NGDP for candidates

The National Graduate Development Programme (NGDP) is a fast-track graduate programme for bright and passionate individuals who want to make a difference while excelling in their own careers.

NGDP female graduate standing in an office smiling at the camera

  • We have a new stream of the NGDP dedicated to those interested in a career in local government finance. Find out more on the Finance Stream webpage.
  • If you are interested in applying to Cohort 27 of the NGDP or hearing more about the NGDP Finance stream, please complete our expression of interest form and we will keep you updated about the opening date of our applications in Autumn 2024.

The big issues facing our communities – whether it be climate change, housing or the cost of living crisis – can seem insurmountable at times for individuals who want to make a difference. But these issues are at the core of local councils’ work. Councils combine the passion and expertise of hundreds and thousands of dedicated public servants, working to improve everyday life for people in their communities, now and for the future. If you want to make a measurable, tangible difference, you couldn’t ask for a better place to start.

The NGDP is a fast-track graduate programme for bright and passionate individuals who want to make a difference while excelling in their own careers. It offers the chance to work directly with communities, but also to influence policies and plans at a senior level. All while earning a graduate salary and completing our council-specific leadership and management qualification.

It won’t be easy: the sector is facing incredible challenges in an ever-changing world. But that is why councils need your enthusiasm, fresh ideas and passion. You will have the support of colleagues who are driven by the same desire to make a difference, and will gain resilience alongside your cohort of like-minded graduates placed in councils across the country at the same time.

Want the next two years of your life to kick-start a meaningful, successful career in the public sector? Join us to make it happen.

Salary: All graduates hired through the NGDP’s national recruitment campaign will be paid a minimum salary of £30,296 (this may be higher in some areas and could increase pending pay negotiations).

Eligibility: The NGDP welcomes graduates from all backgrounds and areas of study. Our only requirements are:

  • a minimum 2.2 undergraduate degree by July 2024
  • you must have the right to work in the UK for the duration of the two year programme. Unfortunately, we are not able to sponsor visas.

Structure of the programme:

  • If you are successful at interview, you will work as the employee of that council on a minimum two year fixed-term contract.
  • During this time, you will rotate between three to four different placements to gain a wide range of experience and skills.
  • Placements usually cover strategic or corporate functions such as the chief executive’s office, projects relating to frontline services such as social care or housing, and back-office areas such as HR, law and finance. Often they combine these work areas around specific projects.
  • Many councils have an open conversation with trainees about their work preferences as the two years progress, guiding what placements you select.

Learning and Development:

The NGDP currently offers its trainees a fully funded CMI Level 7 qualification in Leadership and Management which has been designed specifically to equip our trainees as leaders within the public sector. Assignments are completed in the workplace, putting theory into practice and opening doors for trainees to explore their own interests. 

Any questions?

Check out our frequently asked questions page and if this doesn’t resolve your query, drop a line to [email protected].

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