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Graduate Management programme

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Our Graduate Management programme is now open!

This programme gives graduates the opportunity to gain invaluable experience with forward-thinking health and social care employers.

Developed in partnership with the NHS Leadership Academy and the Department of Health and Social Care, it’s designed to fast-track graduates into leadership roles in the ever-growing health and social care sector.

During the one year programme expect to:

  • achieve a fully funded management qualification and a health and social care leadership qualification
  • develop the essential skills, knowledge and strategies to become an effective leader
  • make a real impact on the lives of others with a career in health and social care.
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"This is one of the most significant and enlightening periods of my life." Alex Johnstone, graduate at Somerset Care

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"The grad scheme helped me develop a good understanding of the sector, experience networking and confidence presenting ideas.” Emily Paine, graduate at Future Directions


If you're an employer looking to host a graduate, please visit our dedicated page here. (applications open Tuesday 29 January 2019). 

Successful candidates will start the programme in October 2019 and it will last for one year. 

You can expect:

  • the opportunity to become a leader, changing people’s lives
  • real responsibility in your role
  • a full-time paid position for a minimum of one year
  • ongoing leadership development, action learning sets, coaching and mentoring
  • access to professional development, business training and a network of supporters
  • an opportunity to complete two fully-funded professional qualifications
  • 22 days’ holiday
  • up to two months secondment within a health-based role and associated research project.

When you’ve completed the programme, you’ll have the knowledge and skills to join one of the fastest growing sectors, as an influential leader and manager. 

“My personal achievement is how I have developed over the last 12 months, and I am excited for what lies ahead and hopefully the dreams I have realised from this journey will become a reality now that I am equipped with knowledge and confidence.” Natalie Birks, graduate at St Luke’s Hospital

The programme consists of a one-year work placement with a social care organisation, including a secondment within a healthcare setting. You’ll also complete two qualifications, which will challenge you to develop your knowledge and management skills.

You’ll start by doing a month-long induction, shadowing frontline care and support staff and senior managers, before getting involved in projects within your host placement organisation.

You’ll also take part in a secondment (of up to two months) exploring new and innovative ways to improve processes between health and social care organisations. At the end, you’ll write a report of your observations and make recommendations for process improvement.

By the end of the programme, you’ll also achieve a leadership and management qualification with the NHS Leadership Academy and complete a professional qualification.

The programme will give you the tools and knowledge to kick-start a successful health and social care, where you can make real improvements in management and at the frontline and improve care for those who need it.

“Throughout the year, I have interacted with multiple key stakeholders in Public Health through the projects I have been involved in and through my secondment at a GP practice ... this puts me in an amazing position.” Mary France Jardiel, graduate at CareCity

Your placement – real responsibility

You’ll start your placement in a health and social care setting. Your placement manager will work with you to develop your objectives and activities for the year and will monitor and support your development.

“The most positive aspect of the scheme has been observing, supporting and facilitating the growth and development of an individual; noting the change/development in the individual's knowledge and skills of social care as they progress through the programme; bringing a different perspective and skill set into our business.” Tracy Cole, Senior Learning and Development Manager, Sanctuary Care


The programme includes two qualifications:

  • The NHS Mary Seacole Leadership Development Programme
  • Professional Leadership and Management Programme

“I would now say thanks to Mary Seacole and the CMI programmes, I am able to visualise my leadership and that has enabled me to effectively adapt my style dependent on situations – through this I feel confident I will be able to positively impact any teams and services I work with in the future.” Sonyia Taggart-Mint, graduate at Resolve Northern

Graduate networking events

You’ll come together with other graduates across the year to share your experiences, reflect on your development and explore ways to progress in your placement.

Coaching support

As part of the programme you’ll be given a professional coach who will support the development of your leadership style, approaches and opportunities through structured reflection.

Structured support network

You’ll have access to health and social care professionals to support your development. Skills for Care locality managers can help you to develop your role, your understanding of the sector and your leadership skills.

