The Student Room Group

‘Graduate Schemes’ through Recruitment Companies

I’m talking about ‘graduate schemes’ by recruitment companies who basically pay for your training and then hire you out for 2-3 years to their client.

Initially, I hated the idea of being contractually bound to a job for 24 months - with a £15,000 exit fee (repaying back the earlier mentioned training) being required for one to leave earlier. However, compared to other companies such as Grayce, 2 years isn’t too bad and is the length of most graduate schemes. The pays decent (25k+2k bonus in year one and 32k+2k bonus in year two), the training is crazy as well with some serious qualifications being jammed into a month of full time sessions. These are some valuable certifications (for this field) which combined with the 2 years experience would go on to make someone a veryyy desirable candidate upon leaving (potentially £50k-£65k).

I’m abit unsure however, obviously the recruitment company is charging their client a big bucket of money and my salary is just a portion of it. But, the starting salary is slightly higher than an entry level job in this field and the year two salary - in my opinion - is very competitive and in line with the salary someone with that experience could command in general.

I read bad reviews from people using FDM and Grayce however this scheme sounds more similar to Kubrick. After training you have to do interviews and wait to be ‘placed’ with one of their clients. However they pay you £50 a day until they get you hired - and this doesn’t need to be repaid back as it’s ‘their issue’. I mean is this that bad considering?
im generally pessimistic of all graduate schemes - they're poorly paid for the working demands and that's why most people leave soon after. they work primarily by exploiting fresh graduates' need for experience (+ brand on their cv)

the idea of paying someone less because you're training them is ******** because everyone gets training in their first job (and any subsequent job they're not a natural at). saying they're paying for your training is a marketing trick: they're paying you to do work, it just happens to be the case that the work you do involves some hand holding. but like i say that's the same everywhere

iirc being paid £50/day whilst without work is being called on the bench - you're employed by them in some regards, but they're underpaying you by pretending you're not really employed by them. any good company would pay you the full salary whilst you're idling because it's up to them to find you work not the other way round. imo very bad practice

like you already noticed, the outside company is paying your salary but they're also paying your employer a fat chunk. and it's more than you think it is. at my company, we pay contractors around £35k but at least £10k goes to their agency and they do the exact same work & hours that the other juniors do (and they get paid £50k). that's a bad starting point and you can do better
All fair points to be honest. I agree that the £50 a day is terrible, but I have an evening job which pays me decent so not really effected by that. It 100% is a better deal for the agency but I still don’t think it’s that bad for me and maybe it’s my naivety lol.

I do think the training is good though, it’s a couple of certs packed into a few weeks. And for this field they’re extremely valuable, think Prince2/Scrum. It’s deffo not worth 15k but depending on how much certs it’s a good few k and it would take me ages to complete alongside my current job and a big financial sacrifice.

Also I doubt I would be able to get 35k that the agency gets, believe you me I’ve applied and the average entry level job is 25k starting and I just got rejected for one paying 19k for the same role because there’s about 100 grads to 1 job. I have a mentor who has my dream job and she told me 24k is what I should expect as the average and what she started on… so both my options are quite mid
Original post by docmartensgirl
All fair points to be honest. I agree that the £50 a day is terrible, but I have an evening job which pays me decent so not really effected by that. It 100% is a better deal for the agency but I still don’t think it’s that bad for me and maybe it’s my naivety lol.

I do think the training is good though, it’s a couple of certs packed into a few weeks. And for this field they’re extremely valuable, think Prince2/Scrum. It’s deffo not worth 15k but depending on how much certs it’s a good few k and it would take me ages to complete alongside my current job and a big financial sacrifice.

Also I doubt I would be able to get 35k that the agency gets, believe you me I’ve applied and the average entry level job is 25k starting and I just got rejected for one paying 19k for the same role because there’s about 100 grads to 1 job. I have a mentor who has my dream job and she told me 24k is what I should expect as the average and what she started on… so both my options are quite mid


i don't think even paid certifications are worth much in the job market. there are certainly exceptions - cfa/aca for example - but the only people i know with scrum or agile certifications are people who did it of their own accord (and fyi, the company paid for the trainings on top of salary) not people who got hired because they have those certifications

if you think these jobs are a good starting place, and you've also put effort into other types of entry level jobs, then go for it, especially if they offer decent entry level salaries for this industry. what are you looking at industry/career wise?

