Graduate Development Programme: candidate guide 2023

Guidance for candidates applying to the 2023 Scottish Government Graduate Development Programme.

About the programme

The Graduate Development Programme is an accelerated career pathway into senior roles in the Civil Service and a key initiative for talent development in the Scottish Government.

The 4-year programme includes a diverse mix of work placements lasting between 6 and 12 months in duration. These assignments will allow you to gain valuable experience and develop skills in a wide range of business areas, roles and activities.

You will be supported at every stage of the programme, undertaking a range of learning and development activities with a focus on personal and professional development in addition to work assignments.

The programme offers the opportunity to work alongside senior leaders and stakeholders to deliver impact on a range of key policy areas including health, education and the economy.

Reach your full potential:

The programme is designed to help you meet your career goals, by gaining:

  • experience: you will undertake a diverse mix of work placements to gain a broad range of experience and skills in different roles and business areas
  • capability: you will undertake a mix of organised and self-directed learning, helping you gain the knowledge and skills you’ll need to succeed
  • exposure: you will work with a range of senior staff within the Government, wider public sector and beyond, allowing you to develop a strong network and learn from others

Programme structure:

The programme is delivered over 4 years. During the first two years of the programme, you will undertake four separate work placements, rotating into a new position every six months. For the final two years of the programme, you will undertake two year-long work assignments.

Our dedicated Graduate Support Team look after graduates throughout the programme duration and arrange the placements for each participant.

Graduates on the programme do not have the option to select work placements.

Programme outcome:

At the end of the programme it is anticipated that you will have gained the skills and experience necessary to take on a senior role in the Scottish Government.


Sarah Wright:

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