Where health and social care meet – health based secondment

You’ll work with your placement manager to design a secondment within health care to develop support your development and understanding around the interface between health and social care, looking at process improvement and sharing your recommendations and successes.

This is a unique opportunity to work in a truly innovative space at the forefront of thinking in health and social care.

Are you:

  • committed to making a positive difference to people’s lives?
  • compassionate and hard-working?
  • respectful of people’s dignity, aspirations and priorities?
  • committed to personal and professional development?

If so, the Graduate Management programme could be for you!

“This year has enabled me to build skills and knowledge to form the basis of a career I will be passionate about. It has already opened doors for me through the additional qualifications on my CV and experience I can bring to the table.” Rhea Millward, graduate at SuperCarers

To be eligible to apply, you’ll need the following:

  • 2:2 or equivalent in any subject in the last seven years
  • Grade C* in GCSE Maths and English (or equivalent)
  • must be able to complete a full year with your host organisation.

Applicants must have demonstrable skills in written and spoken English to enable effective communication in the workplace.

Applicants must also:

  • be able to provide complete details of their education and any employment history
  • not already hold, nor be eligible to hold, a Level 5 Leadership and Management qualification
  • not have previously relinquished or been released/removed from a training programme in the health or care sector.

Download the person specification here 

We recruit from all over the UK and place graduates across England.

Initially, you may have strong views about where you want to work and we’ll try to accommodate this when placing you. During the application process, you’ll be able to state your local area preference.

However, our focus is on placing highly motivated individuals into the highest quality social care opportunities where there are the best leadership development prospects.

We recommend that you’re flexible in your application and fully consider where you could work for a year to make the most of this outstanding opportunity.

We seek hosts and graduates nationally and you will be asked to nominate 1 of 10 areas.

“The programme is a really good opportunity for developing your skills in a wide range of areas, so it’s really good to be open-minded and be open to the option of relocating.” Kadie Ratchford, graduate at East Cheshire Council

There are three steps in our application programme, to ensure that the programme is right for you and that you’re right for the programme.

1.  Online application

This includes an application form and an online test.

Applications are open from Tuesday 22 January 2019 and will close on Monday 1 April 2019.

2. Video interview 

If you’re successful in the online application, we’ll invite you to complete a short video interview.

We recommend that you treat this video interview like you would any other. Please try and find a quiet place and conduct yourself in a professional manner. This is a great opportunity to bring your skills and attributes to life and give you the chance to really demonstrate why you are ideal for the graduate position – remember to be yourself and answer all questions honestly.

All you need is:

  • a reliable internet connection
  • a laptop or computer
  • a webcam.

3.  Assessment Centre

You’ll need to attend an assessment centre, which will include a group exercise, presentation and interview. This will be a fantastic opportunity to show your skills and abilities, ask more questions about the programme and meet organisations from the programme.

The locations and dates are to be confirmed.

The adult social care and health sector currently employs almost three million people. Together they represent an amazingly diverse sector, with a host of exciting, challenging and dynamic roles, organisations and opportunities.

We’re enormously proud of the quality of our graduates and their commitment to health and social care. Almost 60% of those completing the 2018-19 programme stayed within health and social care, and 75% were offered ongoing jobs with their placement organisations.

“Now, I am back at my placement host organisation and I am undertaking care manager training – poised to take on the role that I have been so excited to get into all year.” Daniel Little, graduate at The Good Care Group

Here are just some of the roles that our graduates have progressed into:

  • Operations Manager – St Lukes Hospital
  • Health and Wellbeing Consultant – Camden Council
  • Policy and Quality Associate – SuperCarers Ltd.
  • Project Support Officer – University of Sussex, Institute of Development
  • Care Manager – The Good Care Group
  • Project Lead – Care City
  • Volunteering Scheme Leader – Sanctuary Care
  • Business Development Coordinator/Outreach Support – Future Directions 

For any queries about the programme:


Telephone: 0113 241 1275

If you're an employer looking to host a graduate, please visit our dedicated page here