100 grads for 1 job is a slightly misleading statistic because each grad applies for dozens of jobs which inflates the ratio. from the employer's perspective, it's also 1 (top talen) job seeker per multiple potential job offers : )
Original post by docmartensgirl
I’m talking about ‘graduate schemes’ by recruitment companies who basically pay for your training and then hire you out for 2-3 years to their client.

Initially, I hated the idea of being contractually bound to a job for 24 months - with a £15,000 exit fee (repaying back the earlier mentioned training) being required for one to leave earlier. However, compared to other companies such as Grayce, 2 years isn’t too bad and is the length of most graduate schemes. The pays decent (25k+2k bonus in year one and 32k+2k bonus in year two), the training is crazy as well with some serious qualifications being jammed into a month of full time sessions. These are some valuable certifications (for this field) which combined with the 2 years experience would go on to make someone a veryyy desirable candidate upon leaving (potentially £50k-£65k).

I’m abit unsure however, obviously the recruitment company is charging their client a big bucket of money and my salary is just a portion of it. But, the starting salary is slightly higher than an entry level job in this field and the year two salary - in my opinion - is very competitive and in line with the salary someone with that experience could command in general.

I read bad reviews from people using FDM and Grayce however this scheme sounds more similar to Kubrick. After training you have to do interviews and wait to be ‘placed’ with one of their clients. However they pay you £50 a day until they get you hired - and this doesn’t need to be repaid back as it’s ‘their issue’. I mean is this that bad considering?


Terrible companies. They prey on the insecure IMO.

You could get £50k right off the bat instead of having to wait 2-years just for the *chance* of earning that much if you had a genuine interest in whatever field it is they are training you on and did a few personal projects that are complex enough to talk about at an interview. The companies you'll consult/contract for already do provide training for their regular employees. Any good company will have zero issue giving you licences to virtually any training website as well as the opportunity to attend in-person training and sit certifications.
(edited 1 year ago)
Depends on what field you're talking. The graduate programmer and Junior Programmer roles tend to be around the same 35k - Some entry ones even lower.

Unless you have 2+ years under your belt, I don't know if they're willing to train you to get 40-50k; especially if you have such little experience with less than a year. Though I'm willing to be proven wrong.

Additionally, it could be that you're speaking of a different area.
Original post by Blue_Cow
Terrible companies. They prey on the insecure IMO.

You could get £50k right off the bat instead of having to wait 2-years just for the *chance* of earning that much if you had a genuine interest in whatever field it is they are training you on and did a few personal projects that are complex enough to talk about at an interview. The companies you'll consult/contract for already do provide training for their regular employees. Any good company will have zero issue giving you licences to virtually any training website as well as the opportunity to attend in-person training and sit certifications.
(edited 1 year ago)
Original post by NothingNothing5
Depends on what field you're talking. The graduate programmer and Junior Programmer roles tend to be around the same 35k - Some entry ones even lower.

Unless you have 2+ years under your belt, I don't know if they're willing to train you to get 40-50k; especially if you have such little experience with less than a year. Though I'm willing to be proven wrong.

Additionally, it could be that you're speaking of a different area.


Microsoft and JP Morgan are two companies I can think of off the top of my head with schemes specifically designed for people from non-technical backgrounds to enter software engineering.

...and then most other companies that hire early-in-career software engineering grads and other technical roles generally have a bar which is reasonably easy to meet provided you have a real interest in the field and have done some basic preparation, whether that's personal projects or practicing Leetcode for a few months.
Original post by Blue_Cow
Microsoft and JP Morgan are two companies I can think of off the top of my head with schemes specifically designed for people from non-technical backgrounds to enter software engineering.

...and then most other companies that hire early-in-career software engineering grads and other technical roles generally have a bar which is reasonably easy to meet provided you have a real interest in the field and have done some basic preparation, whether that's personal projects or practicing Leetcode for a few months.

I don't know if you'll find (many) developer roles 40k+ that would give a job to a graduate.

