National Graduate Development Programme (NGDP)

The NGDP is a fast-track graduate programme for bright and passionate individuals who want to make a difference whilst excelling in their own careers. It offers the chance to work directly with communities, and influence policies and plans at a senior level.

Graduates apply via the Local Government Association (LGA) where they complete an assessment process. If successful, they are then matched with a local council in their area of interest.

All graduates hired through the national recruitment campaign will be paid a minimum salary of £25,295 per annum (as at April 2019). Graduates from a variety of backgrounds and areas of study, who have a minimum of 2.2 degree classification, are invited to apply.

For more information about the programme at a national level and the assessment process, visit the LGA website.

Why choose North Lincolnshire Council?

  • As a unitary authority North Lincolnshire Council has a wide range of responsibilities, everything from social care, to economic development, waste and public health.
  • We are committed to flexible and agile working, which you’ll experience from the start. We believe work is a ‘thing to do’ and not just ‘a place to go’.
  • No placement choice is off limits. Tell us which departments you would like to work in and we will do our best to make it happen.
  • We want to develop your personal skills and will offer exciting development opportunities in terms of placements, projects and training.
  • We champion wellbeing and you’ll receive lots of support from our NGDP Coordinator. We also have a buddy system and will pair you with graduates from previous cohorts to support you in ways which work for you.
  • Exciting shadowing opportunities are offered, including mentoring and relationship building from senior leadership; learn from the people who are already in senior positions locally.
  • We aim to keep our graduates with us once they have completed the NGDP and have included some of these success stories in the case studies below.We have been involved in the NGDP since 2006. Several former National Management Trainees (NMTs) continue to work for us in management positions.
  • Our main buildings are based in the centres of Scunthorpe and Brigg, with free staff parking and close to a range of shops and amenities.
  • North Lincolnshire has excellent connections to Yorkshire and the Humber, as well as the East Midlands and further afield. Travel times can be as little as:
    • Sheffield 1 hour by car or train
    • Leeds 1 hour by car
    • Hull 45 minutes by car
    • Lincoln 45 minutes by car
    • Manchester 2 hours by train, 2 hours and 20 minutes by car
    • London 2 hours and 20 minutes by train

Candidates who successfully complete the LGA’s recruitment process, and who are interested in training at North Lincolnshire Council, will be invited to a formal interview with us.

In addition to the interview, candidates will meet with members of the council leadership team and current and former NMTs over lunch. A bus tour of North Lincolnshire to get to know the size and make-up of the area is also included.

We offer one NGDP place every two years. The next deadline for applications is 7 January 2020. All online assessments must be completed before this date. Visit the LGA website’s NGDP application page for more information.

“I had a great time on the programme. It gave me a fantastic platform to continue my development at North Lincolnshire Council.”

Adam, 28, Cohort 14, Financial Planning Accountant, North Lincolnshire Council

I applied to join the 2012 cohort of the NGDP after graduating from Lancaster University, and was successful in securing a place at North Lincolnshire Council. I was totally impressed with North Lincolnshire as an area, so much so that I was keen to move to the area and get started.

Seven years on, my decision has been fully vindicated. I had a great time on the programme, and it gave me a fantastic platform to continue my development at North Lincolnshire Council. I currently work as the council’s principal accountant in financial planning, with responsibility for supporting the council’s budget setting process and delivery of its financial plans. The Council Plan, which sets out an ambitious vision for North Lincolnshire, is enabled by our financial plans.

Whilst on the programme, I was mentored by the Chief Financial Officer and Chief Executive. I also had a fantastic network of managers supporting me which helped me to get fully integrated into the council.

I was supported to become a chartered accountant with the Chartered Institute of Public Finance and Accountancy (CIPFA), and I am still provided with the right balance of support and challenge to ensure that I continue to progress my long-term career aspirations of becoming a chief financial officer.

Despite knowing at the outset of the NGDP that I wanted to work in a financial role beyond the programme, the NGDP provided me invaluable exposure to non-financial placements which enhanced my broader knowledge of local government. It helped me to develop an understanding of how the breadth of council services all need to work together well to maximise the experience for North Lincolnshire residents and businesses.

My first placement was in a business support role, supporting the council in making changes to the way it does business. The impact of declining resources at the time meant that we had to continue to deliver required outcomes with reduced resources. Within business support, we utilised benchmarking techniques to identify alternative ways to deliver services which could improve performance and/or reduce cost. We also identified ways to embed commercial behaviour across services.

