Graduate Volunteer Project Assistant (VPA) Programme

Graduate Volunteer Project Assistant (VPA) Programme

Groundwork Bolton, Bury, Oldham & Rochdale
Greater Manchester

Job description

Groundwork's graduate Volunteer Project Assistant (VPA) Programme has helped over 2,000 people take their first steps into professional careers.

This graduate work experience scheme started in the early 90’s as a way to provide unemployed graduates with real project management experience and to break the cycle of no job equals no experience equals no job.

We place graduates in one of three Groundwork Trusts across Greater Manchester for four, six or 12 weeks, and provide support, training, development and networking opportunities to build your CV and your confidence.

There are a range of opportunities to suit your skill set and career path. We currently have placements in area such as:

  • Business development / conservation
  • Youth and communities / landscape design
  • Criminal justice / youth investment projects
  • Education / volunteer management

What's in it for you?

  • Twelve weeks of graduate level responsibility on live projects
  • Placements shaped around your vision of a professional career
  • Build skills, confidence and employability to impress at interviews
  • Work on projects that are changing lives and local communities
  • Network with employers and project partners
  • Time and support with job search
  • Travel expenses, equipment and uniform (if necessary) provided

“We are delighted to be restarting this programme. I got my first job through this scheme and you get to choose from dozens of diverse roles, it’s a brilliant way to gain project management experience on live projects.”
Groundwork BBOR’s Business Development Manager, Rob Glenn

“Whilst the job market is saturated with graduates looking for work, the VPA scheme enables graduates to fill that gap on their CV which can help them stand out from the crowd. The programme can be tailored to suit the needs of the individual thus enabling them to get involved in something they are passionate about. It was the definitely the springboard into my current role.”
Marc Sunderland (ex-VPA)

“It is only when you hear the participants talk about what they have gained from the VPA programme and their aspirations for the future that you fully understand the value of the programme, not only to those who have taken part but also to the many local organisations and groups who have benefitted from the skills and efforts of the graduate volunteers. This is a real win-win, and a fantastic learning experience for the graduates.”
Vicki Devonport, Executive Director at Groundwork BBOR

Company information

Groundwork is a registered charity with over 30 years of experience working with partners to deliver successful projects in the Greater Manchester area.

More often than not our work falls under one or more of the following themes:

  • Improving people’s prospects: increasing confidence, skills, well-being and employability.
  • Creating better places: helping people create safer, greener and healthier places.
  • Promoting greener living and working: helping businesses and people build a greener future.

Find out more about Groundwork, get involved and support our work.

Person requirements

Legally able to work and reside in the UK and:

  • Unemployed individual who has graduated from one of Greater Manchester’s Higher Education Institutions within the past three years or,
  • Unemployed and about to graduate from a Greater Manchester Higher Education institution or,
  • An unemployed graduate of any institution within past three years currently residing in Greater Manchester.

Accepted degree subjects




Travel expenses, access to accredited training courses


Greater Manchester

Contract and working hours

Temporary · Part-time

Start date


How to apply

Number of vacancies: 20+

Download our information pack showing all our current placements via the apply button and follow the instructions for sending the completed application form.

Closing date: Continuous recruitment

This job listing will no longer be available on Prospects from 27/01/2018

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