Our graduate scheme

Information about our graduate career opportunities, how to apply and the benefits of working for us.

Search for graduate opportunities

All our graduate vacancies are advertised on our jobs and careers page so keep an eye on it for any opportunities that become available. You can also set up job alerts which will send you an email when a vacancy arises that matches the criteria you have set.

Search for graduate opportunities

We welcome graduate applications for any vacancy, not just for graduate programmes.

An image of graduates throwing their graduation caps in the air next to an image of three people wearing hard hats and high visibility jackets looking at information on clipboards and tablets.

Why consider a graduate opportunity with us?

The vacancies include short term paid internships of 12 weeks duration in addition to longer term employment opportunities to enable you to gain the skills and experiences necessary to advance your career.

If you are appointed, you will gain transferable skills and the recognition of working for one of the largest employers in North Yorkshire. While some opportunities may not be in your desired employment area, they are an ideal stepping stone to developing skills and experience.

If you are successful in gaining employment with us, your new position will enable you to apply your existing skills to a professional environment and enable you to develop further. You will gain invaluable experience in a challenging role to enhance your career prospects.

Skills which you can learn and enhance through a position with us include:

  • time management
  • creativity
  • communication
  • commercial awareness
  • teamwork
  • specific occupational skills
  • negotiation and persuasion
  • technical skills
  • problem solving
  • networking
  • leadership
  • ICT skills
  • organisation
  • ability to work under pressure
  • perseverance and motivation
  • confidence

About our graduate development programme

These roles will form part of our graduate development programme, which offers you the opportunity to develop a wide range of skills in roles supporting the operational delivery of frontline services. These positions will be fast-paced and will require individuals who can demonstrate resilience and an ability to develop creative solutions to help shape services of the future.

This is a two year programme and will integrate training within the operational job role. It will include a variety of training and development opportunities, which are undertaken in a group setting with other graduates who join the 2023-24 cohort. We are committed to helping you secure a position with North Yorkshire Council at the end of your programme, and you will be able to apply for internal and external vacancies which arise. The learning and development you gain through the programme will strengthen your ability to secure further employment.

Corporate graduate development programme

All graduates are expected to participate in the corporate graduate development programme, which includes:

  • managers induction
  • aspiring managers webinar
  • line manager leadership programme
  • middle managers programme
  • equality, diversity and inclusion course
  • personal resilience and wellbeing webinar
  • project management course
  • access to online learning resources, including Ashridge Management College and Learning Nexus
  • graduate network membership, including attending graduate network meetings and peer support
  • mentor support

We will offer you appropriate management skills training if you have staff to manage during your programme, or to support you permanent placement following the graduate programme.

Training and development

As part of the development programme, you will complete the following in-house training:

  • corporate induction
  • aspiring managers programme
  • senior managers’ seminars (led by the Chief Executive)
  • managers webinars programme
  • access to online material, including Ashridge Management College
  • graduate network membership, including ‘lunchtime learning’
  • mentor support
  • management skills training if you acquire staff to manage during your programme or to support permanent placement following the graduate programme

We also expect that graduates will learn about the political landscape of authority, and understand working with elected members to help shape our services and community focus.

A smiling woman making notes on a clipboard.

Mentoring and career support

In addition to your line manager, we will provide a structured mentoring support scheme with a senior manager to all participants on the programme; either in the authority or a partner organisation. Continuous careers advice and guidance will be built into the programme to support you in identifying areas you would like to develop and how your career aspirations can be achieved within the council.

You will also benefit from attending senior manager seminars, which provide further learning and networking opportunities, with the chance to discuss topics and situations with senior managers who participate.

An image of a smiling graduate holding their certificate next to an image of four people working in an office and smiling.

Networking opportunities

As we are recruiting for a number of graduate positions, you will benefit from having the support of fellow graduate trainees who you can network with, share experiences and participate as part of a group in wider corporate training and development. We have found from previous graduate programmes that this can be extremely beneficial, and often forges strong working relations.

We are committed to helping you secure a position with us at the end of the programme, and you will be able to apply for internal and external vacancies.

A man and a woman looking at information together in an office.

