South West Leadership Academy

Graduate Management Training Scheme

Non-urgent advice: Welcome to our Graduate Management Training Scheme page

Eleanor Wallace

The scheme exists to give you – as top graduate talent – the opportunity to become a successful leader in the NHS. If you’re thinking about becoming a trainee, expect challenging work placements that’ll give you the tools, experience and support you need to succeed. And if you’re thinking seriously about it, get in early. We only recruit once a year – starting in October.

Eleanor Wallace (pronouns she/her)

GMTS Leadership Development Senior Manager

Who is the scheme for?

We identify, recruit and develop talented graduates who bring bags of potential with them to become future leaders in the NHS. It doesn’t matter when you graduated or what your background is – we encourage applications from those who are looking to change careers or to take a step-up into leadership, as well as those who have recently graduated. To be eligible, you’ll need one of the following:

  • A degree in any subject, at least 2:2 level (some degree equivalents are also acceptable).
  • A postgraduate qualification (MBA, Masters, PhD).
  • A health or management degree level equivalent qualification (includes NVQ level 5 in management or a relevant diploma).

Why choose the NHS?

Whether you’re looking to become an executive leader or a game-changer, you won’t find a better place to start your post-academic life. Just be ready to tackle some of the huge challenges faced by the NHS and share our commitment to creating a world-class healthcare service.

Our top graduate trainees are going straight into promising roles within the NHS, where they’re continuing to develop and flourish. In fact, the scheme consistently outperforms other major graduate recruiters in terms of overall retention rates. It is a multi-award winning programme, coming 3rd in the Times Top 100 Graduate Employers in 2021 as well as winning the ‘Graduate Employer of Choice’ in the General Management category in The Times Graduate Recruitment Awards 2021.

What areas can I train in?

As the NHS continues to evolve, innovate and change, so too does our training scheme. So be prepared to deal with the evolving health needs of the population and the advances of the NHS.

Currently, we’re offering leadership opportunities in six areas:

Why work in the South West Region?

The South West is the largest geographical region in the UK with a population of over 5 million and home to some of the most beautiful coastline and countryside you can find. Outside of London, it is also one of the fastest growing regions with many professionally qualified people choosing to relocate here due to greater employment opportunities and an improved quality of life, rich in cultural and social activities. The presence of 7 Integrated Care Systems and Sustainability and Transformation Partnerships, 23 NHS trusts and 7 Clinical Commissioning Groups means you will have access to incredibly varied, interesting and challenging work placements supporting the provision of excellent services that meet the needs of patients and make a difference to their lives.

The scheme is full-time and you’ll rotate between three or four work placements where you will have real responsibility, including one placement of your choice outside the NHS. To enhance your experience, you will also study for a post-graduate diploma and professional qualification with an academic institution specific to your specialism. Completing a wide range of leadership development activities you will be preparing to become one of the future health and social care leaders in the NHS. You’ll be unique and so will the experiences you’ll have across the South West and the people you work with!

The scheme is recruited to and led by the NHS Leadership and Lifelong Learning team, which is part of the People Directorate in NHS England & NHS Improvement. The scheme runs nationally across seven regions: South West, South East, London, East of England, Midlands, North East & Yorkshire and North West. Although we do consider personal circumstances such as caring responsibilities as well as preference, we cannot guarantee a place in your preferred region.

Not sure if the programme would match your interests

You can visit the National NHS Graduate Management Training Scheme website for more information on the scheme

You can also look through our trainee blogs or connect with current trainees and alumni of the scheme through our Connect page. You can also follow us on Twitter @NHSGradScheme for updates.

Interested in helping our graduates gain experience?

It is our job as a Regional Leadership and Lifelong Learning team to manage placements, local networking and training. The next scheduled intake for trainees is due to take place in September 2022. You can register your interest in hosting a trainee at Hosting a trainee – Graduate Management Training Scheme and we will be in touch with you with further information and guidance. 

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