Graduate development programme

Shape your future and ours - join our Graduate Development Programme

We’re looking for talented, ambitious recent graduates and final year students to join our two year Graduate Development Programme.

To be eligible for the scheme you need to meet one of the following criteria:

  • currently studying at Nottingham Trent University or the University of Nottingham
  • resident of Nottinghamshire or Nottingham
  • currently employed by the County Council.

You will also need to have either graduated in the last five years or expect to graduate during summer 2021 with a 2:1 degree or above.

Our programme is designed to shape the next generation of senior local government managers, providing insight and experience in the decisions required to provide over 400 services to more than 800,000 local people.

Your work will help us continue to make Nottinghamshire a great place. For more information about our current commitments see our four year Council Plan.

Hear from Briony and Sid, who share their experiences of being on the programme:

Briony Jones – recruited to our first cohort in 2018, Briony completed her traineeship in 2020 and moved into a full-time position as a Public Health and Commissioning Manager:

Sid Basu – recruited in 2020 and in his first year of the scheme. Sid talks about how he's finding the programme now he's a couple of months in, and shares advice on the application process:


Over the two years, our programme offers hands on experience across a range of challenging functions involving placements of up to six months. Potential placements could include working in:

  • adult social care on significant change programmes to bring about better outcomes for older people
  • children’s services to deliver service improvement projects, implement transformational change and support strategic development activity to support positive outcomes for vulnerable children, young people and families
  • our Internal Audit team and new Business Intelligence Unit to audit reviews of services and systems to help improve services

The programme is structured around an apprenticeship standard and will enable you to achieve a Level 5 Diploma in Leadership and Management through a combination of placements, relevant learning and development opportunities and ongoing support from, for example, an internal mentor.

At the end of the programme, you will be able to apply for suitable jobs that maximise your skills and meet the demands and priorities of the County Council.

Pay and benefits

  • £27,041 starting salary
  • Generous annual leave plus bank holiday provision
  • Flexible working arrangements
  • Employee discounts
  • Opportunity to join a career-average pension scheme.

Equal opportunities

We welcome applications from all individuals and treating people fairly is one of our core values.

We are a signatory of the Race at Work Charter, a top 100 Stonewall Employer and are also accredited as a Disability Confident Employer.

The Council has staff network groups including:

Selection process

Initial selection will be by application form. The closing date for applications is Tuesday 20 April. Shortlisted candidates will be invited to one of our ½ day virtual assessment centres being run between Tuesday 15 to Thursday 17 June with final interviews between Wednesday 23 and Monday 28 June.

The Graduate Development Programme will start in late September.

Further Information

For any additional information about the Nottinghamshire Graduate Development Programme, please email

Apply now

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