenty of networking opportunities with colleagues at all levels, plus access to external bodies and the industry’s foremost experts.


It is vital that our team are reflective of the population that we serve. We therefore offer an inclusive workplace, where diversity is welcomed and celebrated, and equality is expected. We want our staff to achieve their full potential and to feel confident that they are not being discriminated against, including those who wish to agree working arrangements that match their lifestyle needs. We also make workplace adjustments to enable applicants with a disability to fulfil their roles, and we support a number of national events such as National Inclusion Week, LGBT and Black History Month.

Application Procedure