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Your Development

Here, learning and development come in many shapes and forms. You’ll have opportunities to learn from experience, from your colleagues, from each other and ‘in the classroom’. It’s what’s known as the 70-20-10 learning model. Its aim? To give breadth and depth to what you learn and how you grow.

It’s up to you to lead your development, although we’ll be there to support you every step of the way. This means you get ownership of your career and the chance to learn in the way you want. We’ll make our expectations clear when we offer you a place.

Learning on-the-job (70%)

We think the best way to learn about our business is by being part of it. So you’ll develop your skills by working directly with colleagues across Rail, Finance, Commercial and CSR. Every placement and project is designed to offer a great experience, while meeting your needs and our business priorities. This unique blend of knowledge, skills and insight will stand you in good stead, whatever role you take once your programme has ended.

Feedback and mentoring (20%)

We know how vital insight and self-awareness are for your growth and development. So, our activities will help you build a picture of your strengths and capabilities through feedback, mentoring and self-reflection. We’ll encourage you to get feedback from your sponsor, mentor, line manager, project sponsors and peers, which will help you build on your strengths and spot areas for development. This way, you’ll perform brilliantly all-round.

Formal training (10%)

Writing reports. Managing your responsibilities. Presenting and influencing. Being a team leader. As your development needs change, we’ll make sure you get all the right training. This will help you know what to do in key situations and different roles (and how to do it). You’ll attend courses within the business, but also external training.

Personal Development Plan (PDP)

Your tailored PDP will be at the heart of your development. It’s a plan that travels with you throughout the programme. It’s constantly reviewed and updated so together, we can decide where to take your learning next.

Beyond your graduate programme

And once you’ve completed the programme? What happens then?

We’ll help you find your first substantive role within one of the FirstGroup businesses. As you move into this role, we’ll encourage you to make the most of your mentor and draw on the partnerships and networks that you’ve built.

Whichever role you move into, your development won’t end with your programme. Everyone at FirstGroup has access to a wide range of training opportunities and workplace learning. This gives you the chance to make the biggest possible impact on the business’s success. And at the same time, it enhances your skills so you can keep moving in your career. With our great learning facilities, there’s always an opportunity to brush up on your talents and learn some new ones.

Your Rewards

Are you the kind of person who rolls up their sleeves and gets stuck in? If so, you can expect fantastic training, great development opportunities and all kinds of benefits, including:


We give all our graduates highly competitive salaries. You will also receive a welcome bonus of £1,500 before you join to support your relocation to where you will be working for your first placement.

Financial Rewards

My Benefits – With slight differences depending on the Operation Company you are working for, we offer a whole range of valuable benefits, including travel offers for you and eligible family members and friends. Our First Xclusives package offers discounts and cashback on your weekly shop, travel, insurance, mobiles, fashion and lots more.

My Shares – Our Save As You Earn (SAYE) and Buy As You Earn (BAYE) plans let you buy FirstGroup shares while paying less tax and National Insurance.

My Pension - Our Pension scheme enables you to build savings which will provide you with a pension. There’s also the option to take out life assurance


We’ll fund all of your on and off-the-job training including (but not limited to), finance for non-finance managers, introduction to project management, introduction to coaching and commercial awareness and people management skills, as well as your programme of continuous development throughout the two years. We will also pay any professional membership fees where applicable.

Annual Leave

You’ll enjoy 25 days’ annual leave plus bank holidays. (The number of bank holidays will depend on where you are based.)

Mentoring and fresh challenges

Thanks to our mentoring programme, you’ll have support throughout the graduate programme. And as there’s the opportunity to move within our different operating companies, you can also look forward to lots of fresh, exciting challenges.