My second placement was within adult social care commissioning. At the time, social care was becoming the biggest challenge facing local government and it remains the case now. During the time with the team, we focussed on ensuring the future social care needs of the area could be fully met by the local market, in the joint strategic needs assessment.

Having studied accounting since I was 16 years old, my last placement was always going to be financial. An opportunity to move towards a financial trainee role presented itself earlier than I had expected, and it meant I spent the last year of my time on the NGDP in finance, shortening my time in social care.

In addition to studying towards achieving chartered accountant status, I was able to work in a project accountant role offering a financial input into major projects, including waste disposal and town centre redevelopment.

“The NGDP has been invaluable for helping me develop both personally and professionally.”

Katie, 24, Project Coordinator, North Lincolnshire Council, NGDP Cohort 18

I currently work for North Lincolnshire Council as a Project Coordinator in Community, Adults and Community Wellbeing. The NGDP has been invaluable for helping me develop both personally and professionally. I have gained a unique understanding of local government and have been enabled to work on a range of high-profile projects that have refined my skillset as a public sector worker.

I was mentored by a director throughout the scheme and gained a number of qualifications. The scheme helped me understand where my motivations are and why I wanted to work in the public sector in the first place; to work with people and for people at a very local level.

My first placement was in Adult Services, working on Intermediate Care Services to support people who were ready to leave hospital but weren’t ready to go home yet. This involved working in the council’s intermediate care centre, “Home First Short Stay”.  I worked with staff across the council and the NHS to help improve the service. This was a frontline placement where I gained exposure to the realities of providing social care in today’s local government environment, and the pressures of cuts and staff shortages.

I then moved into Public Health into a strategy placement, where I worked on two projects; one related to men’s health, and the other looking into smoking in pregnancy.

I worked with multiple services across the public and third sector to investigate service gaps and create strategies that would support the improvement of services for women who smoked in pregnancy and needed support to quit. I also conducted an investigation into the needs of men to improve physical and mental health across the region.

My third placement was largely project management focused in Economy and Growth. I managed several projects focused on growing leisure and tourism in the area.

I also worked on project planning town centre improvements and assembling business cases and feasibility studies for new buildings. I became PRINCE2 (project management) qualified and also completed a qualification in organisational development.

Finally, I was asked to return to Adult Services to my previous team to manage further social care projects, before moving into a permanent Project Coordinator role. My role now involves working between the council and the voluntary and community sector to support those groups with fundraising, funding opportunities and running events. I also manage volunteers and work on multi-agency strategic projects.

“I can’t imagine working at any other council for my NGDP experience.”

Sarah 23, Human Resources, North Lincolnshire Council NGDP Cohort 20

Why local government for me?

I was fortunate enough to work at my local district council during university through a student internship. I knew I was destined to work in this area since that early experience in a local government environment.

I really care about people and we are shaping the lives of the community in everything we do. I feel incredibly lucky to have North Lincolnshire for my NGDP experience.

Why would I recommend the NGDP at North Lincolnshire Council?

I have always been quite shy and previously lacked personal confidence. A year into the scheme at North Lincolnshire, I have grown so much as a person and the council has shaped the person I am today.

Through the council investing in training and development opportunities and vital mentoring, my confidence has grown so much.

I commute an hour into our main office in Scunthorpe town centre. The commute has less impact on my personal life through regular weekly homeworking. We are award-winning leaders in agile working and pride ourselves on flexibility. We have a culture of trust which means you can work flexibly as soon as you get settled in.

How has the programme developed me as a person?

So far, I have had the opportunity to be personally mentored by our Deputy Chief Executive, which has given me a major insight into what it means to be a leader in local government. The mentoring has benefited me greatly by equipping me with crucial advice and insight for my future career.

We have a ‘one council’ culture and do not believe in hierarchy. We believe in excellence and, as a result, graduates are nurtured and developed to create future leaders.

In just over a year, I have worked with our senior leadership team and heads of service on a multitude of diverse and exciting project deliveries across areas, including corporate strategy, democratic services, and human resources. I have built a strong portfolio of experience to support management and leadership opportunities in the future.

Should you work for us?

I can’t imagine working at any other council for my NGDP experience. Although we might not have the glitz and glamour of central London, there is a real heart to our area.

Our main council office is modern and open plan. We pride ourselves in utilising the latest technology and we are forward thinking and driven.

We know there is work to be done in our community. We truly care about our residents. We want to be the best council and best place we can be, and we are undertaking a strong and exciting programme of regeneration and organisational transformation.

Our ambition is to further improve outcomes for our residents and if you share my passion for people, choose North Lincolnshire!