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.

How long is the scheme?

Two years

Where you’ll be based

Milton Keynes

What you’ll be doing

You’ll undertake six four-month rotational placements within the Human Resources (HR) function. Your responsibilities will include leading on recruitment campaigns, improving safety by ensuring compliance with our rules and employee framework, and contributing to continuous improvement initiatives within HR and across the wider business.

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 becoming a HR business partner.

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.

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. This will involve going to 40 weekly evening classes locally in Milton Keynes.

What opportunities are available at the end of the scheme?

Previous graduates have gone on to senior HR business partner roles, 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.

Hear from our recent graduate:

Aoibheann, Human resources

View our application process

How would you describe the breadth of Network Rail’s work, and the breadth of our opportunities for graduates?

Network Rail’s work is immense and it definitely translates to graduates. Network Rail is a company that truly believes graduates are the future, and I’ve heard that over and over again in my time here. Colleagues really push you and give you exposure to a range of different opportunities.

How varied have you found your role at Network Rail?

I’ve found a lot of variety in my role at Network Rail. No two days are the same! My role within HR has comprised recruitment, analysing data, reward and benefits as well as project management. I’ve gained a varied skillset, and the opportunity to rotate around the HR function has put me in a privileged position where I’ve been able to recommend new ways of working based on what I’ve experienced in other parts of the company. The graduate scheme facilitates a holistic understanding of the HR function.

What’s the most exciting work you’ve done here?

It’s hard to narrow it down as all my placements have included really exciting work that I’ve been trusted to make my own. One of the most exciting pieces of work I've done was coordinating Armed Forces Week in line with Network Rail signing the British Armed Forces Military Covenant, to show our commitment to support and recruit from the Armed Forces. In that week, there were military vehicles outside the Milton Keynes office, members of staff with virtual reality headsets, working dogs around the office, and a lot of men and women in military uniform. It was very exciting to see its success but also to recommend other ways of continuing our relationship with the Armed Forces.

What’s been the best thing for you?

Dependant on business needs, the flexibility to steer my experience of the graduate scheme towards areas I have a particular interest in. Network Rail has a very inclusive culture, with support networks to assist in professional development. I’ve found colleagues around the business really approachable and I’ve been exposed to some high-level meetings. For me, the flexibility, along with a range of opportunities in a nurturing environment, is the best thing about working for Network Rail.

Why Network Rail?

The railway faces many opportunities and future challenges, which means it’s an environment where graduates are encouraged to have an input in paving the way for what that that future will look like. I also gain a sense of pride in knowing the hard work that goes in to keeping the rail network running.