Two years, two organisations: here’s a graduate scheme with a difference

 In News

Gradunique is now recruiting for its third intake of graduates. The programme’s co-founders, Andrew Hyland and Julie Jones discuss the opportunities it offers

What is Gradunique?

Gradunique is a two-year scheme designed to develop high-performing graduates for leadership roles. It is sponsored by two major national organisations, both household names and leaders in their sectors.

To attract the most talented graduates, we devised a programme to compete with similar offers from other international and national organisations in terms of the training, remuneration and opportunities offered. It is for this reason that the two sponsoring organisations pooled their talent and resources to create this unique programme.

What is unique about it?

Gradunique offers successful applicants the opportunity to experience a range of functions and departments via four six-month placements. Where Gradunique differs from other schemes is that these placements take place across two organisations. This gives graduates the opportunity to experience and learn how different organisations operate. It also helps those on the scheme to build a flexible approach to work, enables them to put their learning into action in a new environment and build their confidence.

What training and support is provided?

Graduates have a comprehensive support package including regular access to the host organisation’s graduate programme lead, an online portal, and a buddy to offer peer support in each work placement. As well as learning on the job, each graduate is mentored by a senior staff member, and attends quarterly learning style events with their placement peers. They also attend workshops and have opportunities to play an active role in high profile events to grow their skills, knowledge and networks.

The programme isn’t a theoretical training exercise: the graduates are expected to, and do, make a real impact on major national projects across the organisations while they’re developing their communication, team working, leadership and project management skills.

How have previous recruits fared?

We have been delighted with the very talented graduates we have recruited and what they have achieved within the first two years of the programme. Equally important, the feedback from the graduates about the programme has been extremely positive.

Kathryn Harrop, a Gradunique recruit and University of Warwick French and German studies graduate, says: “This graduate scheme has provided me with invaluable insight into the sector, as well as numerous opportunities for development and the chance to have real responsibility. I never expected to be negotiating a supplier contract, managing a budget and marketing events within the first few months of being on the programme! I’ve moved from a role in income generation to working in policy and public affairs, which has ensured breadth and depth of experience.”

The programme was a finalist for graduate scheme of the year at the 2017 Personnel Today Awards, alongside four other major national organisations, which is an indication that the Gradunique offering is one of the best available.

What happens at the end of the two-year programme?

We hope graduates will wish to pursue their careers with one of the sponsoring organisations. Either way, through a blend of formal training, experience and skills development, the graduates will be in a strong position to seek management roles across the commercial, public or charity sectors.

You have referred to ‘sponsoring organisations’. Who are they?

The sponsoring organisations are the British Heart Foundation and Macmillan Cancer Support. Both are leading national organisations that are renowned within their fields: Macmillan for improving the lives of people with cancer and the British Heart Foundation for its research into heart and circulatory disease.

Both organisations depend upon public support and as such have to be highly efficient and commercial to maximise the benefit to society of every pound they receive. As such, Gradunique focuses on developing skills that are equally applicable across the commercial, public and charity sectors.

Why should graduates apply for Gradunique?

  • A highly competitive starting salary of £24,000.
  • First-rate training across two leading organisations.
  • The opportunity to work on real projects that have an impact.
  • A healthy work-life balance.
  • Based in central London.

On completion of the two-year programme, the graduates will have a strong platform from which to launch their talent, skills and experience towards a career in leadership.

We hope they’ll want to join us in an even greater ambition – making an impact in the fight against heart disease and supporting people living with cancer.

What do I need to apply?

You will need to be a recent graduate with at least an upper second class degree. You’ll also need to be ambitious with a hunger to learn and an appetite for real responsibility.

Heart disease and cancer affect all kinds of people – regardless of age, ethnicity and gender – and we want our recruits to be representative of all the communities we serve. For the Gradunique programme, we are seeking to attract and employ the best people from the widest talent pool, reflecting the diverse nature of our society.