The NGDP at Waltham Forest


Waltham Forest Council are proud to once again be participating in the National Graduate Development Programme (NGDP) in order to find and develop the next generation of local government leaders. This year we are focused on recruiting locally.  

The NGDP is recruiting over 120 talented National Management Trainees for its Autumn 2022 intake. Successful applicants will have two years to influence some of society’s big issues, from social care and housing to education and the environment, while training to be one of local government’s next generation of managers. It is the only national graduate programme specifically for local government. 

Employed on a two-year fixed-term contract, trainees rotate between different placements to develop their skills and knowledge alongside studying for a postgraduate-level certificate from the Institute for Leadership and Management (ILM). This is a varied and prestigious programme which has a high record of success placing graduates in positions of management in local government upon completion of the scheme. 

Our previous graduates have undertaken placements as:

  • An evaluation officer for London’s First Borough of Culture programme, designing evaluation tools and co-organising a launch event for the final report at London’s City Hall,
  • A project manager for The Climate Emergency Commission working to develop the Council’s vision for combatting climate change
  • Working within our Chief Executive’s office to support flagship projects such as the Citizens Assembly on Hate Crime and the 2019 General Election
  • Supporting the Borough’s Violence Reduction Partnership, leading on projects to examine racial disparity within outcomes for young people involved in the criminal justice system.

This is a programme has a high record of success placing graduates in positions of management in Waltham Forest and other local authorities upon completion of the scheme.


Here at the London Borough of Waltham Forest, our immediate priorities are to: 

  • Celebrate our borough and our residentsworking together to make it the best and fairest place it can be 
  • Do everything we can to help residents find good jobs 
  • Work with residents to act locally to fight the climate emergency and build a cleaner future 
  • Tackle the inequality that holds some of our residents back so that we can harness the diverse passions and skills of the people of Waltham Forest 
  • Work with residents to reduce crime and keep our homes and neighbourhoods safe  
  • Work with everyone in our community to protect us all from Covid 19 and to help people live longer, healthier and happier lives 

We are looking for candidates from the local area to help shape our response to tackling these issues - and the many others facing local government in Waltham Forest. We believe that a commitment toward equality and diversity is right for society, right for the Council, right for staff, right for service users, and right for our community as a whole. Which is why we are proactively searching for individuals with a local connection. 

Waltham Forest is one of the UK’s highest performing local authorities, serving as one of London’s best places to live and work. We have achieved a huge amount: we were the first ever London Borough of Culture and were named ‘Local Authority of the Year’ at the 2019 MJ Awards. Our services, our schools, our public spaces are all amongst the very best. We are an ambitious and innovative Council taking bold new actions to support our residents while remaining focussed on a long-term positive future for Waltham Forest. 

NGDP Local recruitment Click to get info

Waltham Forest Council is committed to creating real opportunities for local people and this includes connecting residents with this scheme.

The Council stands to benefit from recruiting future leaders that reflect the diverse communities that we serve, and we are particularly keen on attracting candidates with an understanding of the borough and the challenges that our residents face.

Our wider offer:

To make sure Waltham Forest Council is the best place to support graduates on the graduate development programme, we are offering the following:  

Support throughout the application process: All local applicants will be given the opportunity to receive support throughout the recruitment process from trained professionals and graduates who are currently on the programme. 

Mentoring: All graduates join our mentoring programme, which includes training for both graduates and senior mentors to help get the best out of your mentoring relationship 

Additional training and qualification: graduates are provided with additional training – in previous years this has included project management courses and sessions with a qualified work coach 

Exposure to senior leaders: graduates will be given the opportunity to meet and speak with senior staff across the council including the Chief Executive and the Leader of the council.  

A network and support: Waltham Forest has taken on graduates form the NGDP scheme for many years and this means graduates can expect to be supported by a large and growing network of people. 

Priority interview: By applying as a local candidates for Waltham Forest Council, successful applicants who reach the final stage of the recruitment process will be guaranteed an interview with us after April 2022  

Real opportunitiesRead what our graduates and alumni have been up to 

A commitment to your future: As you come towards the end of the scheme, we will support you to fulfil your aspirations, by helping you to identify and secure your next permanent role  

To find out more about this fantastic opportunity for Waltham Forest residents, join us at one of our Q&A sessions. These are informal drop-in sessions to ask any questions you have about the scheme, and to hear about the experiences of current graduates working here at Waltham Forest Council.

