Equality and diversity

The NGDP aims to provide a diverse pipeline of talented future leaders for local government and is committed to continuous improvement with respect to equality, diversity and inclusion.

Councils are looking to recruit graduates who are representative of their communities, coming from a range of backgrounds and life experiences. We believe that the best possible services are delivered by a workforce who can truly connect to a place and its people, which means that everyone is needed, and everyone is welcome.

Equality, diversity and inclusion is one of the biggest priorities for the NGDP. In 2019 we commissioned an independent Equality and Diversity review. We have taken action against almost every recommendation made in this report and are committed to continuous improvement. You can read more about the report and our actions taken in in this blog post.

EDI within the NGDP application

We believe all NGDP candidates should have a fair and equal opportunity to succeed throughout the recruitment process, and we want to give all candidates the best chance to showcase their abilities.

 Below are some of the ways in which we create a level playing field for candidates.

  • We prioritise working with universities who rank highly for student diversity social mobility, running bespoke skills sessions which help demystify the application process and to challenge misperceptions about local government.
  • We work directly with student groups and Widening Participation departments at universities.
  • We send our own graduate trainees to promote the programme at university events, who can speak to students about their own experience of the application process and their time on the NGDP.
  • Our Situational Judgement Test has been tested with a diverse group of people currently on the programme to understand if any adverse impact is arising.
  • We have an anonymised recruitment process until stage 3, the assessment centre stage. Although candidates undertake a video interview in stage 2, only the audio files are marked in order to prevent bias wherever possible.
  • We offer coaching to candidates throughout the application process. In previous years, this has been done by the NGDP BAME Network, as well as an external organisation commissioned to provide expert coaching. This coaching was offered to support those from underrepresented backgrounds in particular.

Candidates with disabilities, and those who would benefit from reasonable adjustments such as extra time in the assessment process, are strongly encouraged to contact our team at the very start of the application process for an open, individual and completely confidential conversation. You’ll find some examples of accommodations we can make on our NGDP FAQ page. Our assessment process is designed to be accessible and inclusive and is constantly reviewed to ensure this is the case.

Data collection and monitoring

We collect data on our candidates’ protected characteristics during the recruitment process and monitor impact at every stage. This data is always anonymised and is used to create an overall picture of candidates progressing through our recruitment stages, and once we have recruited a final cohort. This data is also used as a comparison with previous recruitment cycles, so we can continuously monitor the make-up of each Cohort, as well as monitoring areas of improvement for future. We present this data to the participating councils on the programme, as well as the NGDP Networks.

Support on the NGDP

“Once you’re on the scheme, you get so much support from the NGDP team, the other graduates at the council and the rest of the graduates across the country which is an invaluable network to have.” Aimee, based in London  

We aim to be as inclusive as possible on the NGDP, encouraging our trainees to use pronouns at NGDP events, as well as taking on board feedback to ensure our learning and development sessions are accessible to all trainees on the programme.

Read the experiences of our graduate trainees on our NGDP stories page.

Welfare and wellbeing has never been more important, especially with many graduates working flexibly from home. We have a useful guide for councils and current graduates focusing on wellbeing when starting on the NGDP. Local government is known for it’s opportunities for flexible working, even before the pandemic. Some local authorities also offer cycle to work schemes, season ticket loans and other employee benefits. Staff networks also exist in many local authorities, giving employees the chance to network with a range of colleagues in their organisation.

We also offer drop-in sessions in which graduates can give the NGDP Team feedback, as well as discuss placements and other topics with others on the programme.

NGDP Networks        

Trainees on the NGDP are encouraged to pursue their passions and interests while they are on the programme. One way in which they can do this is through graduate-led networks. These have been set up and are run by current participants and alumni of the NGDP. We welcome and are committed to supporting current NMTs and alumni who wish to set up networks based around protected characteristics, shared experiences, and common interests. Find out more about our existing networks and how to get involved below.


The NGDP Black, Asian and Ethnic Minority Network is open to all individuals from a BAME background who are currently on the NGDP scheme or have been in the past. The Network serves two purposes. Firstly, this will be a space for graduates on the scheme who identify as Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic to come together to share ideas and information, consider concerns and generate solutions, celebrate achievements, network and provide mutual support. Secondly, as a network they would like to promote and support prospective graduates from Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic backgrounds to start thinking about a career in Local Government. In an industry where it is so important for leadership to be reflective of the population it serves, the NGDP programme would benefit from an increase in representation of diverse backgrounds. If you would like to hear more about the network as a whole, the upcoming events they have planned, and the various ways you could get involved and become a member, please email ngdpbame@gmail.com for more details. 

You can also follow the network on their LinkedIn, Instagram and Twitter pages.

NGDP Women and Non-Binary Network

The NGDP’s Women and Non-Binary Network aims to support, empower, and provide a professional development platform for everyone on the NGDP and NGDP alumni . The network's values are; collaboration, intersectionality, inclusivity, equality, safe spaces, accountability and being supportive. We organise events and activities, share knowledge and advice, and provide peer support.

