Thames Water

Thames Water 2024 graduate opportunities}

Company Company Profile

Our role is to ensure customers can turn on the tap and get access to top-quality drinking water, day and night, as well as safely transporting, treating and returning it back to the environment once customers have used it.

This involves supplying more than a tonne of water a week to each of our 9 million drinking water customers and recycling waste from 14 million people safely back to the environment. That's 2,600 million litres of water and 2,800 million litres of sewage a day - 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. We offer our water retail services to eligible business customers across the UK.

Providing the essential service is a major responsibility that is already, and will continue to be, challenged by population growth, climate change and new legislation now and in the future. This means that now more than ever, we need to recruit and keep the best talent available to work with us on some pretty big projects that will help overcome these problems.

We plan to invest nearly £4.9bn across our region from 2010 to 2015. We've developed three major engineering schemes to help stop sewer overflows and improve water quality in the River Thames. This includes upgrades to all five of our major sewage treatment works in London, the construction of the Lee Tunnel and the Thames Tideway Tunnel.

Our long-term plans include measures to adapt to the inevitable effects of climate change and steps to reduce our contribution to greenhouse gas emissions. We are taking a twin-track approach of managing the unavoidable impacts of climate change on our business 'adaptation', combined with a reduction in our greenhouse gas emissions 'mitigation'.

By managing our business responsibly we contribute to sustainable development. This means making sure that the way we do business today, meets the needs of our customers and other stakeholders, and will enable us to continue to do so far into the future.

Case Studies

  • Name: James Townsend
  • University: Leeds University

If you are a graduate looking for a routine job where you can easily get by, the Thames Water Graduate Programme is not for you. If, however, you have been searching for a challenging role where you can make an immediate impact and direct your own development, Thames is the place for you.

What differentiates the Thames Water Graduate Programme from other programmes is that you are allocated a specific role from the off. I am 3 months into the programme and I am responsible for managing 11 technicians who maintain and service our above- ground assets around the Ring Main area and South East London. Managing performance, health and safety, finance and HR matters is a tricky balancing act, whilst the reactive nature of the industry means I have to be consistently on my toes in order to divert my team to priority jobs and keep water flowing to customers’ taps. This reactionary nature of the job means that no one day is ever the same. I also challenge you to find a job that is more rewarding. Overcoming a difficult event that would otherwise leave 1000+ people without water is a great feeling! Although you head straight into a role at Thames you do not miss out on seeing different sides of the business. In the initial months of the programme I had the privilege of experiencing placement days with Network Operations, Water Production, Waste Operations, the Environmental Protection Team, Developer Services and many more. I also got to spend a morning down Hyde Park Sewers which was literally amazing! The placements really allow you to appreciate the scale of operations at Thames; it is a huge company! They also provide valuable insights into how the different departments interact. These insights provide graduates with knowledge with which we can leverage positive change for our company.

The Graduate Programme is especially concurrent with development. As part of the programme I have taken courses on project management and making meetings work amongst others. Thames also sponsors all Operations, Asset Management and Capital Delivery graduates to undertake a Higher National Certificate in Water Operations. This course provides the perfect opportunity to hone technical knowledge that will make you a success in the business. Additional opportunities include managing a WaterAid Fundraising event as part of a team and the chance to become a chartered scientist or engineer under the Chartered Institute of Water and Environmental Management.

As I have indicated, the Thames Water Graduate Programme is challenging but it is by no means a sink or swim environment. You receive direct support from your line manager who provides you with monthly feedback regarding your progression. Graduates are also encouraged to seek a mentor from senior management. There are no restrictions as to who you approach and this is a common theme at Thames – if you identify an opportunity you want to pursue, you are free to pursue it!

Further support I have found comes from the immediate team you work with. Thames is full of good people willing to help – if you have a question just ask! Fellow graduates from my year and the previous year have also always been able to provide me with guidance when I needed it; needless to say the graduates have each other’s backs at Thames!

I have really enjoyed my time at Thames so far, and I am sure that you will too – good luck with your application!

Training & Profiles

All graduate trainees receive a comprehensive training plan and will attend a development workshop as a group.

The workshops are a great opportunity to develop management skills in areas such as team building, presentation skills, project management, change management, and financial awareness to name just a few.

These workshops are also a great opportunity to get to know the graduate population better.

Graduates will also receive job-specific training and professional development training.

Application Procedure


As a graduate at Thames Water there are a number of additional areas that you will get involved in.

WaterAid fundraising events

Our recent graduates have been involved in organising charity events for our principle charity, WaterAid. We have a calendar of events that include raft races, skydives, quizzes and marathons.

Community ‘Time to Give’ days

Have you ever considered volunteering but never found the time? Here at Thames Water you’re entitled to take up to two days paid volunteering leave a year, in addition to your annual leave. It is as simple as that.

It’s a great experience and gives you the chance to meet people, share and develop your skills - or learn some new ones - and do something positive to help others.

You could choose to volunteer with any registered charity or community group, or participate in one of the activities organised by our Community Investment and Education team.

Personal Development Modules

We’ve recently developed our core learning modules to support general business and behavioural skill development needs. This includes techniques like negotiating, influencing, increasing personal effectiveness, managing meetings and many more.

Gone are the old methods of sitting as a delegate and being talked at for most of the day. These modules are about learning by doing. Expect to find yourself putting into practice what you’re learning and in some cases, this might mean you moving out of your comfort zone.

Knowledge bursts

Our Employee Relations Knowledge Bursts provide a practical and participative session giving you the opportunity and information to manage issues involved with dealing with discipline, absence, capability, grievances and bullying and harassment problems within the confines of the law and Thames Water policies.

The workshops are interactive and give you the confidence to deal with performance issues in the workplace efficiently and effectively whilst complying with statutory and company requirements.