‘The Kent Graduate Programme aims to turn aspiring graduates into local government leaders of the future.’

Rated as one of the Top 100 Smaller Intake Companies To Work For in 2015/2016 and number 3 in the Smaller Intake Charity, Education & Public Sector Firms, Kent County Council offers both a Management and a Highways, Transportation and Waste stream for graduates. With an overall rating of 3.8/5, Kent County Council scores particularly well on Training (4.1), Environmental Awareness (4.1) and Work Life Balance (4.0). Let’s take a look at what their graduates have to say about starting their careers in the Charity, Education & Public sector.

1. The best and worst things about working for Kent County Council

Best: Very large organisation, working with a range of partners and agencies. Always lots going on for you to get involved with. Lots of variation in work, especially with the 6 month rolling placements. Everyone, including senior manager and directors are keen to help with your development. Very flexible scheme to be a part of, as it lets you shape your future, depending on what you want to do and your development needs. Lots of time set aside to work on personal development.
Worst: So much going on that it is sometimes hard to keep track of the changing times.
Management Graduate, Kent Graduate Programme at Kent County Council
 
Best: The graduate scheme offers 3 different placements, which allows a greater understanding of the company and what different teams do. As part of the scheme we complete APMP and CMI qualifications. The graduates meet up every Wednesday to complete a group project, which allows us to put into practice the skills we are developing. Flexible working including home working opportunities. Variety of development opportunities including E-learning modules, volunteering days and site visits. Regular talks from senior staff.
Worst: After the 2 year scheme there is no guarantee of a job.
Highways and Transportation Graduate, Highways, Transportation and Waste at Kent County Council
 
Best: Range of work Exposure at a senior level. Strong on development/ exposure to development opportunities. On the job learning/ development. Organisation-wide buy-in to the programme. Flexible working.
Worst: Career uncertainty – no guaranteed job at the end of the programme. Due to the changing nature of local government, placement roles can sometimes become redundant or overloaded depending on the circumstances. Political input can slow working arrangements.
Management Trainee, at Kent County Council

2. Average working hours

8am – 5pm

3. Average graduate salary

£23,000 – £25,000

4. Interview tips

Application Advice: Answer all questions of the application form as best as possible. Ensure you include anecdotes and specific examples when answering the questions. Demonstrate your desire to work for Kent County Council and within the public sector. Be innovative with your answers as the programme is highly competitive and you need to stand out.
Interview Advice: Make sure you research the organisation and have read the main strategic documents for Kent County Council, it is often highly desirable if you can link your answers to KCC documents and demonstrate your passion for the job. Before your interview take the time to properly think of situations where you have had to work as a team or manage a project as this will ensure you are well prepared for any possible interview questions and saves you trying to think on the spot. Always be polite, maintain eye contact and be yourself – it’s understandable to be nervous.
Highways and Transportation Graduate – Kent Graduate Programme, Transport Strategy Delivery at Kent County Council
 
Application Advice: Give lots of examples of the experience you’ve had and explain these. Make sure you are backing everything up with examples that actually show you have the skill. Think outside the box as well, not all examples have to be work related.
Interview Advice: Be yourself and be prepared. Make sure you remember what you spoke about in your application and the examples you gave. Make sure you’ve thought about possible questions you could be asked and have an idea of how you would answer them. Do some research about KCC, as there is a lot going on that you will be expected to know about. Most importantly, be yourself. The interview is a formal situation, which some people find difficult. If you try and be as relaxed as possible, you’ll make the situation easier for yourself.
Management Graduate, Kent Graduate Programme at Kent County Council
 
Application Advice: Explain carefully how you meet the skills outlined in the application form. Make sure you research the Council, in particular it’s main strategies and policies. – Use references from previous employment, education and extra-curricular activities. Make sure you know why you’re applying for the scheme.
Interview Advice: Know about the Council’s main strategies. Why do you want to work for a local government body? Make sure you have some questions to ask the interviewers that shows you’re keen and interested (no questions about salary).
Highways and Transportation Graduate, Highways, Transportation and Waste at Kent County Council

Interested in finding out more about graduate life at Kent County Council? Take a look at their full range of graduate job reviews.

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Have your own questions prepared. It's your turn! As the interview comes to a close, one of the final questions you may be asked is "What can I answer for you?" Your interviewer will expect you to have...
2
Research the Company. Do your homework about the employer and the industry so you are ready for the interview question "What do you know about this company?"
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