Group of graduates

ScotGrad Graduate Programme

There’s lots to be excited about when you’re successful in gaining a place as a ScotGrad. You’ll work for an ambitious SME in Scotland, working on a paid, project based placement, but more than that, you’ll belong to the ScotGrad Graduate Programme.

Highlands and Islands

When you are successfully placed on a ScotGrad graduate placement in the Highlands and Islands, you will have the opportunity to attend our ScotGrad Residential Training Course free of charge.

The course has been tailored to help you deliver your placement project and sharpen your business skills. 

Tasks during the course include a full analysis of your host company, pitching, negotiation, and a presentation to a panel of judges selected by the ScotGrad team. It’s designed so you can take what you’ve learned and apply it to the delivery of your placement project and further enhance your work with your employer. 

The course is provided at no cost to you or your host company and ScotGrad will also cover the cost of catering, accommodation, and in some cases travel. The course runs over four days in a residential setting, where you’ll meet other ScotGrads on placements across the region. It's a great way to network and learn from each other, as well as experience high quality support from our dedicated ScotGrad training team.

If you are a student who has successfully been placed on a Highlands and Islands student placement over the summer you will also attend a two-day residential course designed to sharpen your business skills.

If you are placed across the rest of Scotland, you will have access to a number of opportunities through the programme and you may have access to a tailored training day. The ScotGrad team will keep successful participants informed of opportunities via email and in our private LinkedIn group.

Check out photos from our previous courses on the ScotGrad Facebook page.

What ScotGrads said:


“It was great to get a bit of time out to reflect upon the things that you wouldn’t normally get a chance to on the day-to-day job. It highlighted the importance of treating my CV as a live document and continually keeping it up to date and the relevance of sales techniques. The business content is tailored to those, like myself, who didn’t know business lingo.”

"I have taken lots of action points from the various tools we used, for example, the SWOT analysis. Before starting the placement I wasn't really aware of other roles within a business, such as sales and operations, but have now learned how I fit into the business as a whole, how my role impacts other areas, and can make a difference to the organisation.”

“I’ve learned a lot this week, especially skills for pitching and how to distil something into 60 seconds without boring people to death! I have learned how to put tools and systems in place to analyse the business – very helpful as I have no business background.”

“I met three graduates on the course who we, as an organisation, can establish relations with for mutual benefit. It has been great to bounce ideas around between us.”

"Before I came on this course, I wanted to work in business, but didn't have the hard skills. The role-play exercises were really valuable - they prepared me for how to handle real life situations. I've learned so much that I could apply in my placement already - it's been amazing.”

Want to find out more? Get in touch!


Central, South, and East

You can be as involved as you like, here’s what we offer on an opt-in basis:

Professional Development Planning (PDP)

As an employee, you’re responsible for your own personal and professional development. There are so many opportunities available to you, but it’s important to first understand what you’re hoping to get out of your placement. PDP helps you to understand your job description in your own words, identify areas of strength, areas of weakness to improve upon, and consider actions to address these. In addition, you’ll benefit from setting clear objectives which help you to meet the aims set out in your placement brief.

By mapping progress made towards your objectives, you can demonstrate the impact you have made on/for the company and articulate the skills you have used and developed to add to your CV and future applications.

Innovation workshops

Innovation is one of the greatest differentiators when it comes to business. Our SMEs are ambitious companies striving to improve their offering and make an impact in their sector.

Our workshops, delivered by specialists at Scottish Enterprise challenge your mind to think outside the box, generate ideas, and use tried and tested tools and techniques to implement those ideas.

You’ll work with ScotGrads from all placement types to learn these techniques, so you can take them back to your business and approach your placement challenges in an open-minded, innovative way. Alongside learning new skills, this is a great way to get to know other ScotGrads and develop your professional network.

Digital peer-to-peer support

Slack is an innovative project management tool, which we use to keep you connected. Choose to be involved in conversations you’re interested in and stay connected to ScotGrads around the country. Arrange location-based socials, share your successes, chat about your role or sector with like-minded graduates, or just join in a general conversation to get to know graduates in the ScotGrad community.

Sales and Marketing Academy

Klozers Sales and Marketing Academy is available free to all ScotGrads. This intensive 1-day course is aimed at graduates who are just starting out in the sector. It teaches you how to put your academic knowledge into practice with sessions run by industry experts on brand management, marketing strategy, content creation, and sales tools and techniques.

Delivered by specialists from Klozers, Genoa Black, and fatBuzz, the training runs twice a year (typically in April and October).

Digital Marketing for Professionals Certificate

Module 1 of this online course is available to all ScotGrads. Developed by The University of Aberdeen Business School and Glasgow-based marketing company, Jump Digital, this course offers an effective foundation in digital marketing using real-world scenarios. It offers practical solutions which allow you to put theoretical knowledge into practice in the workplace.

SCQF Level 6 in Digital Marketing

Offered by Jump Digital and QA Training, under 25s can complete this qualification free alongside their placement (as laid out in the Scottish Government’s commitment to upskill young Scottish talent in the Digital sector). You'll have visits from an approved assessor and study online.