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The charity making life better by water

Graduate Scheme

It takes an extraordinary team, from many walks of life, to bring our waterways to life and by joining us, you’ll tackle the same challenges we do, be stretched and supported and have the opportunity to work alongside and learn from exceptional colleagues.

Graduate engineers

We're the charity helping millions of people feel happier and healthier by spending more time on and along our canals and rivers. Our rich and tranquil spaces provide places to walk, run, bike, roll, boat and rest and we have incredible infrastructures that can be matched by no other organisation.

We place great importance not only on what we do, but how and why we do it. We are passionate, collaborative, and take pride in work that helps our customers and communities. Working for the Canal & River Trust, you will feel a daily sense of pride, knowing you have really made a difference.

Join us and you'll be caring for your environment as well as your community, helping make life better by water for everyone. Every day.

The scheme

We have designed a three-four year graduate programme to start your journey towards becoming a qualified civil engineer.

The programme is designed to bring out the best in you and push you to your full potential as a future leader and we'll help you make the very most of your talents.

Diverse on-the-job experience through a rotational programme will be complemented by an engaging series of learning experiences to help you to build the right blend of personal and professional skills. You will be mentored by experienced colleagues and have support from your manager.

We will work closely with you to develop clear career goals, expand your skills and assist you in working towards the relevant professional qualification.

Fantastic rewards

As well as a competitive salary, there are generous benefits including 25 days holiday, pension scheme, company laptop and phone, employee assistance programme and other perks.

Entry requirements

To build our team, we're looking for graduates from a variety of backgrounds, and experiences who meeting the following criteria:

  • Eligible to work in the UK with a valid work permit if applicable
  • Ability to travel as our infrastructure is as disperse as it is diverse
  • Strong numeracy and literacy skills
  • A degree course with a clear route to professional accreditation
  • You'll need at least a 2:1 degree in civil engineering

Selection process and application

Our applications open during November, the assessment and selection process will be taking place from December - March, with the programme set to start from August onwards.

  • Complete the online application form and upload a copy of your CV and covering letter
  • Your application will be reviewed against the requirements of the role you have applied for
  • You will be invited to complete a series of psychometric tests again tailored to the role
  • Upon successful completion of the online tests, you will be invited to a video interview
  • If you are successful with that, you will be invited to take part in a panel interview with the team
  • All offers are subject to references

What it's like working here

Health and wellbeing We want to inspire and help colleagues to look after their mental and physical wellbeing, so they can feel great at work and at home. You'll have access to a range of resources developed with this in mind. From wellbeing action plan, a learning allowance to expand your skills outside of work, mental health first aid, training and support to manage your wellbeing and access to a toolkit packed full of hints and tips.


What's the best part of the role?

The best part of the role has to be the rapid skills development in a very unique environment. You'll get to work on a wide variety of projects, experience a wide range of infrastructure work, all whilst supporting the wellbeing of the nation. We have a strong team-orientated culture and you'll always have a support network available to help you on your journey.

What does an average day look like?

Whilst developing your practical skills and gaining experience there are no such things as average days. The Trust manages a huge breadth of historic infrastructure which will provide you with challenges from the seemingly simple, but often not straight forward, through to complex interdisciplinary projects where constraints require innovation. The role allows you to apply your modern engineering skills within the heritage setting developed 250 years ago by the pioneers of the industrial revolution.

What will I learn within the first year?

You'll learn a lot! As well as skills related to engineering, during the first year, you'll develop skills and experience that will support you not only during the graduate programme however your whole career. In addition to your technical knowledge gained during your studies, you'll gain critical skills related to your professional development.

Will I be supported becoming chartered?

The programme will provide appropriate experience, support and mentorship to accelerate you through to becoming incorporated or chartered (depending on degree), which it targets within four years. However, you must take a high degree of personal responsibility towards this.

Last Edited: 26 November 2021

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