Impact: The Local Government Graduate Programme for councils

Impact: The Local Government Graduate Programme is the LGA’s flagship national graduate programme for local government. For over 20 years, the programme has been offering a unique opportunity to place high quality graduates in councils, helping them to meet strategic goals and build a pipeline of future talent.

A young man looking at someone and smiling

Formerly known as NGDP, the programme has undergone a rebrand for 2025, but remains otherwise the same flagship scheme. 

Councils are able to sign up to Impact using this form. The sign-up window for cohort 27 will be open until February 2025. 

As the finance stream is only available in London for now, the team will be in touch directly with eligible councils regarding sign up.  

Even outside of the sign up window, it may be possible to recruit bright and motivated graduates and help develop the future leaders of the sector. Please get in touch with the team by emailing [email protected] for an informal conversation about the programme. 

What is Impact. The Local Government Graduate Programme?

  • Impact is a two year graduate development programme.
  • Graduates are employed by councils and complete a minimum of three placements to develop skills across a variety of services.
  • Alongside their employment, graduates undertake a prestigious learning and development offer provided by the LGA.

Find out about the City of Wolverhampton's experience as a partner council in our video: 

The below case studies reference the ‘NGDP’ – the former name for the programme. Please note the content and structure remains the same despite the new name. 

Benefits for councils

  • The Impact gives councils the opportunity to build capacity and to nurture and develop their own talent, while providing an opportunity for talented graduates to fast track their local government career.
  • Through a highly competitive process, which attracted over 4,500 applications last year, the programme matches bright, passionate graduates with councils across the country.
  • At a time when local government is facing significant challenges, attracting the best talent to the sector has never been more important. As a Times Top 100 graduate employer, the Impact is ensuring local government continues to be seen as a positive, relevant and vibrant choice for the best graduate talent.

Success story: Mike Greene, Chief Executive at Stockton-on-Tees Borough Council

Mike Greene, now Chief Executive at Stockton-on-Tees Borough Council, spoke to the LGA about his experience since his time on the National Graduates Development Programme (NGDP). Mike joined the NGDP as part of cohort 9 in 2007. During his time on the NGDP Mike worked at Bury Metropolitan Borough Council. He secured a role at the council after the programme, working on urban strategy and transformation. He then progressed to Head of Service roles in Kirklees, Tees Valley, Redcar and Cleveland councils. Mike became Chief Executive of Scarborough Borough Council in 2019 and Stockton-on-Tees Borough Council in 2022.

Why would you encourage chief executives to sign up their councils to the programme?

“This programme helps to invest, shape and provide the leaders of the future. It is a sustainable way to support training graduates from within the sector for the sector.”