National Graduate Development Programme

National Graduate Programme

The NGDP Cohort 24 goes local for its graduates in 2022.

For the last 8 years the council has engaged with the National Graduate Development Programme (NGDP) and recruited graduates from all over the country. This year the council will be focussing it’s NGDP Graduate programme on recruiting from people who live in the City of Wolverhampton. Applications will only be considered from Wolverhampton Citizens who have a 2:2 or above. This is a prestigious programme and for those graduates who are successful in getting through the assessment process a public sector management career awaits you. You will have access to quality placements, supporting some of the most high profile pieces of work across the city.

Click here to find out more about the National Graduate Programme or to apply. To discuss the programme or for any further questions please contact the Organisational Development Team on

Graduate case studies

Kester Sleeman - Cohort 21 Programme Manager

Kester Sleeman

I chose the NGDP programme as a great route into local government, after working for a few years in the private sector. It's been a fantastic experience, allowing me to get involved in a huge breadth of projects. The exposure to director level management, and the real responsibility that is given to graduates from an early stage in the scheme gives huge opportunities for development. Thanks to the scheme, I have been able to secure a role as a programme manager working across the four Black Country local authorities, coordinating the delivery of a multi-million-pound programme of electric vehicle infrastructure, as well as developing a range of policy interventions.

Michael Hallows - Cohort 20 Commercial Manager

Michael Hallows

I joined City of Wolverhampton Council through the NGDP in September 2018. When applying I looked at dozens of graduate schemes, but my motivation to apply for the NGDP came from wanting to work for an organisation, and in a sector, that strived to support and enhance communities on a local level. As a former teacher, I wanted to continue to make a difference in my career and the NGDP really sold that aspect of the scheme. I did some reading up on local government before applying and soon realised the sector faced huge challenges which would make the work I’d be doing even more meaningful.

Since joining Wolverhampton, I have worked in the Commercial Services team on several high-profile and interesting projects. In the last three years I have learned a great amount about how councils operate and are able to deliver their services, through gaining skills and experience in commercialisation, finance, project management, governance and contract management. Through ongoing support and development, I have also been able to progress within my team, securing a permanent role as Commercial Manager after one year on the graduate scheme, and more recently I have been promoted to Commercial Business Partner.

The NGDP provided me with a great opportunity to kick-start my career in local government and I would recommend it to any graduate who is looking for a challenging yet rewarding role with immediate development prospects.

Laura Noonan - Cohort 13 Electoral Services Manager

Laura Noonan

I studied Social Policy at University and always knew that I wanted to work in the public sector so when I left university I started working for my local council as an administrator. Whilst at the council I heard about the NGDP scheme and it sounded like the perfect graduate programme for me. I joined the NGDP scheme in 2013 and worked in a variety of front line and strategic services, and also benefited from the opportunity to work with senior managers and councillors from the outset, which gave me the skills and experience I needed to progress into management roles. After the scheme ended, I secured a job as a Project Officer and then a Project Manager continuing to work with a variety of services on various improvement programmes of work from adult social care to ICT agile working projects. I was interested in specialising in a service, so I secured a secondment in the Councils elections team and I am now Electoral Services Manager, responsible for managing a team who deliver all elections in the Wolverhampton area and keeping the register of electors up to date. I have since had the opportunity to have NGDP graduates undertake placements with me in the Elections Team. I would highly recommend the NGDP scheme to anyone interested in establishing a career in delivering services that help local communities.