If you would like to join the network and receive updates on how to get involved with our upcoming events and socials please email us at ngdp.womenandnb.network@gmail.com. Or follow us on LinkedIn or Twitter (@ngdpwomenandnb). You do not have to identify as a woman or as non-binary to get involved with the network. If you are interested in themes relating to gender and would like to hear more about how you can get involved, please feel free to email us for more details.

NGDP Green Network

The Green Network was set up by graduates with the motive of improving learning, whilst providing opportunities to network and share ideas amongst members, across different local authorities. It offers LGA’s NGDP graduates a space to connect, share thoughts and support each other, with the aim of increasing awareness and sharing ideas of the ways in which councils can become greener. The network aims to serve the requirements of its members and so we encourage members to get in touch to share their feedback, as well as collating information from member surveys to define the specific needs of its members.  The network gives graduates a combination of both professional and social events, including Careers Days giving members the opportunity to meet green leaders from across the spectrum of local government, as well as informal coffee mornings, Christmas quizzes and monthly members meetings.

To join or find out more, give us an email: ngdpgreennetwork@gmail.com

NGDP Northern Network

The NGDP’s Northern Network aims to empower National Management Trainees to achieve their potential through peer support, elevating those who face inequalities or disadvantaged due to their regional background or the region in which they work. The network supports graduates at ‘Northern’ local authorities, graduates who identify as ‘northern’ and anyone else who is interested in regional inequalities.  The network has no specific definition of what ‘Northern’ means and will continue to welcome members from across the country.

The network offers both in-person and virtual networking opportunities, as well as insightful talks around regional and national policy from key figures across local government and NGDP alumni. Previous events have included our flagship conference “Conversations from the North”, virtual webinars such as “Transport in the North” and an in-person networking social in Manchester. The Network also serves to assist the LGA NGDP team to identify development needs and accessible opportunities.

The network is currently run by a steering group of Cohort 22-23 graduates and are always keen for new members. To get involved in the steering group or as a network member, please email: NGDP.northern.network@gmail.com. And keep up to date by following our LinkedIn and Twitter pages.

NGDP Queer Network

The Queer Network for the NGDP is entirely inclusive, and focused on providing support for one another, having regular meetings and queer speakers in public service and beyond, as well as championing inclusivity across the scheme and the councils. The network also aims to do some work for queer history month and training where possible. If you are interested in getting involved, email queer.ngdp@gmail.com If you want to register interest but you're not comfortable doing so publicly, this network aims to provide a space where you can also attend events and participate without having to come out.

NGDP Social Mobility Network

The social mobility network focuses on discussing and dismantling the barriers which are in place for those who are from lower socioeconomic backgrounds. Local government itself can seem intimidating, and therefore this network are hoping to serve not just as a support system for graduates on the scheme, but also to help the NGDP and councils look at making the process more class aware. The network aims to hear from organisations that help working class people develop skills and network, as well as host events in councils, universities and through the NGDP to raise awareness of class and the barriers it can pose. If you are interested in this network, send an email to: SocialMobilityNetwork@gmail.com

NGDP East of England Network

The East of England network is for National Management Trainees interested in the region to meet and share their stories. The region covers Norfolk, Suffolk, Essex, Cambridgeshire, Bedfordshire, and Hertfordshire, and National Management Trainees are distributed across cities, districts, and counties. The network meets virtually and, when possible, in person, for networking, speaker events, and social events. The network will also offer support to members to make change within our local authorities in areas that we feel are important, such as equality, diversity, and inclusion, sustainability, or innovative working practices. The East of England Network hopes to provide a space for current National Management Trainees and job-seekers interested in the NGDP to learn more about this brilliant part of the country.

NGDP London Grads Network

The London Graduate Network is a space for NGDP cohorts, both old and new, to collaborate, share ideas, and ultimately gain a more well rounded understanding of the public sector as it operates throughout the city. We understand that each borough can feel like a city unto itself, so the network endeavours to break down silos and facilitate open and honest communication between graduates, so we can better understand and tackle the unique challenges facing London. We aim to host a variety of events, from informal socials to future careers sessions, as well as talks with external speakers. We also provide a newsletter full of key information and developments in local government from around the city. To voice your interest, or become more involved, please contact: londongraduatenetwork@gmail.com.

NGDP Policy Network

The NGDP Policy Network aims to demystify a career in policy and provide a space to learn and connect for those interested in working in policy or engaging in policy issues. The network looks to empower members and build confidence by providing support, resources and networking opportunities. We also look to share ideas and best practice, providing a space to discuss and explore key policy issues within local government and beyond. We organise events and activities with policy professionals, share knowledge and advice, and have a regular newsletter to provide an insight into working in policy. If you would like to join our network, please email: ngdppolicynetwork@gmail.com. No previous policy experience or knowledge is required! You can also follow the network on LinkedIn: NGDP policy network LinkedIn link.