Pay progression

In addition to ongoing support and training throughout the graduate programme, we also offer a competitive pay scheme that allows your salary to progress on a regular basis. All of the graduate roles follow the same pay model, which is as follows:

  • first six months at £23,893
  • second six months at £25,119
  • final 12 months at £26,873

Pay progression is subject to satisfactory performance in the role.

An image of a North Yorkshire town next to an image of a young woman talking to two small children at a table covered in toys.
A man smiling and working at a computer.

Our opportunities

Whilst we regularly recruit graduates to our graduate scheme, we are not advertising a specific role at the moment, but it is likely that we will have opportunities very soon. Meanwhile, why not visit our vacancies page and register for jobs alerts, the ideal role might be just around the corner. Don't miss out on this exciting opportunity - apply now!

What we expect from you

When you join us as a graduate you will be expected to:

  • achieve the objectives sent to you and ask for help and clarification where needed
  • develop your knowledge through self-directed study, further research, reading and questions
  • fully participate in all training opportunities through on-the-job experience, mentoring, coaching, formal training and learning
  • work toward becoming a member/associate of the relevant professional body, where appropriate

You will also be expected to make the most of the opportunities available within the council, and demonstrate our expected behaviours. These are:

  • be kind and compassionate and treat each other with respect
  • be inclusive, seek the views of others and respond positively even where there are differences
  • celebrate diversity recognising each others contribution
  • be aspirational in our service delivery for our local communities
  • seek opportunities to share ideas and develop our approaches across partners
  • understand how to deliver priorities on a locality basis
  • adapt to a changing environment by listening  to others and learning from each other
  • think differently and seek new ways to improve services
  • see feedback and shared views as opportunities to learn
  • build on and develop relationships with colleagues and partners
  • deliver excellent customer service through partnership working
  • be visible and accessible in my team and with others to achieve goals together

Contact us

If you are having any difficulties completing your application and would like some advice on this, please contact us.

Hear what our graduates have to say

We are very lucky to have truly excellent graduates who work with our organisation and many of them have progressed to lead management roles. We strive to offer our graduates ongoing support in order to help them achieve their maximum potential. We asked some of our current and previous graduates about their experience with our graduate programme, and here is what they had to say:

Charlotte Large - digital products and services

"My experience of the graduate scheme is hugely positive. I joined the scheme in October 2021 as a graduate trainee in the digital products and services team. The exposure to the council and the experience offered throughout the graduate programme is fantastic. The programme allowed me to explore different roles and teams within the council which enabled me to gain a wealth of experience and knowledge. This helped me choose the next steps in my career. With the support of my manager and team I have been able to further develop by completing many training days and activities. I was also able to train for future ambitions by taking leadership and management courses. I played a key role in merging eight councils into the new North Yorkshire Council which has provided me with a wealth of valuable experience and I am grateful for being given the opportunity to work on this.

During my time in the graduate scheme I volunteered as a graduate support lead, this was a role which I thoroughly enjoyed and gained many skills from. This role allowed me to support other graduates, attend welcome briefings, create fun activities and quizzes, arrange weekly drop in sessions and assist in the organisation of more formal networks.

Although the graduate scheme is a two year scheme, after 16 months I secured a permanent position as a digital and technology officer. This demonstrates how well regarded and valuable the graduate scheme is. This is an exciting time to join North Yorkshire Council, the contribution from graduates is greatly sought after. I would unquestionably recommend the graduate scheme to others."

Jenny Darwent - graphic designer

"The graduate scheme is an excellent opportunity to gain valuable, professional experience and utilize a wide variety of training and development opportunities within multiple areas of the council. 

The support provided by fellow graduates, advisers, mentors, and management of all levels has been invaluable and the skills and confidence I have gained will certainly be beneficial when progressing within my career.

I enrolled on the graduate scheme in June 2021 as a graduate trainee graphic designer as part of the communications team. I found that I was encouraged to undertake a variety of personal development training opportunities and explore different design disciplines, with consistent support and guidance from professionals in the field, to gain new skills and produce an extensive and varied portfolio of work. 

Whilst working as a graduate I have always been treated as an equal, valued member of the team and have been given excellent opportunities for professional growth such as leading designs for North Yorkshire Education Services, rebranding existing services such as Fostering North Yorkshire, producing useful tutorial videos for use throughout the council and being proactive in interviewing and supporting new graduates. 

