About the Graduate Development Programme

Our two year Graduate Development Programme is dynamic and collaborative and you can expect to work with many different groups - from consulting with local residents to working in partnership with other organisations.


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Our Graduate Development Programme is designed to provide you with a broad range of development and career opportunities, spanning the work and functions of local government.

During the programme, you will take on real responsibilities in at least four different placements in key areas of the Council ranging from ‘Environment and Community Services’ to ‘Education and Social Services’.

Placements will be allocated based on the needs of the Council at the time, as well as graduate preferences, and will expose you to a wide variety of work and contexts. Each placement will challenge you, develop your skills and deepen your understanding of a different area of local government.


Alongside these placements and projects, you will have a strong support framework to help guide and develop you. In addition to your day to day Manager on each placement, you have regular access to a Supervisor who will support your development throughout scheme, as well as a Senior Mentor to help you understand how best to achieve your goals, develop contacts and plan your own development. You will also be paired up with a ‘Buddy’ who will be one of the graduates on the scheme already who can provide support and advice on an informal basis.

Current graduates

Our current graduates have shared their stories about their time on the scheme. You can also read about the types of roles previous trainees went onto after the scheme.

Training and Development

As part of the Graduate Development Programme, you will have many opportunities for further learning and development through a tailored programme of activities. This will help you to develop the skills, knowledge and experience to launch your management career and gain a greater understanding of the varied work of local authorities. Activities include: shadowing, introductions to different departments, Q&As with senior managers and councillors, organising and assisting at a number of Council events, working during elections and many more.

The Graduate Development Programme also offers more formal training and development opportunities which focus on key leadership areas from first line management to relationship management. Current graduates are enrolled in a ILM accredited award in Leadership and Management. With manager approval, you are able to sign up for a number of the extensive courses and workshops that the Council offer. This includes Introduction to Project Management, Presentation Skills, Time Management, Problem Solving and Excel Training, to name but a few. Graduates have also formed their own Action Learning Set and will benefit from the guidance of a Learning and Development Advisor. You will be able to share experiences and issues and learn from one another in a constructive and insightful way.

Updated: 16 May 2017