The next graduate application window opens in May 2019.

About the Graduate Development Programme

Our two year Graduate Development Programme is dynamic and collaborative and you can expect to work with many different groups - from consulting with local residents to working in partnership with other organisations.


Our Graduate Development Programme is designed to provide you with a broad range of development and career opportunities, spanning the work and functions of local government.

During the programme, you will take on real responsibilities in at least four different placements in key areas of the councils’ work, ranging from the environment and community services to education and social services.

Placements will be allocated based on the needs of the councils at the time, but we will also consider your preferences and development needs.  This will help you to follow your interests, gain new experiences and deepen your skills whilst being exposed to a wide variety of work and contexts.  As Richmond and Wandsworth share a single staffing body, placements will be based in both councils giving you the chance to work across two boroughs with a range of different challenges.


The scheme is challenging and is designed to stretch you.  To help you develop and succeed, a strong support framework is in place. In addition to your day to day manager on each placement, you have regular access to a supervisor who will support your development throughout the scheme, as well as a senior mentor to help you understand how best to achieve your goals, develop contacts and plan your own development. You will join a wider community of graduates at Richmond and Wandsworth and will be paired up with a ‘buddy’ who will be one of the graduates on the scheme already who can provide support and advice on an informal basis.

Training and Development

You will have many opportunities for further learning and development through a tailored programme of activities. This will help you to develop the skills, knowledge and experience to launch your management career and gain a greater understanding of the varied work of local authorities. Activities have included shadowing opportunities, Q&As with senior managers and leading councillors, organising and assisting at council events, working during elections, and many more.

Graduates are provided with more formal training and development opportunities which focus on key leadership areas such as project management, first line management and relationship management. Current graduates are enrolled in a ILM accredited award in Leadership and Management.

With your manager’s approval, you are encouraged to sign up for a range of further courses and workshops that the councils offer, including Introduction to Project Management, Presentation Skills, Time Management, Problem Solving and Excel Training.

Graduates have also formed their own Action Learning Set and will be able to share experiences and issues, and learn from one another in a constructive and insightful way.

After the Graduate Development Programme

Our well established scheme has a track record of supporting graduates into meaningful careers and is now in its fifth year. We work with graduates in their second year to help them narrow down their career aspirations, and to help them improve their application and interview technique.

Many of our graduates have continued to work at Richmond and Wandsworth after the programme ended, and we’ll work hard to help support your career aims too.  

Our other alumni have moved onto other roles within local government and the wider public sector, including the Civil Service.