Graduate Training Schemes

A Graduate Training Scheme is an excellent way to jump start your career. It can take many formats depending on the employer; but usually allow graduates to experience many aspects of both the role and the organisation as a whole. Formal graduate training schemes generally last approximately one year, although it can be longer - again it depends on the specific employer programme. Schemes are usually a combination of "on-the-job" and possibly formal residential training programmes.

There are limited number of spaces available on any graduate training scheme, so employers set minimum requirements to qualify for entry. Usually these will be a set criteria for example "You will already posses a good academic record (20/320+ UCAS points) and be expecting a 2:1 degree or higher in any discipline."

Graduate Training Scheme Format
Typically a graduate training scheme will entail the following:

  • Induction: an introduction to the business, structure and culture.
  • Location: Schemes could be located at sites across the UK, you must be willing to travel or temporarily relocate.
  • Training: Generally work place skills including project management, people management, decision making, negotiation and communication skills are covered across many of the company business units e.g. Marketing, Internal Communications, Finance, Operations, Strategy, Sales and Human Resources. These can be project based roles or working in teams, and often (but not always) graduates are assessed during this time.
  • Professional Qualification: Although companies do not insist you study for professional qualifications, many provide advice and support if you wish to do so. Many graduates wait until the end of the programme to pursue a professional qualification when they have decided what area they want to specialise in. Relevant courses could include those offered by CIMA or the ICSA.
  • Mentoring: Often a mentor is assigned, these are often a Senior Manager or Director. Your mentor's role is to offer valuable ongoing advice on your career goals and how best to achieve them. You could also be assigned a 'Buddy', typically this is someone who has recently completed the graduate scheme, with whom you can share thoughts and ideas and can provide you with support.
  • Completion: Once completed the company will place you in the role that you both feel most comfortable for your skills and attributes. Usually this will be a junior managerial role, with the opportunity to fulfil your potential by quickly progressing through the organisation.


  • You receive intense training, development and support
  • It could be a fast track to more responsible roles within the organisation
  • Contacts made throughout the organisation during your training period may assist you later
  • Provides an excellent platform to start your career
  • The possibility of access to a mentor or buddy may assist you in finding your feet in the initial few months of work
  • Provides invaluable access to each department and the issues faced by each function
  • The opportunity to study for a professional qualification may be funded by your employer

Graduate Training Schemes:

Find our more about individual company training schemes in our Employers directory.