About ngdp

The ngdp is a two-year graduate management development programme, run by the Local Government Association (LGA).

Fast track into a management career

  • earn at least £25,295 a year, employed on a two-year, fixed-term contract
  • build your career in the public sector, the largest employer in the UK
  • work in one of more than 50 different locations across England 
  • enjoy placements in key strategic areas across the council, such as policy, social care, transformation or human resources.

The programme has been set up to provide local authorities with the high-calibre managers that communities need by giving committed graduates the training and opportunities to make a positive impact. We provide you with experience working for a dynamic, exciting and socially responsible employer: the ngdp is your launch pad to a successful leadership career.

Learning and development

The learning and development programme is currently delivered through residential modules, distance learning, networking and a variety of regional events. Our trainees are expected to work towards a Level 7 Certificate in Leadership and Management by the conclusion of the programme.

The overall purpose of the programme is to develop future leaders and managers within local government.

Content will include:

  • models of leadership development
  • financial management training
  • procurement and commissioning in local authorities
  • project and people management
  • community engagement
  • how to work in a political context
  • how to deliver results
  • developing self.


There are over 350 local councils in England and Wales and everyone is eligible to apply to be part of the ngdp. Not all local councils participate each year: we usually work with over 50 different local authorities. For a list of the councils who took part last year and those signed up for the coming year, please see our website. Candidates who are successful in the selection process will be provided with a full list of participating councils for their cohort in early April 2019. We give you the opportunity to express your location preferences by council and by region, but we will also expect you to be flexible about where you will work depending on the supply of and demand for specific placements. We will try and take into account any special circumstances, wherever possible.

The ngdp is highly regarded by councils, graduates and the wider sector, ranked in The Times Top 100 Graduate Employers and Guardian UK 300. It has a wide alumni network working at senior levels across the public sector, having provided a pipeline of consistently high calibre trainees to over 150 authorities through 20 cohorts.

  • Fast track into a management career.
  • Build your career in the public sector, the largest employer in the UK.
  • Work in one of more than 50 different locations across England and Wales.
  • Enjoy placements in key strategic areas across the council, such as policy, social care, transformation or human resources

Are you the future of local government leadership? Answer the questions below to find out.

Have you obtained a 1st, 2:1 or 2:2 undergraduate degree?

  • Your degree can be in any discipline.
  • If your degree was not obtained in the UK, it must be the equivalent of a UK degree and meet our minimum grade.
  • You are eligible to apply whether you received your degree last year, 20 years ago or if you are due to graduate in the summer of 2019. We do ask you to submit either a copy of your degree or your transcript (showing your predicated degree) when submitting your application.
  • You must have obtained a 1st, 2:1 or 2:2 undergraduate degree by end of July 2019.

Have you got the eligibility to work in the UK?

You must have the right to work in the UK without a certificate of sponsorship. We do not apply for certificate of sponsorship for any graduates.

Have you got an interest in local government?

We are looking for the next generation of senior managers to work in local government and across the public sector: you will need passion and commitment to succeed.