Our human resources scheme for graduates

Who you are

You’re customer-focused, supportive and a great listener. You have an in-built curiosity to know more and you think flexibly around situations or issues. You’re able to process large amounts of information and come up with creative solutions. With strong influencing skills and a keen eye for detail, you have the ability to make things happen. You’re a great communicator and can influence people.

How long is the scheme?

Two years with an elective third year 

Where you’ll be based

Milton Keynes

What you’ll be doing

You’ll undertake a number of rotations throughout your scheme. Year 1 will be 3-4 month placements, with two 6 month placements in year 2.

You will then go through a developmental assessment towards the end of your 2nd year where your experience and skill levels will be assessed, against a typical Network Rail ‘Band 4’ role (in our structure this would be a managerial role). From here, you’ll choose your 3rd elective year.

In year 3 you’ll be working in a real role whilst still “in development”, this will allow you to use all the knowledge you’ve gained in your first 2 years, whilst still having all the support mechanism available to a graduate, to get you ready for a band 4 level role graduate . You will be our HR Leadership teams of the future, so by the end of your 3 years we’re aiming to get you to be:

  • Minimum CIPD level 5 qualified
  • Band 4 (Network Rail manager level)
  • Working to the ‘Associate’ level CIPD competence level

You could be asked to liaise with trade unions, or to coach and advise colleagues on organisational change, senior appointments or salary and benefits. The programme is designed to support you in your journey to become a HR business partner or HR Specialist.

You may get to work on recruitment campaigns, policy reviews – improving safety by ensuring compliance with our rules and employee framework, and learning about and contributing to continuous improvement initiatives within HR and across the wider business.

You’ll have the opportunity to work with senior HR managers on projects such as diversity and inclusion and our integrated mediation scheme. Above all, you’ll ensure we have the right people at the right time in the right place.


Hear from a recent graduate:

Aoibheann, Human Resources


Entry requirements

2:2 in any degree subject

What professional qualifications could you gain?

You will undertake a part-time CIPD (Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development) Level 5 qualification, much of this is web based. If you’ve already got your CIPD level 5 we’ll look at your development opportunities individually to make the right choice for you for further development

What opportunities are available at the end of the scheme?

Previous graduates have gone on to HR business partner roles and other specialist roles in talent and rewards teams, with further promotion and professional development opportunities available.

Why you should choose this scheme

The scheme provides a professional introduction to HR and gives you exposure to the full range of HR disciplines. There is a lot of flexibility with regards to the projects you can get involved with. Because of the rotations, you'll get to learn about the different HR departments and have knowledge of the wider business. And last but not least, everyone in the business wants you to succeed.

Ready to make an epic career choice?

Applications for the 2020 scheme are now closed, but you can register for our 2021 graduate scheme below.