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FAQs

Got a burning question about our graduate programme, internships or placements? You may well find the answer below:

How can I contact the resourcing team?

If you’ve got questions about working for FirstGroup, our programmes or the selection process, we’re more than happy to answer them. Just email graduate@firstgroup.com or write to us at:

  • FirstGroup Plc
  • 1st Floor, Minton Place
  • Station Road
  • Swindon
  • SN1 1DA

You can also contact us on social media. Just search for FirstGroup Graduates on Facebook, Twitter and other platforms.

How many graduates will you recruit this year?

We are recruiting around 20 graduates and 10 undergraduates for 2019.

Do I have to choose between Bus and Rail when I apply?

Our bus and rail schemes are very different, so it’s best to do some research and see which suits you best. We’ll be asking for your preference on your application.

If I don't have exactly the right qualifications will I still be considered?

Have at least a 2:2 degree (2:1 for Finance roles) in business, finance, accounting, business administration, marketing or any relevant subject. See the vacancy listing for further details.

Be curious, enthusiastic and passionate about understanding how our business operates and how you can help us achieve our goals.

Ideally have some business or finance experience or work, internship or volunteering experience.

Be a natural teamworker who builds strong relationships at every level.

Always put our customers at the heart of everything you do.

Have the ambition to drive your own career development.

What happens after I apply?

Once you’ve submitted your application, there will be four more stages of the selection process. If you’re successful at each stage, we’ll tell you if you have a place on your chosen programme by spring 2019.

Can I defer my start date?

We’re sorry, but that’s not possible. Our graduate induction takes place at the beginning of September and all our graduates have to be present. The induction gives you a professional welcome to FirstGroup, plus the chance to meet senior managers. You’ll also take part in valuable management training modules that will be essential throughout your graduate programme.

Unfortunately, it’s not possible to defer by a year either. Our recruitment needs change every year – in short, it’s now or never.

What can I expect to do?

All of your placements will be very different. In some, you’ll be on the frontline, getting hands-on experience. In others, you could be working on critical major projects. And all the time, you could be moving between our HQ, stations and depots. What’s more, some placements will last longer than others – but that’s the beauty of it: you’ll get an extremely diverse experience that covers many aspects of FirstGroup.

Can I transfer from one scheme to another?

Once you’ve accepted a place on a scheme, you won’t be able to transfer. Organising placements, line managers and mentors is a complicated and lengthy process, so once arrangements are made, we’re not able to change them.

Where will I work within FirstGroup?

Our programmes put graduates and students all over the country. Refer to the programme descriptions and job adverts to learn more about where you may be placed.

Will I be provided with a uniform?

Not necessarily – though appropriate safety equipment will be provided. It all depends on the placement you’re on at the time. As a management trainee you should wear smart, business dress.

What equipment will I be provided with?

We’ll give you a laptop, mobile phone and any safety or technical equipment you need for your placements.

What job opportunities can I expect after I finish the programme?

It all depends on the programme you have completed, our business needs and your skills and ambitions. However, our graduates typically start their careers in these areas:

Graduates
Rail - Station Management, Contracts Management, Operations Management, Project Management, Train Planning, Train Crew Management or Finance Operations.
Bus - Service Delivery Management, Operations Management, Staff Management, Project Management, Depot Management, Engineering Workshop Management or Finance Operations.

Do I have to pay for my professional training?

No. We’re committed to supporting the professional development of all our people. So, we’re happy to fund any qualifications or training that will accelerate your career with us, as long as you’re committed to meeting your career goals and responsibilities.

I did not graduate recently - can I still apply?

We welcome applications from graduates of any age. As long as you meet the minimum qualification requirements for your chosen scheme, you can apply.

I’ve a disability - can I still apply?

We welcome applications from people with disabilities. And like many companies, we’ll ask you to pass a medical before starting the scheme. For safety reasons, we need to make sure you can carry out certain tasks depending upon your role in the business. If you have colour restricted vision, you may also find that you’re not able to progress to certain roles at FirstGroup.

How do I apply to the graduate scheme?

It’s easy. Search for an advertised graduate vacancy. When you find you the one you want, click on the ‘apply’ button at the bottom. That will take you straight to the application form.

I don't have a National Insurance (NI) number - can I still apply?

Yes, you can still submit your application. However, we will need a National Insurance number later on in our selection process. You’ll need one before you can start a role with us. So it makes sense to get a NI number as soon as possible. Visit www.gov.uk/apply-national-insurance-number to find out how. If you have any queries about this please contact us.

I’ve completed my video interview and not heard from you?

We’ll try to keep you informed of your progress at each stage of the selection process. However, because we get so many applications, there may be times when we’re busy screening large numbers of people and take more time than usual to get back to you. In this situation, we’ll be in touch with the result as soon as we can. In the meantime, please do feel free to contact us.

When are the Assessment Centres?

We will be holding Assessment Centres for our 2019 intakes in spring 2019 at locations across the UK. If you gain a place at an assessment, we will send you all the information you need well in advance of the date.

When do you open your applications for Summer Internships?

Stay tuned. If we’re able to offer Summer Internships for 2019, we’ll let you know here on our website some time in November.

Do you offer sponsorship if I don’t have the relevant right to work in the UK?

Unfortunately, we are unable to offer sponsorship. You need the right to work in the UK in order to apply to the programme.

When do applications close for the Graduate Programmes?

The deadline to submit your application for our September 2019 graduate intake is the 2nd January 2019. For undergraduate opportunities it will be the end of January 2019. However, as we receive large amounts of applications, we recommend sending your application as soon as possible.

What tests will I have to do as part of my application?

We use online testing for a variety of roles. These include verbal, numerical and logical reasoning tests.

I am having problems with my online testing - what do I do?

Our assessment support team will be happy to help with any technical problems you may be experiencing with your online tests. You can contact them on 0800 145 6506 or by emailing AssessSupport@us.ibm.com. For any other issues, please contact the Graduate Team via our Facebook page or email us at graduate@firstgroup.com

What should I do if I receive another offer before I complete my Assessment Centre?

We want you to choose the career that’s right for you. So we recommend that you complete the selection process for all the companies you have applied to – including ours. This means you’ll have the widest possible range of options. If our timeframes don’t work for you, please get in touch before you make a final decision so we can discuss the situation.