UHS graduate scheme: operations management

If you’re looking for a career where you can really make a difference, our in-house graduate management training scheme is for you. The scheme offers the opportunity to build a challenging and rewarding career within NHS operational management.

As one of the largest teaching trusts in England, we're a great place to start your career. We’re one of only a few trusts in the UK that have the ability to care for people from before they’re born right through to the end of their lives, providing almost every specialism to over 1.9 million people living in Southampton and beyond.

During your time in our graduate scheme, you’ll gain broad experience at all levels of a large, complex NHS organisation, with the intention that you'll be qualified for a management post within the Trust at the end of the scheme.

'The scheme offers a fairly unique opportunity to be part of a single NHS Foundation Trust for the entirety of the scheme. I really feel this is beneficial as you are able to learn so much and in greater detail about the organisation you are part of, as well as having more opportunity to develop and cultivate relationships.

I truly feel that I am not only developing my knowledge, skills and behaviours but I am also being supported to develop my personal confidence in my abilities as a manager in the NHS.'
Hannah Lawless, graduate management trainee

'Working in such a multi-disciplinary team, especially with the level of exposure provided on the scheme, is really engaging. As I work in ED our environment is constantly changing and unpredictable which I enjoy - my mornings can be completely different to my afternoons.' 
Daniel Holligan, graduate management trainee


Our programme runs for two years, consisting of two year-long placements covering an operational and then a strategic focus. Providing you with exposure to working in the NHS, as well as enabling you to develop competencies including:

  • leadership skills
  • financial management
  • strategic planning
  • operational and performance management
  • staff management
  • communication
  • change, project management and service improvement

You’ll be provided with a mentor from the Trust’s executive team who’ll coach and support you through the programme.  You’ll be expected to complete work-based projects and the work experience element of the programme will be complemented by a formal education offering provided by one of our training partners.

'The graduate management scheme here at UHS has been a challenging but exciting opportunity to apply operational management principles to a large NHS trust. I have grown in confidence and have developed my leadership skills enabling me to become an effective manager within the workplace. The scheme has inspired me to move onto senior management within UHS.'
Alex Lister, graduate management trainee

'I’ve learnt to adapt to circumstances much faster and how to prioritise what is important at that moment, a really useful skill when working in operationally in any high pressure environment. I have also become much more confident in my decisions and approaching people in more senior roles, this is something I wouldn’t have had the opportunity to do without being on the management scheme.' 
Daniel Holligan, graduate management trainee


We're looking for people who share our values, have the potential to be our next leaders, and have the drive to develop. Along with having the capability and capacity for the management of health services, you'll need to demonstrate your ability to:

  • work under pressure in a demanding environment
  • analyse problems and develop practical, workable solutions
  • develop and maintain collaborative working relationships.

To be eligible for our graduate scheme, you will need to have been predicted or awarded a 2:2 (lower second class) degree in any subject.


The recruitment assessment process will include online testing (verbal and numeric reasoning), a video interview and an assessment centre.

FIND OUT MORE or apply now

If you share our values of putting patients first, working together and always improving, and are looking for an opportunity to start your NHS career apply using the link at the bottom of this page, or get in contact with any questions.