Graduate Training Schemes, 2021: What You Need To Know

Graduate training schemes

Written by Pareeshti Rao

It all started with an impulsive urge to befriend Enid Blyton and be a part of the famous five! Writing since then has been my magic wand and I've used it to sprinkle words like fairy dust and express myself thereat.

April 21, 2021

Every student looks forward to their ‘post-university’ phase where they get exciting job offers and get started with their graduate jobs. However, with the birth of the unexpected pandemic, the reality is far more uncertain for the cohort of the graduates. While the average graduate salary in the UK was estimated to be about  £ 30,000 in 2021, no one can give a guarantee about the same due to the impact of Covid-19. But don’t be that person who blames the pandemic for taking away opportunities from you. Be that person who finds new ways out and makes the most out of them despite the pandemic. Graduate training schemes are your set of opportunities and landing a place on them is a very crucial step for your future. In this article, we have everything you need to know about graduate schemes. 

First Of All, What Are Graduate Training Schemes?


A graduate training programme is a work-based training programme offered to fresh graduates to get mentored and experience the industrial practices. It usually lasts for a period of one to three years and will either prepare you for a specific role or will give you an introduction to the business from an organisational point of view. In this article, you will learn about how to apply for a graduate scheme with some of the top organisations and if all goes well, your training period might even land you a permanent role.

On What Basis Will I Be Recruited For Graduate Training Schemes?


With the pandemic as a major concern, the UK’s graduate vacancies as of 2021 has reduced to an extent. There is a rise in competition amongst graduates in applying for graduate training schemes, let alone graduate jobs. So one question that remains unanswered is ‘how will your application stand out from the rest of the graduates?” And, for that, below is a chart for you to study carefully and understand what an employer looks for when he/she is recruiting students. 

Graduate training schemes

Source: The Student Room

  • Make sure you prepare well for numerical reasoning tests based on which your aptitude will be assessed. Aptitude is one of the biggest factors for an employer to consider your capabilities. 
  • Likewise, preparing for your psychometric tests is crucial in indicating your personality traits to the employer. 
  • For graduate training schemes, it may not be mandatory to have prior work experience but if you do, it is a huge add-on but I’d suggest for you not to stress on that as much because these schemes could be your first time experiencing a work-life. 
  • Your degree subject talks about your field of interest. Say for example you’ve pursued your degree in a STEM related field, but you want to get trained in the field of Arts; chances are that the employer will give priority to an Arts student over you. Relevance is the key.
  • Your degree result comes next. If your results are great and you’ve passed your degree with distinction at a 2:1 degree, that shows the employer your performance levels. However, getting a 2:2 degree doesn’t altogether mean a total rejection. You could always give your application a shot.
  • While studying in great universities does count, the employer sees your abilities and your worth before your university’s reputation.
  • Language could be a barrier for studying due to the need for constant communication and imparting knowledge. But for graduate training schemes, language is considered important for specific fields where communication is required, but not as much for other fields.

What Are The Benefits Of Graduate Training Programmes?


If you get placed in a decent graduate scheme that is directed towards your career interests, then you’ll have plenty of benefits from it including high chances of finding graduate jobs within the same industry. So, hold tight as we reveal the different ways you can benefit from graduate training schemes.

  • Training: You will receive high-quality training that will give you chances to understand industrial insights. This training will shape you into becoming a prospective candidate for graduate jobs. It’ll give you the workplace confidence you need, will help you develop your career skills, and will help you build contacts.
  • Payment: In addition to getting trained, you’ll also be receiving a payment. It’s a two in one bonus which involves training, mentoring, and hands-on work in different areas of the organisation.
  • References: During your training period, you will gain contacts of different people from the industry who can later refer or recommend you for getting graduate jobs in the same field.
  • Higher Salary: Students who undertake graduate training schemes are likely to get higher starting salaries than those who’ve directly applied for jobs.

Graduate training schemes

What Are The Alternatives To Graduate Training Schemes?


There are possibilities that you may not like your training programmes, or your application may not be accepted. But again, that doesn’t mean that you put a fullstop towards your journey in career growth. There are many alternatives that you can look for and they include: 

  • Pursuing a postgraduate degree
  • Applying directly to companies
  • Applying for internships
  • Working with start-ups and SMEs
  • Starting a company of your own
  • Working Abroad

Popular FAQs Asked By Students


Where can I find graduate training schemes?


If you want to get started with your application process, here’s what you need to do; Discover the leading employers offering graduate schemes in 2021 and decide which industry you belong to. You can check a few categories below in which graduate schemes are offered. 

  • Charity
  • Finance
  • Healthcare/Management
  • Human Resources
  • IT sales
  • Law
  • Marketing/Media
  • Public services/intelligence
  • Retail
  • Transport

You can now forget the myths about applying to a graduate scheme only in a business related sector and start applying for the field of your choice now.


Do you get paid on graduate training schemes?


As a matter of fact, yes! You do get paid for graduate schemes. Not like how interns get paid, but most of your salaries reflect a full-time job, rather than an internship or an unpaid experience. The major difference between someone who’d be doing a graduate job versus you would be that your scheme would involve a large amount of training and development as well.

When should I apply for graduate schemes?


Generally, the application windows to graduate training schemes open from early October and go on till February. However, make sure that you apply before the graduate schemes deadlines end because if you miss out on the application, you’ll only be left with 2 options:

  • Wait for another year for the next round of applications to begin, or
  • Look for graduate jobs

I hope this blog on Graduate Training Schemes was useful to you. If you find tips, tricks, and guides helpful, make sure to read these blogs:

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