GRAB a place on a graduate scheme and you will be grad you did.
Loads of big-name employers have 2020 graduate schemes open now. And research by the Institute of Student Employers (ISE) shows recruiters are changing how they hire in the pursuit of a more diverse workforce.
With 22,000 graduate scheme jobs available each year, these changes will mean a fairer playing field, with some employers ditching high minimum-entry grades.
The number of grad employers with no minimum grade has doubled in the past five years. And 22 per cent of schemes are now open to grads with any class of degree.
A third of recruiters use “blind recruitment” by removing the applicant’s name and university before applications are considered.
Jobs experts say this fresh approach will improve social mobility as employers put greater emphasis on diversity.
ISE chief executive, Stephen Isherwood, says: “We’ve seen the beginnings of a major shift in employers using grades to determine the best people for their organisations.
“Academic criteria are a crude measure of potential. Companies are becoming more sophisticated in how they use data and have more tools to predict success.”
The ISE found graduate roles are up ten per cent this year, including finance and professional services, policing and education.
The average graduate starting salary is up £750 to £29,000.
JESSICA HULTON’S career has taken off on the British Airways Future Leaders graduate scheme.
She studied sociology and criminology at the University of Northumbria and is now the airline’s regional sales development manager in Los Angeles.
Jessica, 28, says: “There are so many options at British Airways to develop your career.
“During my three years on the scheme I have been out in the terminal supporting our customers, working on projects with the engineering team and now I’m based in LA negotiating deals and setting sales strategy.
“The variety the scheme offers is unlike any other graduate programme. Every day brings new challenges.”
British Airways is offering 50 placements across three schemes in finance, data and future leaders.
Roles are open to all graduates, including those currently in other jobs.
Each three-year programme rotates successful applicants around the business.
Helen Alkin, British Airways’ head of emerging talent, says: “We’re looking for people who are excited by the complex and fast-moving aviation industry and aren’t afraid to tackle any challenge we give them.”
Apply by the end of November at careers.ba.com/graduates.
BP fuels passion
BP is hiring 100 graduates and 80 interns at sites across the UK.
The 30 different roles cover engineering, science, supply, trading and more.
Sinead Ryan, early careers manager at the energy giant, says: “BP employees play a crucial role on the journey to advance the world’s energy transition. We look for candidates who are passionate, excited about our industry and committed to making a difference.”
Apply at bp.com by November 29.
WORK out what your degree is worth with an online tool.
Visitors to Adzuna’s website can identify and compare the value and job prospects from each course and university across the UK.
Get in fast lane
THE Civil Service Fast Stream is offering 1,200 graduate roles.
There are 15 schemes to choose from including science and engineering, the diplomatic service and the government economics service.
The Civil Service’s chief executive, John Manzoni, says: “The fast stream delivers work that makes a difference.”
See faststream.gov.uk for details.
Tax grad jobs
TAX and accounting specialist BDO LLP is offering 360 graduate jobs starting next year.
There are trainee roles in tax, advisory, audit and business services and outsourcing.
Paul Eagland, Managing Partner at BDO, says: “We look for applicants with a willingness to learn and a can-do attitude.”
Cunning scheme to win
WITH online applications, personality tests and awayday interviews, applying for a graduate scheme can seem daunting. To help you succeed, here are CV-Library’s top tips.
- DECIDE which business sectors interest you and make a list of the companies within that industry. Look at the roles they offer and check the job descriptions to see what a typical day would be like. This will eliminate some firms from your list.
- WHAT has your degree taught you? If you did an arts-based subject which involved group projects, you may be suited to an area that involves creative thinking and collaboration such as marketing. Cross-reference the roles and apply to the ones that most interest you.
- LOOK beyond the job and salary. Do they have great HR benefits or the chance to work abroad? Consider what is important.
- ONCE you have found your targeted roles, take time on your applications to ensure there are no mistakes. Tailor your CV and cover letter and assess the job ad to find out exactly what the employer wants.
- GO through all the steps for each application. Some require psychometric tests, others will ask you to fill out a questionnaire.
- HUNT down the jobs. Try traditional jobs boards as well as going to a company’s website. Ask your uni’s careers advisors or use the Debut app to set up a single profile which lets you apply for multiple vacancies.