Equality and diversity

The NGDP aims to provide a diverse pipeline of talented future leaders for local government and is committed to continuous improvement with respect to equality, diversity and inclusion.


Councils are looking to recruit graduates who are representative of their communities, coming from a range of backgrounds and life experiences. We believe that the best possible services are delivered by a workforce who can truly connect to a place and its people, which means that everyone is needed; everyone is welcome.

“There’s various networks for staff to attend with lots of inclusive events across the council, and everyone is really celebrated. I think diversity is definitely understood as being a diversity of thought within our council in particular and I really do appreciate that.” Kiran, based in London

Trainees on the NGDP are encouraged to pursue their passions and interests while they are on the programme. You’ll find Jamie’s story, and many more, in our NGDP case studies.

Candidates with disabilities, and those who would benefit from reasonable adjustments such as extra time in the assessment process, are strongly encouraged to contact our team at the very start of the application process for an open, individual and completely confidential conversation. We are proud to say that candidates who make a declaration consistently match or out-perform other candidates in the assessment process. You’ll find some examples of accommodations we can make on our NGDP FAQ page.

Following on from our Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Review in 2019 we have made a number of changes to our processes and are committed to continuous improvement. For example, we have new online tests that have been tested with a diverse group of people currently on the programme to ensure there is no adverse impact. We also will ensure the delivery teams for the leadership and development programme delivery are diverse.

Further details of the actions we are taking are outlined in this blog post on diversity

We currently have two active networks, an NGDP BAME network and an NGDP Women’s network. These have been set up and are run by current participants and alumni of the NGDP. We welcome and are committed to supporting current NMTs and alumni who wish to set up networks based around other characteristics or experiences, including the protected characteristics, navigating caring responsibilities and social mobility. 

Welfare and wellbeing

Starting the NGDP can involve a lot of exciting changes. You may be settling into a new work environment, meeting colleagues for the first time, familiarising yourself with the sector and relocating to a new area. As with starting any new job this can also bring challenges and there are a number of places where you can get support to enable you to make the most of your experience starting the NGDP and throughout the programme. Councils provide candidates with a wealth of support ranging from buddying programmes to mentors. All of this is overseen by a placement coordinator based in your council who is responsible for overseeing the programme locally and ensuring you’re able to make the most of the NGDP at your council. This can include helping with knowledge about a new area and directing you to general support available from the council, e.g. season ticket loans, employee assistance programmes. Your peers on the programme can also be an excellent source of support during and beyond the programme.

Welfare and wellbeing: ensuring the best for your graduate trainees.

NGDP BAME Network

The NGDP BAME network has been set up by graduates from cohort 19 and 20 and is open to all individuals who are currently on the NGDP scheme or have been in the past. The Network serves two purposes. Firstly, this will be a space for graduates on the scheme who identify as BAME to connect, feel supported and seek further opportunities for professional development. Secondly, as a network they would like to promote and support prospective graduates from BAME backgrounds to start thinking about a career in Local Government. In an industry where it is so important for leadership to be reflective of the population it serves, the NGDP Graduate scheme would benefit from an increase in representation of diverse backgrounds.

If you would like to hear more about the network as a whole, the upcoming events they have planned, their sponsor and the various ways you could get involved with the steering group or simply become members, please email ngdpbame@gmail.com for more details. You do not have to identify as BAME to become a member of the network, if you are interested in this area, please feel free to email them for more details also.

You can also follow the network on their LinkedIn and Instagram pages.

NGDP Women’s Network

The NGDP’s Women’s Network, which welcomes all self-identified womxn (trans, intersex and cis) and non-binary folk, has recently reformed. The network are excited to relaunch and are looking to form a steering group to plan for the year ahead. The network values intersectionality, and particularly welcomes leaders among women of colour, LGBTQI+ women, disabled women and women living with long-term illness, and women from working-class backgrounds. We also organise events and activities to encourage members to create valuable connections, share knowledge and advice, and provide peer support and mentoring. If you would like to get involved, please email ngdp.womensnetwork@gmail.com

NGDP Queer Network

The Queer Network for the NGDP is entirely inclusive, and focused on providing support for one another, having regular meetings and queer speakers in public service and beyond, as well as championing inclusivity across the scheme and the councils. The network also aims to do some work for queer history month and training where possible. If you are interested in getting involved, email queer.ngdp@gmail.com If you want to register interest but you're not comfortable doing so publicly, this network aims to provide a space where you can also attend events and participate without having to come out.

NGDP Social Mobility Network

The social mobility network focuses on discussing and dismantling the barriers which are in place for those who are from lower socioeconomic backgrounds. Local government itself can seem intimidating, and therefore this network are hoping to serve not just as a support system for graduates on the scheme, but also to help the NGDP and councils look at making the process more class aware. The network aims to hear from organisations that help working class people develop skills and network, as well as host events in councils, universities and through the NGDP to raise awareness of class and the barriers it can pose. If you are interested in this network, send an email to: SocialMobilityNetwork@gmail.com

NGDP All-Ability Network

The All-Ability Network provides a forum in which current and previous graduates with disabilities including invisible disabilities can connect, and feel supported while raising awareness of disability within the organisation. A disability network will also help guide future applicants to the scheme offering experienced advice on practical topics such as navigating access to work, addressing wellbeing and barriers. To voice your interest or become more involved please contact allability.ngdp@gmail.com