Ofwat graduate scheme 2020


Ofwat is the economic regulator of the water sector in England and Wales. We’re here to make sure that the companies provide household and business consumers with a good quality service and value for money.

To do this, we need a great team of people committed to working together to make sure that customer and wider society have trust in water.

We were established in 1989 when the water and sewerage industry in England and Wales was privatised.

Our vision for Ofwat is to be working at the leading edge, trusted and respected, challenging ourselves and others to build trust and confidence in water.

As the economic regulator of the water sector in England and Wales, Ofwat’s role is to help the sector build trust and confidence with customers and wider society.

This means:
• provoking, challenging and where appropriate leading the sector, to ensure it has clarity on what customers and society expect
• overseeing how the sector is performing
• seeking assurance that service providers are acting efficiently, on the basis of good information, a good understanding of the responsibilities and relationships they have and that they are maintaining a mature relationship with Ofwat
• being ready to step in, if service providers fall short
• using the right tools from our available toolkit to achieve the best results
• acting clearly and predictably

Delivering trust and confidence in vital public water and wastewater services is ambitious and will take time to achieve. We cannot do all this alone. We need water and wastewater companies and everyone with an interest in the sector to work with us and together, listening and communicating to build trust and confidence among customers, investors and within society.

Find out more about what it’s like at Ofwat – the work that we do, the way that we carry it out, the people you could work with and the career you could enjoy.

First, hear from our Chief Executive and Chairman about our role in the sector, and how that translates into the organisation we are.

The Ofwat Graduate Development Programme provides a powerful start to your career. Carefully designed to provide you with a breadth of knowledge about our organisation, you’ll get to work within our professional multi-disciplined teams, alongside some of the most senior and experienced professionals in the regulatory field.

Find out more about the benefits of working at Ofwat here.or visit our website and watch our video to get an insight into the experiences of some of our recent group of graduates.

Apply: Ofwat

Case Studies

  • Name: Brian Caire
  • Role: Senior Associate
  • Joined: September 2015
  • University: University of Manchester
  • Degree: Economics - 2:1

Why did you apply for the Ofwat graduate scheme?
I studied an MSc in Development Economics at the University of Manchester because it requires you to challenge even the most basic assumptions (who said people behave rationally?) and think ‘outside the box’. After four years at university, I was more than ready to enter the job market. But I wanted to join an organisation where I could work on challenging projects and apply innovative methods. I certainly didn’t want a job where I would be sitting in a cubicle all day and not able to share my ideas.

Ofwat looked like the perfect fit as it’s a relatively small organisation with big ambitions - and it’s certainly not afraid to challenge the status quo. The graduate scheme seemed to be a very attractive opportunity as it allows the graduates to work on various placements while getting plenty of training. This enabled me to decide what I like to work on and what I wanted to learn more of.

What have you worked on since joining Ofwat?
Due to the structure of our graduate scheme, I had the opportunity to work on a number of very different projects. For a public consultation, I created Excel models to quantify the benefits of trading water and bioresources between companies. I also led the process for two licence applications from the initial submission to the sign-off by our CEO. In preparation for our next price review, I had the opportunity to use my statistical skills (who knew statistics could be useful after university?) to assess companies’ retail costs. I’ve also been involved in analysing companies’ financial and operating performances, their debt structure and ownership. Since leaving the graduate scheme, I have kept working in Corporate Finance monitoring companies’ performance.

What was your favourite project and why?
Last year, I worked on our first Financial Monitoring Report which compares financial metrics across all water (and wastewater) companies. This was quite a challenging project as this was the first Financial Monitoring Report ever. It also attracted quite a lot of attention from our senior leadership team and companies who were eager to see how they performed against each other. I was able to own quite a large part of the project which was extremely motivating to me!

What have you most enjoyed about working for Ofwat?
Without a doubt, the people! I felt welcome from my first day and, even after working here for a year and a half, I’m still amazed at how people gladly take time to explain things to me and share their knowledge. People are very keen to live our SAILOR values and not just use them when convenient.

What tips do you have to prepare for joining Ofwat?
You just went through an (exhausting!) assessment centre. So, take a breath and celebrate the fact that you were successful from 280 applicants! If you’re really keen you can keep an eye on our twitter (@ofwat), our LinkedIn and our website. Myself, Chris or Freddie (the 2015 grads) will be in touch with you over the coming months and will act as your buddy when you join, so don’t hesitate to drop us an email!