I would highly recommend the graduate programme as the scale and diversity of the council provides extensive opportunities to explore different service areas and career options whilst nurturing existing skills and maintaining a genuine interest in personal and professional development."

Polly Oldacres - quality improvement officer

"Following an initial career pathway in the National Health Service, my direction changed somewhat and to both justify the skills I had and to bolster new ones I had garnered in change management and business growth, I returned to study a Business and Management degree as a mature student.

I was attracted to the graduate scheme with the council because the roles were interesting and varied. There appeared to be significant investment in the graduates and opportunities to join a workforce with a clear strategic direction and framework.

The graduate scheme at the council did not disappoint. I joined the scheme in February 2020 working with two teams - the participation and engagement team and the strategy and performance team. I was quickly made to feel welcome in both teams and encouraged to bring new ideas and my own perspective to projects. 

I was empowered to lead on pieces of research towards the local government re-organisation, support a councillor on a community awards event, complete an in depth project into accessible information, work alongside and collaborate with external partner agencies and contribute to public facing reports.

The graduate scheme opens the chance to learn about council processes and frameworks and is a safe and supportive environment to learn and grow your skills. I was encouraged to be independent, embrace targeted work allocation within the team and participate in all areas of service and operational delivery. Further support comes from a mentor, coaching, peer support in the network and the corporate lead for the graduate scheme is there to guide us and ensure that all graduates and their teams gain the best out of the experience.

Being a mature graduate was no barrier on the scheme and the support and friendship between all the graduates really made for an enjoyable experience. The scheme prepares you well for opportunities and pipelines to roles in varied fields and teams and I’m delighted that I am now employed as a quality improvement officer which also allows me to apply my previous work life skills too."

Francesca Floris - graduate inclusion and diversity officer

"The graduate inclusion and diversity officer role is a newly created role, so being the first graduate to be explicitly working on developing this agenda; it did feel a little bit daunting at first. However, having worked in the role for almost five months, it has been remarkable to see the speed of change, and it has been really fulfilling to feel part of this journey. I have been given the freedom and support to work towards making real and lasting change and improvement to diversity and inclusion at the council. This role has tested me, and through doing so has allowed me to really develop my abilities and think critically and creatively. I have the honour and pleasure of working with colleagues from across the council, whether they be senior leaders, or those working on the front line providing essential services to the public. I am always learning within my role and am far from an expert, but I have always felt that I am treated with respect and that my contributions are valued and taken seriously.

As a young person, I feel it is essential that we are given opportunities to develop our skills and expertise in supportive but also challenging environments. From my experience, this is what the council offers. The council is truly a vibrant and exciting place to work - even when working from home. Graduates, from all backgrounds, are essential to pushing the council forward and, from my perspective, our experiences, creative outlook and the ideas and solutions we bring to existing problems are going to be central to creating a prosperous future for our council and the region as a whole."

Rachel Parks - graduate trainee waste and recycling

"The graduate programme has given me the opportunity to work with the waste and environment team at the former Ryedale District Council. I have gained valuable knowledge and experience from working on a number of projects to maintain an efficient waste collection service as well as increase recycling rates.

I have really enjoyed working with my team who are passionate about protecting the environment and throughout my time have felt well supported. Despite working throughout a pandemic, I have been encouraged to develop my skills through online webinars and training opportunities such as the aspiring managers course, which is provided by the council.   

This graduate scheme has been an amazing opportunity and has undoubtedly set me on my future career path in the waste and environment sector."

Edward Buede-Fletcher - graduate trainee executive, policy and research officer

The graduate scheme at North Yorkshire Council is a brilliant programme that provides you with a fantastic opportunity to gain experience and skills that will enable you to progress to the next step in your career. My role was as a graduate executive, policy and research officer in the strategy and performance team, at what was formerly Ryedale District Council. In this role I was involved in a range of projects within my team, such as working on quarterly performance reports and service plans. However, I also got to work on projects outside my team. With colleagues from economic development, I helped coordinate the delivery of financial grants to local businesses as part of the small business development grant scheme. Within the same team, I also worked on a new car park tariff and layout project for sites across the former Ryedale District Council.