That's why they often name them graduate roles. They often want at least 1 - 2 years of experience. I'm not speaking of these contractual ones this guy is referring to i.e., recruitment.

However, if you can find a software role which requires <1 year of working experience in programming languages in C#, Java and pays people 50k+ please let me and everyone else know. They are probably out there, I've seen them, but again they're aimed at graduates, and would then be called a graduate role.

I highly doubt someone who is
- 2:1 computer science
- 1< commercial experience in coding
- Would be given a job straight of the bat - mid-developer role. That just doesn't happen.
(edited 1 year ago)
Original post by NothingNothing5
I don't know if you'll find (many) developer roles 40k+ that would give a job to a graduate.

That's why they often name them graduate roles. They often want at least 1 - 2 years of experience. I'm not speaking of these contractual ones this guy is referring to i.e., recruitment.

However, if you can find a software role which requires <1 year of working experience in programming languages in C#, Java and pays people 50k+ please let me and everyone else know. They are probably out there, I've seen them, but again they're aimed at graduates, and would then be called a graduate role.

I highly doubt someone who is
- 2:1 computer science
- 1< commercial experience in coding

Would be given a job straight of the bat - That DIDN'T have graduate attached to the name - Could a mid-developer role. That just doesn't happen.


This thread is about graduate schemes/jobs, no? When I say right off the bat I mean those that have just graduated or is about to.
(edited 1 year ago)
Original post by Blue_Cow
This thread is about graduate schemes/jobs, no?


But in your other reply you said that they shouldn't do a graduate scheme 'You could get £50k right off the bat instead of having to wait 2-years just for the *chance* of earning that much if you had a genuine interest in whatever field it is'

Ah I see I may have lumped @TakeThisL statements with yours 'im generally pessimistic of all graduate schemes'

From my understanding you agree graduate schemes are good - just not specifically recruitment graduate schemes. I agree, you might as well apply directly to a company for a graduate role, rather than going through an agency.
Original post by NothingNothing5
But in your other reply you said that they shouldn't do a graduate scheme 'You could get £50k right off the bat instead of having to wait 2-years just for the *chance* of earning that much if you had a genuine interest in whatever field it is'

Ah I see I may have lumped @TakeThisL statements with yours 'im generally pessimistic of all graduate schemes'

From my understanding you agree graduate schemes are good - just not specifically recruitment graduate schemes. I agree, you might as well apply directly to a company for a graduate role, rather than going through an agency.


Oh, right I see. It's just a misunderstanding then. I didn't mean you shouldn't do a graduate scheme in the sentence you quoted - I mean you shouldn't go through those recruitment/consulting/training agencies and should go directly. Glad we agree.
You’re quite deluded. Good luck with finding your role as a graduate, with a starting salary of 50k. You might feel exploited, but others are grateful for starting in a role on 26k, working for a company that champions community initiatives, has brilliant qualifications and assigns you to work for clients that we may not usually have the opportunity to work for. Companies like this kickstarted my career, supported me with my development, and after a few years…yes, a salary of 55/60/65k is not such a wild idea. Why is everything so cynical, or a scam. Why can’t it just be a good business model, that both makes money and supports grads at the same time!



Original post by HoldThisL
im generally pessimistic of all graduate schemes - they're poorly paid for the working demands and that's why most people leave soon after. they work primarily by exploiting fresh graduates' need for experience (+ brand on their cv)

the idea of paying someone less because you're training them is ******** because everyone gets training in their first job (and any subsequent job they're not a natural at). saying they're paying for your training is a marketing trick: they're paying you to do work, it just happens to be the case that the work you do involves some hand holding. but like i say that's the same everywhere

iirc being paid £50/day whilst without work is being called on the bench - you're employed by them in some regards, but they're underpaying you by pretending you're not really employed by them. any good company would pay you the full salary whilst you're idling because it's up to them to find you work not the other way round. imo very bad practice

like you already noticed, the outside company is paying your salary but they're also paying your employer a fat chunk. and it's more than you think it is. at my company, we pay contractors around £35k but at least £10k goes to their agency and they do the exact same work & hours that the other juniors do (and they get paid £50k). that's a bad starting point and you can do better

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