NICS launches Fast Stream-esque graduate scheme

30 places on offer for new £32k-a-year accelerated-leadership programme
Jayne Brady and Conor Murphy launch the recruitment drive. Photo: NICS

By Jim Dunton

06 Sep 2022

The Northern Ireland Civil Service has launched a new four-year graduate programme with similarities to the UK government’s suspended Fast Stream.

It is offering 30 successful applicants a starting salary of at least £32,328 a year to take part in the accelerated leadership scheme, which will see them undertake a range of “diverse and challenging placements”.

The programme will give future leaders a taste of policymaking, operational delivery, communications, the commercial marketplace, data and digital technology, and governance during its 48-month run.

In the final year participants will have the opportunity to apply for promotions to Grade 7 roles that could see their salaries rise to a minimum £52,026 a year.  

NICS head Jayne Brady said the programme was an exciting opportunity for “ambitious and capable graduates” to build a career at the same time as making a difference to the lives of citizens.

“The work carried out by civil servants touches on all aspects of life here,” she said, “across areas such as health, public finances, justice, education, the environment, the economy, infrastructure and our communities.”

Finance minister Conor Murphy said it was hoped the programme would harness a “diverse range of dynamic graduate talent” and help NICS continue to make a positive difference to society.

The candidate pack for the role suggests that more than 30 appointments could be made as part of the programme and that applicants may be offered other roles in the NICS if they are not successful in securing a place on the graduate scheme. 

Successful applicants are expected to start work in January. Candidates are warned they must be prepared to work in a range of locations across Northern Ireland over the course of the four years.

The scheme is open to anyone who achieved a second-class or higher degree by the end of July this year. Applications must be received by noon on September 16.

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