What are graduate schemes?

Graduate schemes, or graduate training schemes, are structured training programmes run by employers with the aim of developing future talent within an organisation. Typically, graduate schemes take on recent graduates who’ve left university and are ready to enter the working world, but require training before they start their career.

If you don’t have existing industry experience, it can be difficult to get a traditional job, even at entry level. Grad schemes often require minimal experience so are ideal for those just starting out.

Graduate schemes are often paid positions that last a year or more, allowing employees to work full-time whilst learning on the job. After completing a scheme successfully, many employees are then offered permanent entry-level roles within the company, making them well worth doing in a competitive job market.

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Why Better?

Here at Better, graduate training schemes are extremely important to us as they allow us to develop talent within a tried and tested framework.

We’ve got a wide range of award-winning schemes available across the UK, however our most popular is our two year Trainee Manager programme. We provide trainee managers with high-quality, well-rounded training, and the pathway for them to become our leaders of the future.

On this scheme, graduates gain experience and exposure to a variety of different aspects of the business, including:

  • Finance
  • HR
  • Child safeguarding
  • Operational training
  • Customer experience
  • Sales and marketing
  • Health and safety
  • Equality, diversity and inclusion

Like all our graduate training schemes, this programme allows people to develop their skills whilst working with the community and gaining hands-on industry experience, making it ideal for those looking to kick-start their career in leisure and sports.

Why should I apply for a graduate training scheme at Better?

Learning and development is at the heart of what we do at Better and we take pride in our ability to help people grow and develop with us throughout their career. That’s why our top graduate schemes provide high-quality, well-rounded training with plenty of support, as well as a pathway into the leisure and sports industry.

The achievement of national qualifications forms a major part of the two year programme. Qualifications offered include:

Year One

Year Two

You will be part of GLL’s Management Development Programme which includes in house modules associated with customers, service, people, business, communities and partners.

trainee manager alex

“GLL’s Trainee Manager Scheme is an excellent fast-track development programme for a career in leisure management. I was able to master a range of roles within leisure centre operations whilst building an extensive network of support at all levels” - Alex Harrison, Partnership Manager

Our popular Trainee Manager scheme has been running for over 20 years and is a key example of how our graduates are able to grow with us and develop their careers in the industry. Participation in our schemes also includes employee benefits such as a pension scheme, subsidised gym and leisure membership and the opportunity to complete industry-related qualifications.

If you’re ready to start your graduate career in the sports and leisure industry, take a look at our current vacancies to see which graduate scheme jobs are available and apply today.

We are an inclusive employer that seeks and values diversity within our team and welcome applications from all backgrounds.

Current vacancies

Graduate careers advice from the experts

At Better, we know that applying for a new job can be a stressful and confusing process, especially if it’s your first time. That’s why we’ve put together a series of blogs filled with careers advice for recent graduates and people looking for a new job.

Using these workplace guides and graduate job advice pages can help you make important decisions about your new role and prepare you for life after graduation. So, if it’s time to think about a new position or job, take a look at these guides for handy careers tips and advice.

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Frequently asked questions

When do graduate schemes start?

Depending on the role and industry, the start dates of grad schemes can vary greatly. Usually, schemes will start in September to align with applicants’ graduation times, but some will start whenever the vacancy needs to be filled.

For many of our schemes at Better, we begin our selection process in the spring and invite successful candidates to start their training between August and September.

What are the benefits of a graduate scheme?

The main benefit of graduate scheme jobs is that you’ll be able to develop your skills while gaining hands-on industry experience. These kinds of schemes allow you to gain key graduate skills and provide you with a route into the leisure and sport industry when you’ve finished.

At Better, our graduates also receive a range of employee benefits such as a pension scheme and subsidised leisure centre/gym membership.

Is a graduate scheme worth it?

Yes! Graduate schemes allow you to gain experience and skills while being mentored by senior staff, as well as providing a level of training that you may not receive in a junior position. Unlike internships, grad schemes are typically paid, helping you gain independence from the start of your career.

Also, many schemes lead to permanent positions within the company, so are worth considering within a competitive job market.

At better, upon successful completion of the scheme, you’re guaranteed a management position up to the level of Assistant Manager post interview.

What should I look for in a graduate scheme?

From location to salary, there are many factors to look for when applying for grad schemes. The most important thing is to make sure that it’s in an industry you’re interested in and covers the key disciplines you want to learn about. It’s also worth checking the entry requirements to make sure you meet the criteria before you apply.

Take a look at our guide on ‘what to look for in a new job for more postgraduate career advice.

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