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An introduction to graduate schemes

You’ll often be given a mentor to guide and support you and many people find that they’re offered a permanent role within the organisation.

How long are they, and how much do they pay?

They usually last from one to three years, giving you the chance to rotate around different departments of the company. Although they all offer a salary, it can vary from scheme to scheme. You’ll be trained throughout the duration of the scheme, and sometimes you can gain a further qualification.

How do I apply?

There are hundreds of schemes available. That being said, the positions are in high demand and competition is tough. Make sure you leave plenty of time to apply; the early bird catches the worm!

Start by checking out company websites to see what they offer and ask your university lecturers and faculty for advice. Once you’ve chosen a few suitable companies, it’s time to contact them and apply. You’ll be asked a few questions about your experience, skills and motivations.

Most of the screening is done during this phase, so make sure you sell yourself well. If you make it through the application stage you’ll be tested further through phone interviews, assessment days or psychometric testing and panel interviews. These can be challenging, so preparation and confidence are key.

Are they worth it?

In a nutshell, yes. You probably won’t be paid as much as a normal full-time position but the upshot is a chance to experience many areas within the business and receive hands-on training. It’s a great introduction to working for a large business, and the extra support is invaluable.

Why pick an IET accredited graduate scheme?

An IET accredited scheme is one that comes with the best support for professional development and career progression. Having the IET stamp of approval means that the scheme is on par with other schemes in the UK and internationally. That’s because the scheme’s been assessed to ensure a standard that offers top-level training, as well as support on the way to professional registration.

These are the main areas of assessment:

  • Resources and support (like mentors)
  • The scheme’s structure and content
  • The opportunities to develop the UK-SPEC competencies required for professional registration
  • The roles available after completing the scheme.

It’s not too hard to find one - over 130 graduate schemes are currently accredited by the IET in the UK alone.