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Government Government

Fund schemes to recruit graduates into public sector organisations

Last updated: 12:02pm 29 October 2019

We will continue to fund schemes to get graduates from Britain’s leading universities to serve in schools, police forces, prisons, and social care and mental health organisations.

Conservative Party Manifesto 2017, p.43

Our verdict

This is a promise to fund schemes that encourage graduates to work in public sector services. The policy does not pledge a set amount, just to “continue” funding. We’re looking for evidence of existing government-funded graduate recruitment schemes in each of the areas mentioned in the policy.

Teach First aims to recruit graduates from top universities into teaching. In 2017-18, it received over £33m from government grants or contracts, which amounts to 62% of its total funding.

Police Now aims to bring graduates into policing who otherwise might not have considered the role. For the 2017-18 fiscal year, Police Now received £3.75m in donations and legacies. It’s not clear how much came from the government, but its website states that funding comes from “fees paid by forces and grants from government”.

Unlocked Graduates, funded by the Ministry of Justice, offers a “two-year leadership development programme” in law enforcement as a prison officer. The first cohort graduated in July 2019. Applications are open for the 2020 cohort, demonstrating continued funding from the MoJ.

The two key graduate schemes in mental health and social care organisations are Think Ahead, seeking to bring graduates into social work to “make a real difference to people with mental health problems”, and Frontline, a two-year leadership development programme into social work. Think Ahead is funded by the Department of Health and Social Care, and is currently recruiting for the next round. Frontline was awarded £45 million by the Department for Education in January 2019, to fund 900 new social work places until 2021.

With at least one recruitment scheme ongoing in each of the indicated sectors, we have evidence that the government is continuing to fund initiatives to get graduates into public sector organisations. The government has delivered on their promise to date, so we will mark this as ‘done’. We will keep tracking, and update that status if necessary.

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