Ocado to M&S – the top ten graduate schemes recruiting now

FRESH out of uni? Time to grab a grad job.

Next week is National Graduate Week and while the number of graduate scheme jobs has tripled year on year, there are still 40 graduates competing for every opening.

Students graduating next year face increased competition from the “corona class” of 2020 and 2021, as many were unable to secure placements due to the pandemic.

Andrew Hunter, of job search engine Adzuna, says: “It’s an ultra-competitive market.

"But a word of warning for those looking to apply: The application deadlines for many of these schemes are fast approaching, so jobseekers need to be quick or risk missing out.”

Below are the top ten graduate schemes recruiting now.

For further support see nationalgraduateweek.co.uk.

1) Switch on to a new career with the National Grid — just like Finance graduate trainee Stephanie Brown did.

There are 76 places on schemes including asset management, project management, business analysis and IT.

Stephanie, 28, from Warwick, said: “It’s a huge opportunity to join an exciting sector. “It doesn’t matter which team or department you join at National Grid, we’re at the heart of the green energy transition.”

See careers.nationalgrid.com – applications close November 7.

2) Grocery delivery outfit Ocado needs 90 graduates in business areas including analytics, business management, engineering and finance. Apply at ocadogroup.com/careers/early-careers/graduates.

3) Savills’ scheme closes on November 15. Apply to the estate agent via savills.co.uk/contact-us/careers.

4) The Civil Service Fast Stream offers starting salaries of £27,000, with 800 roles up for grabs. For more details, visit faststream.gov.uk.

5) The Marks & Spencer programme features jobs in food marketing, retail management and display. See jobs.marksandspencer.com/graduates.

6) Insurance giant Aviva’s programme closes on November 29. See careers.aviva.co.uk/students-graduates/graduates.

7) Grocer Aldi needs 80 graduates and the starting salary is £44,000 — as well as a car. See aldirecruitment.co.uk.

8) American Express needs managers and business strategy trainees. See americanexpress.com/en-us/careers.

9) Broadcaster ITV has places on its technology graduate scheme. See itvjobs.com.

10) Vaccine heroes AstraZeneca offer graduate programmes in research and development, technology and biometrics. To find out more, see astrazeneca.com/r-and-d-graduate-programme.

How to apply yourself

WITH so many grads after each job, how can you stand out?

Here Kim Connor Streich, of grad jobs app Debut, shares his tips.

  • Apply fast: The best months to find work are October and November, when up to 40 per cent of the year’s jobs are posted.
  • Prepare and apply early: Some grad jobs advertise up to 12 months in advance. A lot of companies target the most eager and organised students, so start the process early.
  • Know the difference between graduate jobs and schemes: Graduate schemes are set programmes in which employers train up recent graduates in preparation for a full-time job. They are usually for a specific time and tend to open up in September and October. Graduate jobs are generally paid roles for recent graduates or people with a degree.
  • Aim to be first: Try to be among the first to apply, to be top of the hiring manager’s inbox. Send applications early in the day. If you find something in the evening, prepare everything but send it during business hours so it doesn’t get buried under a pile of other applications.
  • Create a schedule: Decide how many applications you will put out in a day – and stick to it. A sense of structure will help you feel productive and minimise the pain of waiting for responses.


THE FLUENT MONEY GROUP has 50 graduate places for specialist mortgage brokers, bridging finance advisers and compliance advisers.

Interested? Email your CV to [email protected]

Hatching your new career

ORKNEY Shellfish Hatchery has four jobs for hatchery technicians.

You need a degree in marine science or fisheries.

Email a CV to [email protected]

And Ordnance Survey has 16 places on its geospatial graduate programme and data graduate programme

See ordnancesurvey.co.uk/careers/graduate-scheme.

THE country’s top tax and accountancy specialists are offering more than 3,200 graduate placements this year.

BDO has more than 400 roles at bdoearlyincareer.co.uk.

PWC seeks 1,200 grads in audit and legal, tax and technology. See pwc.co.uk/careers.

Deloitte has 1,600 graduate vacancies. Apply by November 1 at deloitte.co.uk/students.


BUSINESS tech specialist FDM group is hiring hundreds of graduates as IT operations trainees.

Applicants need a 2:2 degree or better.

Find out more at fdmgroup.com/careers/graduates.

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