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Graduate Programme

Graduates who join us will be involved in developing policies that impact all areas of government and make a difference to millions of lives every day.

About the Programme

Everything that we do at HM Treasury is intrinsically linked to everyday life in the UK. Our work covers important policy areas such as housing, education, health, local government, policing and pensions. We also support the wider economy by funding growth and business innovation to put the UK economy on a sustainable footing.

As a Policy Adviser, you’ll become a specialist in a particular policy area. Your job will be to provide the government of the day with the best advice possible, to help them to make decisions in the best interests of the public we serve. And your work will have a direct impact on the lives of millions of people.

No two days are the same for a Policy Adviser. One day you might be analysing data, coordinating both short and long-term projects, the next you could be in Parliament supporting Ministers in a debate. You can expect to write briefings for Ministers and senior managers, and respond to written questions from MPs or members of the public. Throughout your time on the Graduate Development Programme, you’ll work with all sorts of government departments, external organisations and individuals to debate and craft the policy we deliver. Whatever your area of policy, you’ll enjoy real responsibility, challenge and fulfilment that we don’t think you can find anywhere else.

Working with the mentorship and support of a manager and wider team, previous Policy Advisers have:

  • Developed the Government’s first Islamic Finance bond
  • Contributed to the development of the UK’s future customs and trade policy
  • Developed regional devolution agreements, devolving powers to local areas

Policy Advisers can join us in either our London or Darlington offices on permanent contracts. So, as long as you complete your six-month probation period, you’ll remain a permanent staff member after completing the graduate programme.

Career progression

The HM Treasury Graduate Development Programme is a phenomenal way to start a career in policy. You don’t have to have an economics degree or relevant work experience to progress here as a Policy Adviser. We designed our Graduate Development Programme to nurture policy professionals, giving them the depth of knowledge and the breadth of experience to work across multiple policy areas. So, we’ll give you the training to help you develop, and improve on,  the skills you already have.

Programme structure

During your time on our three-year development programme, you’ll have two placements within the Department. You’ll spend 18 months in your first posting, establishing a detailed grounding in a particular area of policy. At the end of this first posting, we’ll move you into a second 18-month posting. Depending upon the needs of the department and your development needs, you could further your knowledge in your first policy area, or work in a different area to broaden your experience.

Responsibility, experience and support

Because of Treasury’s key role in government and the high profile work we do, our graduate programme offers opportunities to take on real-world responsibility – with the support and experience you need to make the most of your potential and progress your career. You’ll also benefit from regular mentoring conversations with your line manager, who’ll help you plan your career.

It’s an approach that’s proved successful over the years. Most of our senior leadership team today joined the Civil Service as graduates.

Diverse career paths

HM Treasury’s work is diverse and so are the career paths of our Policy Advisers. After completing the Graduate Development Programme, most of our Policy Advisers choose to develop a long-term career in the Treasury. Others gain experience in the wider Civil Service to share the knowledge and skills they’ve gained for the benefit of the UK population, and some move to other public sector organisations. Many of those who spend time away from the Treasury come back, to a warm welcome.

What we’re looking for

We welcome graduates with a 2.2 or above in any degree subject area. Whether you’ve just graduated or are looking for a change of career, we encourage you to apply. To join us, you’ll need a real interest in public policy and the role of government.

Our aim is to build a Treasury that’s truly reflective of the diverse society we serve. So, it’s important that our employees come from a broad range of backgrounds, bringing us the widest possible range of perspectives and ways of thinking.

What we're looking for

We welcome graduates with a 2.2 or above in any degree subject, and from all universities.

As well as having a real interest in public policy and the role of government, you’ll need the following core skills and attributes:

Clear analysis: The ability to think around a problem, identify the key issues and find solutions. You’ll need to be able to grasp ideas quickly, take complex information on board, and filter out any irrelevant or distracting information.

Interpersonal skills: Policy Advisers work with a wide range of stakeholders who have differing views. You’ll need to be able to understand varied perspectives, and use that understanding to influence, persuade and negotiate.

Clear communication: It’s essential that you have the ability to communicate complex issues clearly and concisely, particularly in writing.

Team working: We work in small teams and value collaborative working and supporting each other, so we’re looking for people who share these values and can develop strong, positive working relationships with others.

Motivation: We need people who are excited about working on government policy that matters to the whole country. And because our work is important and high profile, it attracts a high degree of scrutiny. So, you’ll need to be able to hold your own and balance responsibility, even in the very early part of your career with us.

Resilience: We work in an ever-evolving political and economic environment. You’ll need to be able to think flexibly and cope with what could be frequent changes to situations and priorities.

Skills & Training

Our Policy Advisers have a lot of responsibility, but we’re committed to equipping our people with all the tools they need to handle this. Central to this is our Graduate Development Programme.

The programme consists of a mixture of structured and on-the-job learning with support from your line manager and wider Treasury colleagues. It’s designed to build your confidence and give you the knowledge, skills and behaviours you need to be an expert professional Policy Adviser.

You’ll gain a foundation in the core skills for policy making in HM Treasury and the wider Civil Service, including economics, fiscal policy and working with Ministers. We’ll enable you to develop the skills to become an effective policy adviser, from negotiating and influencing to creative problem-solving and communication.

Beyond the training available on the Graduate Development Programme, you’ll be supported through the HM Treasury policy skills framework, relevant for staff at all grades who work in the policy profession.