Graduate Development Programme FAQs

We have collated a list of questions that are often asked about our scheme.

What do I need to be eligible for the scheme?

You will need to have or expect to achieve a minimum of a 2:1 degree in any subject.

Read more about our entry requirements.

What kinds of people get a place on the scheme?

All sorts of people can get a place on the scheme. What they have in common are key competences, including resilience, values and strengths that fit the needs of Richmond upon Thames. Above all else our successful applicants have a desire to provide excellent services to our residents and the ability to embrace and affect change.

Read more about current graduates to see whether you feel you are right for this scheme.

Do I need management experience?

No, the scheme is designed to develop your leadership skills, by providing graduates with the experience and training to launch their management career in Local Government. Essentially, it is designed and aimed as a trainee role for recent graduates looking for their first full time job; therefore if you have substantial management experience, then you may find that the scheme is not suitable for you.

Will it help my application if I have some work experience in Local Government?

It isn't essential. However, knowledge of the issues and challenges currently facing Local Government is essential. Having workplace experience is not a requirement; however some workplace experience could be helpful.

Is there an age limit for applicants?

No, the London Borough of Richmond is an equal opportunities employer and we represent a diverse community, therefore we welcome applications from people of ever y age, race, disability, gender, sexual orientation and faith.

How much will I be paid during the scheme?

Salaries will be in line with the current market, which will increase with progress. In 2016/17, graduates will start on £21,777 p.a.

How much annual leave will I get during the scheme?

For 2016/17 graduates will have 31 days annual leave per year, excluding bank holidays.

Is the scheme very competitive?

Hugely. we receive many more applications than there are places. Therefore you have to be fully committed to joining our scheme, to persevere with our highly competitive and demanding process.

Where will I be based?

Graduates can expect to be based for much of the time at the Council’s Twickenham campus in South West London, close to Twickenham rail station (30 minutes from Waterloo). Graduates may also be based in Wandsworth for one or more of their placements, due to the Councils’ Shared Staffing Arrangement. However, placements may also include working with the Council’s partners and could involve a placement based at other locations in the London and Surrey areas. Past examples include a Legal placement in Morden and a Children’s Services placement in Kingston.

What support will I get during training?

You will be supported by your placement line managers each 6 months, as well as your buddy, mentor, supervisor and our HR network.

Read more about your support network.

Am I guaranteed a job at the end of the scheme?

During the scheme you will be employed on a fixed-term contract. At the end of the Programme there will be opportunities for you to apply for permanent roles. We will expect you to begin to formulate your career aspirations during year two.

What kind of job might I expect to have at the end of the scheme?

There is a wide range of posts to choose from across Local Government organisations. Your experiences on the scheme will help you decide what type of job you may wish take up after leaving the scheme.

Read more about what previous graduates have gone on to pursue following completion of the scheme.

How do I apply and what is the recruitment process?

The full process is an online application form followed by a series of online tests, then a telephone interview followed by an all-day assessment centre.

Read more about the application process.

How can I find out about the progress of my application?

As soon as you register with our online system you will receive an email with details of how to log in and keep up-to-date with your application. Each time you’re invited to the next stage of the process, you will receive your invitation via email.

Candidates will receive feedback upon request if they are unsuccessful at the assessment centre or interview stage of applications. Unfortunately we are unable to provide individual feedback at the short listing stage.

How long will the scheme last?

The scheme will last for 2 years, consisting of four placements each lasting 6 months.

Are there special procedures for candidates with disabilities?

We are committed to employing disabled people. One of our commitments is to guarantee to interview anyone with a disability, provided their application meets the minimum (essential) requirements of the job vacancy, and to consider them on their abilities. When completing your application, please indicate any adjustments you may require.

If I am in my final year can I apply now?

Yes, you can apply before you complete your degree and provide details of your expected degree class on your application form.

If I have applied for the Graduate Scheme in a previous year, can I apply again?

Yes you can.

What input do I have on the placements?

The Graduate Steering Group and senior management have overall responsibility for the deployment of graduates. The roles will be dependent on three main criteria; business need, personal aspirations and developmental need.

We will ensure the opportunities presented to you will enable you to get the experience needed to leave the graduate programme as a professional in your specialist area.

Flexibility is essential in order to maximise your opportunity on the graduate programme.

Is it possible to delay taking up a post?

Deferral may be granted in exceptional circumstances, at the discretion of the managers of the options or schemes.

Updated: 2 June 2016