Skip to main content

The National Graduate Development Programme (NGDP)

NGDP Logo [square]

Find out more about the National Graduate Development Programme (NGDP)

The National Graduate Development Programme (NGDP) is the Local Government Association’s (LGA) flagship national graduate programme for local government which is now in it’s 20th year! 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.

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.

A number of councils in the West Midlands regional sign up for the NGDP each year, our local councils have up to Thursday 29th February to sign up for this scheme for the future cohort. Below is a list of organisations in our region who are current partners of the scheme:
•    Birmingham City Council
•    City of Wolverhampton Council
•    Coventry City Council
•    Herefordshire Council
•    Lichfield District Council
•    Nuneaton and Bedworth Borough Council
•    Sandwell Metropolitan Borough Council
•    Solihull Community Housing
•    Staffordshire County Council
•    Staffordshire Moorlands District Council
•    Stoke-on-Trent City Council
•    Warwickshire County Council
•    Warwickshire County Council
•    West Midlands Combined Authority
•    Wyre Forest District Council

Important Information

Salary: All graduates hired through the NGDP’s national recruitment campaign will be paid a minimum salary of £28,371 (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, they 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. 

What Next? For more information on the scheme and details on how to apply please visit the LGA’s website here. The closing date for applications for cohort 26 is 12.00pm midday, Wednesday 3 January 2024