Eventbrite booking for Q&A sessions

Current Graduates:

Danielle Dempsey (: “My favourite part of my first placement in the Covid delivery team was helping in the staffing of our 3 core testing sites in the space of a couple of weeks. This involved responding to and chasing managers on our call out for 40 internal staff to be reallocated and taking them through the reallocations process. As well as ensuring non-staff who had been trained as testing staff were contracted into our ‘Service Store’ – the council’s own casual, zero-hour staffing agency. I was also responsible for ensuring staff rota’d on had completed their training and helping establish an initial rota system. The fact we were able to have 3 test centres operating fully staffed in such a short space of time was amazing and very rewarding.”

Joanna Butler-Williams: “My first placement was in the leadership office which was a real opportunity to understand how the council works, gave me exposure to senior leaders and the chance see decision-making in action. As part of this placement, I took a project support role delivering our virtual jobs summits with local businesses and residents; it was great to get this front-line experience. I have also been project manging the creation and set up of a higher education bursary in partnership with Queen Mary University. Here at Waltham Forest the senior leadership are invested in the scheme and believe in the leaders this programme can create. This makes the NGDP scheme at Waltham Forest an incredible opportunity where you will be given responsibility for and exposure to a variety of different roles and projects. I have found the programme challenging at times, but I am thankful for this as I have gained the skills and insight which I need to be able to create the positive social change that I took on this role to do!”
Our NGDP alumni:

Hisham Husain: “When I applied for the NGDP, I knew I wanted to apply the skills I developed during my undergraduate studies to work for the public good in local government… I was less sure about the specifics. What kind of tasks did I enjoy doing? Which services and roles were the right fit for me? I was fortunate enough to be able to explore these questions across three great placements during my time on the NGDP: one evaluating Waltham Forest’s year as the first London Borough of Culture, one working on the borough’s new draft Local Plan, and then another leading on a research project supporting the borough’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Over the course of these placements, I grew more confident in my skills as a social researcher specifically – which led me to pursue a research-oriented master’s degree while completing my final NGDP placement. The challenge and variety that comes with being a National Management Trainee allowed me to apply that master’s and become an adaptable, community-oriented researcher. With this sense of confidence and direction in hand, after completing the NGDP I have gone on to be the Council’s Research and Impact Officer – applying the knowledge, experiences, and connections I gathered from the NGDP and my master’s to deliver a range of research projects that support the full breadth of Council activity. If you are passionate about making your local area a better place to live for everyone, I could not recommend the NGDP enough as a way of doing that while carving out where you belong in the sector.”

William Vile: “During my second year on the graduate scheme, I was fortunate enough to receive a placement in the Housing Strategy Team, a service that monitors and implements the Council’s housing strategy, and supports the delivery of service improvement and strategic projects across the Housing Service.

The opportunity to work in Social Housing was the main reason I wanted to join a local authority. I’d spent my undergraduate degree volunteering at my local Citizens Advice Bureau. This experience demonstrated the crucial need for safe, affordable, and secure housing to provide a foundation from which residents can build their lives.

After six months in this role, I was successful in applying for a job within this team. I was able to continue working on housing projects I was passionate about, such as the work to improve how the housing service supports survivors of Domestic Abuse and the work to analyse equality and diversity within the Housing Service. My job cuts across the three main housing service areas of homelessness support and housing options, tenant support and management, and housing repairs and maintenance. It’s a dynamic role that involves strategic thinking combined with a practical and resident focused mindset. Every day is different and requires an ability to adapt quickly to changing priorities and circumstances. I’m able to learn from a close-knit and experienced team, and regularly pushed and challenged to develop new skills.

The NGDP was key in helping me access this next step. The placement programme enabled me to experience a variety of roles across the Council, which was key in understanding the approaches and perspectives of frontline and corporate staff. This insight is key to the success of my work now as it helps me appreciate how different officers within the housing service will engage with and view the projects I am working on.”

Application support Click to get info

Waltham Forest is committed to supporting local candidates with the NGDP application process. For more information, support, and guidance, contact us at

How to apply Click to get info

If you are interested in applying to the NGDP, please visit our NGDP Graduate Trainee vacancy page for more information.