For those considering a career in the public sector, the NHS Graduate Management Training Scheme (GMTS) is certainly one option worth exploring. The scheme has consistently featured in The Times Top 100 Graduate Employers, and is described as ‘life-defining, future-shaping, impact making’. Suppose you share this commitment to providing world-class healthcare service. In that case, you could play an integral role in influencing important decisions which directly improve the lives of millions of people across the UK. For more information and how to increase your chances of securing a role on the NHS General Management Training Scheme, check out this article.

About the scheme

Graduate roles are available across six different specialisms: Finance, Health Analytics, Health Informatics, Human Resources, Policy and Strategy and General Management. You will undertake a range of placements in your chosen specialism and gain very important insight into the NHS’ inner operations, whether through collaborating with clinical and non-clinical professionals or being fully immersed in challenging scenarios on the front line.

The NHS currently has over 1.3million members of staff and is Europe’s largest employer; this means there is a large number of sites across England where you could be based. You will be able to select three preferred regions and will complete all of your placements within one of these locations. Upon completion of the two-year scheme, graduates will be fully equipped to secure a senior leadership role at the NHS.

What the NHS is looking for

The NHS is very much a values-driven organisation, meaning certain traits are sought after

in candidates. The GMTS is essentially designed to create the future chief executives and directors of the NHS. You can expect leadership responsibility from the day one, so candidates must be bright, open-minded and willing to get stuck in quickly. During the application process, your leadership style is likely to be assessed; specifically, successful candidates will be empathetic, passionate about learning and engage proactively with colleagues and stakeholders to achieve the best results. Given the nature of the organisation, it is important to acknowledge that some issues you face on the scheme may be emotionally demanding, which naturally will not appeal to everybody. For those who embrace such challenges, this scheme will be incredibly rewarding and allow you to experience truly life-defining moments.

What to expect

Graduates will begin their journey on the GMTS with a 20-day orientation period in which you will learn how the service functions from an inside perspective. During this period, you will be actively involved in front line care, working alongside nurses and doctors to witness first-hand how patients are treated within the NHS and related organisations. Following this, you can begin to develop improvements based on your initial experiences.

Development is constantly encouraged at the NHS through structured training, your support systems and professional qualifications within your specialism. You will have a comprehensive induction and the chance to discuss topics informally with other graduates prior to starting the scheme. Furthermore, throughout the scheme, you can lean on a large support network, consisting of managers, mentors, buddies and other trainees, who are positioned to help foster your learning and personal development. The GMTS also allows its graduates to study for at least one fully funded professional qualification alongside your placements; this is a fantastic opportunity to acquire a formal accreditation, and graduates are allocated study leave to prepare sufficiently.

What current grads have to say:

Emma Gill – Employee Relations Advisor, Sheffield:

“I’ve seen actual brain surgery, and I’ve shadowed the most amazing nurses. How many HR schemes give you moments like this?”

Megan Reid – Information Analyst, Newcastle upon Tyne:

“My work was helping to prevent female genital mutilation. That was when I realised the power of Health Informatics to touch people’s lives.”

Sagar Shah – Graduate Management Trainee, London:

“11:45 pm Saturday night, on an ambulance ride-out with paramedics. Seeing what they deal with was an eye-opening experience. What other finance scheme gives you that?”

Application details

Applications for the September 2021 intake will close on the 18th December 2020, but it’s always a good idea to get your application in early. There are currently two GMTS intakes per year, one in March and the other in September. You will need a minimum 2:2 degree in any discipline. The process consists of an application form, various online tests (situational judgement, verbal reasoning, numerical reasoning and critical reasoning). If you are successful, you will then be invited to complete a video interview, followed by an assessment centre. The application process can be challenging, so it’s a good idea to practise the psychometric tests and consider how you reflect the NHS’ key values. For further tips on securing a graduate scheme, check out our ultimate guide here.