Being on the graduate scheme does not only give you experience and skills, but you can also meet and socialise with all other graduates at the council. There are weekly graduate drop-in sessions on Microsoft Teams where you can drop in for however long you like and have an informal chat with other graduates about work or non-work-related topics. The quarterly graduate network events are another great way to meet graduates in person and hear talks from employees across the council that will give you an insight into working in other service areas. Also, there is a graduate Teams channel where you can ask any questions or connect with the other graduates. Essentially, you will always feel included and supported, whether it be by your fellow graduates, the graduate support network, or Pam McCourt who leads the graduate network. Every graduate will want different levels of support from the graduate network, but it is great to know that if you need any support or guidance, there are several people that are always willing to offer it.

I also volunteered to be part of the graduate network support team, where I helped coordinate the graduate network events, as well as sharing ideas with my colleagues on how we could make improvements to the graduate network. Not only will this provide you with excellent experience to put on your CV, it is also a chance to give you the opportunity to organise events and implement any changes that you think would be beneficial to other graduates. I would encourage anyone to apply for a graduate role at North Yorkshire Council, as it is a fantastic opportunity!

Experiences of our graduate trainees completing the programme and securing a role with us

"I joined the graduate scheme in August 2018 as a graduate trainee - projects and change officer in technology and change.  The graduate programme was designed to help me explore three potential career pathways in the first year, gaining experience in each field, and I was able to use the second year of the programme to gain experience specifically relating to my chosen pathway.  It was great to have a number of options available and to be able to experience them in practice to inform my decision, rather than relying on a paper job description!

During my time on the graduate scheme I was given many opportunities to develop my skills through a fantastic array of training programmes, both relating to my role such as PRINCE2 and project management training, and training for future aspirations such as management and leadership courses.  I also found the peer support and mentoring I had access to invaluable and very useful for planning my medium and long term goals.

I would encourage anyone leaving university to consider a graduate role at the council. The diversity of the organisation and roles on offer is second to none, and the support to find your perfect fit role, and to acquire the skills you need to be successful in applying for that role, is excellent.  It’s also really important to me to feel that my role is helping to make a difference in the world, and this is something which I feel working for the council helps me to achieve".
Emma Pemberton, project manager level one, technology and change

"The graduate scheme at the council is a fantastic opportunity to get your foot in the door and work with all types of people. My role as graduate trainee in the communications team has enabled me to develop my skills even further from university. There has been a clear path of development and the more I have excelled the more I am seen as a trustworthy and reliable member of the team. 

I have had amazing opportunities; working on the Union Cycliste Internationale world road cycling championships – out and about catching the action, running my ‘Made in North Yorkshire’ social media campaign, working alongside the press and all types of senior management are to name a few. You are exposed to so many great learning opportunities. I have gained so much knowledge on the way in which the council is structured and its values. 

The experience I have gained thus far is incredible. For me the workload has been so varied, working across the different teams, which sit in the wider communications team – one day I could be answering telephones to the press and the next I could be out interviewing members of the public. You learn from so many creative and different people. The support and advice from my manager has been invaluable and with this being my first proper job, I feel so welcomed into such a lovely team. The council is a great place to work and I would recommend the graduate scheme to anyone, if you are thinking about applying then do it. The job has so many benefits and it’s very rewarding."  
Jessica Highfield - secured a role as communications specialist project officer in June 2021

Other fantastic feedback from our graduates who secured a role with us

"I really enjoyed the role and learnt a lot in the short time on the graduate scheme before securing a permanent role. There is a very positive work culture and supportive environment at the council, along with a good development offer to graduates on the scheme alongside their graduate role."

"Really positive, good opportunity to go into a company at graduate level and gain support whilst learning on the job. Good role to get your foot in the door to a job in the public sector / local authority to help secure a role longer term. I enjoyed the variety of different placements providing new skills and experience. Highly recommend the councils graduate scheme and working in the public sector, there are also good rewards and benefits package available."

"Very positive experience on the council scheme with positive attitude to the graduates and managers wanting to help and use the new resource. Great to have a ‘proper job’ and authority to take on the role which helped dealing with customers and good support to enable me to grow in knowledge and confidence to apply and succeed in securing a permanent role."