Careers at NGDP
Specially designed to help fast-track a career in local government, the NGDP has been consistently ranked within the top 100 graduate employers over its 20-year history.
It is a two-year programme, during which you will take on 3-4 different placements to learn about different areas of local government and the public sector. These may include things like covering frontline projects in housing, social care; back-office areas such as law, HR, and finances; and corporate and strategic functions.
Currently, around 50 local councils work with the NGDP, but it is available to every council.
As well as employment, you are able to complete a level 7 qualification in Leadership and Management, which is fully funded.
NGDP Application Process
Virtual Assessment Centre
The NGDP runs on an annual structure, taking on a new intake once a year. The application process looks like this:
- Online application
- Psychometric testing
- Video interview
- Virtual assessment centre
Applications open in September and new hires typically start in the next autumn, so if you are considering this pathway it is important to plan accordingly, as it is a long process.
NGDP online application
The first step is the online application, where you submit background information and prove your eligibility. The NGDP works to encourage diversity and take on applicants from a range of backgrounds.
The only academic stipulation is the programme requires you to have graduated with a 2:2 or higher in any degree subject.
The process is designed for the local government environment and matching the right candidates with the programme. This means measuring how well you match the key skills and behaviours that they are looking for, which are:
- 1. Working well with others
- 2. Leadership potential
- 3. Persuasive communication
- 4. Planning and organisation
- 5. Drive for results
- 6. Problem solving
- 7. Motivation and resilience
- 8. Commitment to the community
NGDP Aptitude Tests
NGDP verbal reasoning test
NGDP uses the verbal reasoning test to measure your English language, communication, and analysis skills, which are key workplace skills needed for success on the programme. The tests are typically structured as a series of paragraphs, which you will have to read and then answer comprehension questions on.
The average verbal reasoning test is 20–25 minutes long, with 30–45 seconds per question; the details of your test will be given to you when you are invited to take it.
NGDP recommends that you practice the verbal reasoning test, since these screen out a large amount of the candidates.
While they do not ask you very complex language questions, there is a lot of pressure to process a large amount of information in a short time, which many people find challenging.
NGDP numerical reasoning test
The numerical reasoning test is used to assess how well you work with information presented in a numerical format such as statistics, percentages, and graphs.
Again, these tests show employers your analysis and problem-solving skills, as well as general intelligence not dependent on your educational background.
Although numerical reasoning tests are not based on advanced mathematics, they are dependent on knowledge that is GCSE (or equivalent) level. Therefore, many people will likely need to practice numerical reasoning before taking the test, to make sure they have all of the basics covered.
NGDP situational judgement test
A situational judgement test assesses your workplace behaviour and personality traits to check your compatibility with the role. During these tests you will be presented with a hypothetical scenario, then asked to choose the response which you feel is most appropriate.
For this, you should really take into account the competencies that mentioned above, so that you understand what kind of person NGDP seeks. Skills such as emotional intelligence, diplomacy, effective communication, initiative and leadership are all important, and therefore, need to be demonstrated in the answers that you give.
You can and should practice situational judgement tests to get comfortable with the format and structure. Although there are no correct or incorrect answers per se, it is a good idea to apply your knowledge of their expectations to show that you have the skills sought.