Grow your own managers

It’s been 15 years since Doncaster Council got involved with the National Graduate Development Programme for local government (ngdp) – that’s 24 national management trainees (NMTs), from 10 cohorts.

As a council, we are always looking for innovative approaches and we continue to be excited to be a part of the ngdp, as it represents the future of our sector. It equips our graduates with the leadership skills and experience necessary to excel in their careers.

The beauty of this scheme is that each of the graduates has had a diverse and fantastic impact on the business of our authority.

We, in turn, have developed our approach to the programme, learning from the expertise of other councils and bringing in national best practice to influence graduates’ future careers and ensure they have the best experience possible.

Our trainees have gone on to forge diverse careers within the council, in a variety of roles and directorate areas, and we currently employ seven people who are ngdp alumni.

As a national scheme delivered locally, we have had a real opportunity to adapt this flexible programme to meet the strategic needs of our council, and to have graduates deliver borough-wide transformation and change.

Both the council and the borough have benefited from their work, with each graduate playing a real part in modernising our services. Whether through undertaking projects as part of Doncaster Growing Together, our vision for the borough, or providing essential support during flood-recovery efforts, they have consistently gone the extra mile for us. We are proud that our aspirations match their ambitions.

The new and diverse perspectives that the NMTs bring is incredibly beneficial and an invaluable resource for us. We encourage and value their comments and challenges, which inspire our teams to think differently about the way we carry out our work, relate with our communities and partners, and shape services to meet the future needs of local government.

Our confidence in the scheme has grown and we have increased our intake from two graduates every other year to three graduates every year. It’s been the best decision we could ever have made.


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