  • Name: Freddie Levett
  • Role: Senior Associate
  • Joined: September 2015
  • University: University of Sussex
  • Degree: Economics & Politics - 2:1

Why did you apply for the Ofwat graduate scheme?
I studied Economics and Politics BA at the University of Sussex and wanted to find a graduate scheme that offered me the chance to use both halves of my degree. Also, coming straight out of university, I didn’t really have a clue what I wanted to do as a long-term career. The Ofwat graduate scheme appealed because it offered a bunch of rotations across a range of very different programmes and projects, allowing me the chance to develop new skills and learn more about what I was best at.

What have you worked on since joining Ofwat?
A lot! To name a couple: in Strategic Communications I was involved in producing briefings for our CEO and Senior Directors on topical issues (for parliamentary committees, foreign delegations and industry conferences), I’ve helped develop policy around water trading in the Water Resources teams and I’ve project managed work on how Ofwat will deliver the next price review (PR19). Having now completed the graduate scheme, I work on the Strategy & Planning programme where I’m involved in long-term scenario planning for the water sector, strategic government engagement on new issues and I’m heavily involved in the really exciting work Ofwat is doing on resilience in the water sector.

What was your favourite project and why?
I’ve really enjoyed being an Engagement Manager for one of the water companies. This means that I’m their single point of contact for any issues and to update them on all the work Ofwat is doing. I love this so much because I engage with many stakeholders and learn about work going on internally across the organisation to prepare for my regular company catch-ups. I get first-hand exposure to what companies think of Ofwat’s policies. I have to think quickly and tactically to answer difficult strategic questions about Ofwat policy and I never thought an organisation would put so much faith in me so early on to be regularly engaging with senior regulation directors as one of the ‘voices of Ofwat’.

What have you most enjoyed about working for Ofwat?
Without a doubt, it’s the people! There are a lot of different sorts of people in a roughly 200 strong organisation, but everyone is really welcoming and it’s clear how people care about the ‘personal you’ as well as the ‘professional you’. Our SAILOR values are not just something we publish on the website and occasionally make reference to at big events, they’re central to what we do and it makes Ofwat a great place to work.

What tips do you have for the assessment centre?
Remember that everyone assessing you on the day wants you to do well, they don’t want to catch you out or make you feel pressured. So relax and be yourself! (I have to mention this cliché). Have a joke with the other candidates on the day and be as natural as possible. You’ll be less stressed about the experience and you’ll perform better as a result. Remember, if you’re worried about being yourself, I yelled “Haribo” in high-pitched excitement during the assessment centre when we were offered sweets…and I still got the job…

  • Training & Profiles

We operate two graduate schemes – Generalist and Economist, with the generalists being part of our Strategy and Policy pool and the Economists being part of our Analytics pool. Both are varied training programmes that will enhance your leadership, presentation, analytical and project management skills by providing structured on-the-job training and learning that’s relevant to your specialist area and that will give you a deeper understanding of the regulatory environment and the water sector.

More compact than most other graduate programmes, you’ll experience three distinct action-packed and intense six-month placements across different projects and programmes of work in this 18 month programme. Each placement is designed to develop the skills and knowledge you’ll need to form a firm foundation to your career.

To give you a flavour of what to expect, our previous group of graduates worked on a range of projects and programmes, such as the design of a new wholesale market, assessing the impact of opening the domestic market to competition, financial monitoring of companies, complaint handling and competition breach, and stakeholder engagement. This year of course, you can expect to get involved in high profile work around the price review and there are lots of opportunities to get involved in some policy and strategy.

As the future talent of Ofwat, we’re looking for the best of the best, so it goes without saying that this will be a challenging programme but you’re not alone – as well as your line manager, you’ll be assigned a mentor (who has also been through the Graduate Programme) to support you every step of the way. You’ll have clear objectives and an understanding of the skills you’ll develop in each placement, as well as regular reviews, to ensure you’re on track and getting what you need.

You’ll be empowered at every opportunity to reach your full potential and by the end of the programme, the aim is for you to be ready to step up to the next level in the career pathway from Graduate Associate to Associate or Senior Associate.

Of course, we may be biased but there are so many reasons why Ofwat is a great place to work! We have amazing offices, a great team and are driven by our values.

We actively encourage autonomy, collaboration and innovation and there’s a real adult culture fostered by trust, flexibility and respect. Hear what some of our people think here.

Apply: Ofwat