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The best grad schemes

Highlights and case studies that are affecting graduate schemes within the UK…
The best grad schemes

Stats & Trends:
Best grad schemes


Highlights and case studies that are affecting graduate schemes within the UK…

Entering into the working world can be a daunting task for any recent graduate. Often proving to be a baptism of fire. Taking on new roles, experiencing new rules and guidelines and getting used to working with colleagues can be overwhelming, which is where the option of a graduate scheme can offer guidance, giving much-needed support and structure in the world of work.

Not only are graduate schemes beneficial to recent university leavers, but they will also help businesses to recruit new, motivated talent who want to stick with a company. For example, The Association of Graduate Recruiters (AGR) Development Survey 2017 showed that only 20% of graduates leave in the first year after their grad scheme. Even up to five years after finishing a grad scheme, more than 50% of the employees are still with their employer.

Yet, a grad scheme doesn’t just help employers with their attrition rate. Being able to learn on the job is one of the key ways that grad schemes benefit employees, allowing them to bring more to their role and the business overall. A benefit employers should not ignore. This rings true with Zac Williams, Co-Founder at GradTouch, a Manchester-based graduate jobsite, who tells HR Grapevine: “For companies, graduate schemes provide the potential to develop a team of people with industry and company-specific knowledge and skills that would make for ideal permanent employees upon successful completion of the scheme.”

However, whilst grad schemes have been a popular choice for many university leavers, it seems there are some challenges. According to The Graduate Market in 2018 study published by High Fliers Research, the number of graduates hired by organisations featured in The Times Top 100 Graduate Employers fell by 4.9% in 2017, the first drop in graduate recruitment for five years and the biggest annual fall recorded since 2009.

With widespread uncertainty about the impact of Brexit and the increasing number of apprenticeship schemes and degrees widely available, there is more competition than ever to attract new talent. Williams concurs: “Graduate schemes aren’t for everyone though, especially in 2019 when young people are becoming just as likely to be attracted to a job at a smaller company that’s committed to employee wellbeing and work-life balance as they are to a big brand grad scheme with a hefty starting salary.”

Case Studies


Aldi’s Audi offering

Recognised for being ‘really hard work’, supermarket chain Aldi’s Graduate Area Manager Programme offers heaps of rewards to those who can hack it. An impressive starting salary is included in the package, as well as on-the-job training and support is also available while grads begin their journey to becoming a fully-fledged area manager. They’ll also get to travel around in style, as an Audi A4 is also included. Aldi approximately recruits around 100 area managers every year across the UK and Ireland, indicating just how popular the scheme is with university leavers.

 
 
 

Salary perks with Deloitte

Recognising the popularity in grad schemes, Deloitte has its own offering. Known as one of the ‘Big Four’ accounting organisations, the firm describes its scheme as a ‘permanent job that gives you a market-leading salary, benefits and endless opportunities for learning, development and progression’. Financial advisory, real estate and technology are among some of the opportunities available for grads to learn more, and according to Universities UK retention is at 48% within the financial and insurance sectors.

 

Unilever builds leaders

Consumer goods firm Unilever boasts a three-year Future Leaders Programme, which promises to prepare ex-university students for business leadership roles across areas such as customer development, human resources, financial management and more. With a pre-warning that the programme is indeed very challenging, the company is hopeful it will make managers out of each grad within three years. Speaking to HR Grapevine, Nicola Wells, Global Reward Director at Unilever, says of the programme: “The importance of the Future Leaders Programme is two-fold – to develop as a company and to continue to attract the very best graduates – the two go hand-in-hand.

“Unilever’s traditional structure can be seen as rigid and we know it doesn’t necessarily have the ‘cool factor’ like working for Google and Apple. Young people nowadays want a diverse experience from smaller start-ups to big business. Unilever is adapting to this. Our job is now to promote the company as a dynamic fast-paced leader to keep attracting the very best graduates. Our leadership programme is designed to help us achieve this,” Wells adds.

 

Entering into the working world can be a daunting task for any recent graduate. Often proving to be a baptism of fire. Taking on new roles, experiencing new rules and guidelines and getting used to working with colleagues can be overwhelming, which is where the option of a graduate scheme can offer guidance, giving much-needed support and structure in the world of work.

Not only are graduate schemes beneficial to recent university leavers, but they will also help businesses to recruit new, motivated talent who want to stick with a company. For example, The Association of Graduate Recruiters (AGR) Development Survey 2017 showed that only 20% of graduates leave in the first year after their grad scheme. Even up to five years after finishing a grad scheme, more than 50% of the employees are still with their employer.

Yet, a grad scheme doesn’t just help employers with their attrition rate. Being able to learn on the job is one of the key ways that grad schemes benefit employees, allowing them to bring more to their role and the business overall. A benefit employers should not ignore. This rings true with Zac Williams, Co-Founder at GradTouch, a Manchester-based graduate jobsite, who tells HR Grapevine: “For companies, graduate schemes provide the potential to develop a team of people with industry and company-specific knowledge and skills that would make for ideal permanent employees upon successful completion of the scheme.”

However, whilst grad schemes have been a popular choice for many university leavers, it seems there are some challenges. According to The Graduate Market in 2018 study published by High Fliers Research, the number of graduates hired by organisations featured in The Times Top 100 Graduate Employers fell by 4.9% in 2017, the first drop in graduate recruitment for five years and the biggest annual fall recorded since 2009.

With widespread uncertainty about the impact of Brexit and the increasing number of apprenticeship schemes and degrees widely available, there is more competition than ever to attract new talent. Williams concurs: “Graduate schemes aren’t for everyone though, especially in 2019 when young people are becoming just as likely to be attracted to a job at a smaller company that’s committed to employee wellbeing and work-life balance as they are to a big brand grad scheme with a hefty starting salary.”

 

Case Studies


Aldi’s Audi offering

Recognised for being ‘really hard work’, supermarket chain Aldi’s Graduate Area Manager Programme offers heaps of rewards to those who can hack it. An impressive starting salary is included in the package, as well as on-the-job training and support is also available while grads begin their journey to becoming a fully-fledged area manager. They’ll also get to travel around in style, as an Audi A4 is also included. Aldi approximately recruits around 100 area managers every year across the UK and Ireland, indicating just how popular the scheme is with university leavers.

Salary perks with Deloitte

Recognising the popularity in grad schemes, Deloitte has its own offering. Known as one of the ‘Big Four’ accounting organisations, the firm describes its scheme as a ‘permanent job that gives you a market-leading salary, benefits and endless opportunities for learning, development and progression’. Financial advisory, real estate and technology are among some of the opportunities available for grads to learn more, and according to Universities UK retention is at 48% within the financial and insurance sectors.

Unilever builds leaders

Consumer goods firm Unilever boasts a three-year Future Leaders Programme, which promises to prepare ex-university students for business leadership roles across areas such as customer development, human resources, financial management and more. With a pre-warning that the programme is indeed very challenging, the company is hopeful it will make managers out of each grad within three years. Speaking to HR Grapevine, Nicola Wells, Global Reward Director at Unilever, says of the programme: “The importance of the Future Leaders Programme is two-fold – to develop as a company and to continue to attract the very best graduates – the two go hand-in-hand.

“Unilever’s traditional structure can be seen as rigid and we know it doesn’t necessarily have the ‘cool factor’ like working for Google and Apple. Young people nowadays want a diverse experience from smaller start-ups to big business. Unilever is adapting to this. Our job is now to promote the company as a dynamic fast-paced leader to keep attracting the very best graduates. Our leadership programme is designed to help us achieve this,” Wells adds.


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