My work, my city, my future

Our graduate scheme is a 2 year programme, ideal for graduates who would like to pursue a career in local government.

The first year is made up of 3 placements lasting 4 months each. The second year is 1 long placement.

Using our Best Council Plan, you'll have the opportunity to make a positive impact on the communities of Leeds while gaining a fully funded level 7 qualification (equivalent to a Master's Degree).

What you'll be doing

You could be placed in any of our directorates and located at any of our sites across the city.

Your role may be based in an office or on the frontline, with a mix of being part of a directorate project team and working on cross council projects.

Projects our graduates have supported over the past 3 years include:

Children and Families

Supporting Child Friendly Leeds’ ambitions through consultation on a period poverty strategy and organising events such as Leeds Baby Week.

Resources and Housing

Engaging members of the public around the big climate conversation to tackle our Climate Emergency declaration and supporting the city’s COVID-19 response within the Chief Executive’s office.

Adults and Health

Creating a drug alert system across the region and commissioning services to support vulnerable adults.

City Development

Increasing digital inclusion through Leeds Digital Festival and promoting apprenticeships within Employment and Skills.

Communities and Environments

Working on waste reduction strategies, including a commitment to end all avoidable single-use plastic and involvement in the start-up of a new Serious Organised Crime strategy in Safer Leeds.

I’ve developed countless new skills, had interesting new experiences and made lifelong friends through the graduate scheme.

— Mary Gillespie

What we offer

We’re committed to promoting diversity and treating people fairly, that's why our graduate scheme offers lots of benefits and training opportunities to improve your development.

Your money and finances

  • starting salary of between £21,589 to £23,836
  • discounts on products and services, including cycle to work schemes, annual travel cards and discounted fitness memberships
  • access to the Local Government Pension Scheme

Your health and wellbeing

  • access to a network of support, including a graduate buddy
  • generous holiday entitlement, starting from 24 days, plus public holidays

Your work

  • receive a fully funded level 7 qualification in leadership and management (equivalent to a Master's Degree)
  • mentoring and careers coaching to support your development
  • opportunity to work across a range of directorates
  • join a diverse range of staff networks, including Women's Voice, LGBT+, BAME, Disability and Wellbeing Network (DAWN) and Healthy Minds

The graduate scheme is a unique opportunity to develop your skills and experience across a range of disciplines. It's enabled me to refine my interests while contributing to the delivery of work that has had a positive impact on the citizens of Leeds.

— Tia Johnson

Find out if you're eligible

If you're looking for your next step after university, have recently taken a career break or just want to further your studies, then our graduate scheme is for you.

To apply for our graduate scheme, you will need to:

  • have completed a bachelor’s degree or equivalent level 6 qualification in the last three academic years
  • be able to demonstrate our values and behaviours
  • have an interest in working for local government and a passion for our ambition to be the best council in the country

Register your interest

Due to the coronavirus outbreak, we are not currently accepting applications.

If you have any questions about the council graduate scheme or would like to register your interest, email:

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