Graduates and apprentices

We're helping to tackle climate change.

We have a thriving community of graduates at Ofwat who are integral to the work we do. We’re expanding our early careers pathways to include degree apprenticeships too. Graduates come in at Associate level, balancing work and studies, with the opportunity to progress to our Senior Associate grade by the end of the two-year programme.

Our new degree apprentice pathway is a great way of getting a degree without student debt. Degree apprentices come in at our Business Support grade with a clear development plan which provides the opportunity to progress whilst studying. Our apprentices dedicate 20% of their time to developing knowledge, skills and behaviours, with content tailored to lead to success.


Details

Graduates

Our graduates play an integral role within Ofwat, doing meaningful, value add work. We invest strongly in our early careers cohorts, recognising the importance of building strong, diverse pipelines of talent. We introduce between 10-15 graduates/apprentices per year, creating a supportive environment for growth. Graduates are split between Economics, Data, Policy, Casework and Enforcement, and Legal professions. Some of our schemes are static, some are rotational, but all give the opportunity to gain broad ranging experience.

Starting as an Associate, you’ll be supported with regular development both in role, and through group workshops with our Early Careers lead. These will include a range of both technical and soft skills development to prepare you for progression opportunities. By the end of the programme you’ll be equipped for success in our Senior Associate roles.

You’ll meet regularly with your People Leader who will help you to settle in and navigate life at Ofwat. Whilst our Graduate roles are wide-ranging, as a regulator you can be sure that whatever role you take on, you’ll be carrying out important real-life work that adds value and comes with responsibility.

At Ofwat, there’s a great work-life balance with the opportunity to work flexibly. And there’s a supportive culture between graduates. You’ll be paired with a buddy who will support you while you get used to your role. In your second year, you’ll be paired with a mentor for more targeted conversations to help you achieve your goals.

Previous graduates have gone on to become Senior Associates or Principals, and have also applied their experience by managing future graduates.

Our graduates join us on a salary of £29,000. By the end of the scheme you’ll be ready for progression into our Senior Associate roles with a starting salary of £36,918.

Apprentices

Our apprentices join at our Business Support grade, giving you time and support to build towards the Associate and ultimately Senior Associate role. Throughout your programme you’ll be supported in balancing your work with your studies as you work towards a degree qualification. You don’t pay anything towards your studies, so it’s a great way to gain a qualification without the student debt.

We’ll make sure you’re completely supported. You’ll have 20% of your time for off-the-job training and a strong culture with a healthy work-life balance.

Our Apprentice salaries start at £25,301 with opportunities to progress through your programme into our Associate and ultimately Senior Associate pay bands if you meet performance standards.


Why join Ofwat?

Our strength is our culture – and you’ll be a big part of that, as it’s included in everything we do. We pride ourselves on the work-life balance that we provide and actively encourage – you’ll be given time and support to grow, develop and progress. You’ll also get great exposure to work that you can’t do anywhere else while also working on real-life, impactful projects.

Then, once you’ve completed your programme, you’ll be set up with everything you need to progress within Ofwat.


How to apply

Our graduate and apprentice campaigns launch during January to February each year when we welcome your application. If you’re looking to register your interest ahead of our campaign launch you can do so here for our Graduate scheme, or here for our Apprenticeships/Work Experience opportunities, and we’ll make sure you get an alert when our campaigns go live.

  1. The process starts with your application, where you’ll have the opportunity to tell us about yourself and why you want to work at Ofwat.
  2.  If you’re successful at this stage, we’ll ask you to send us a video of yourself answering a few questions.
  3. For those who are selected at this stage, you’ll be invited along to an assessment centre. This is an opportunity for us to learn more about you, and for you to find out more about us. We invite existing graduates or apprentices along to answer your questions about the scheme too.
    The assessments vary slightly for graduates and apprentices but both will include a group exercise, a presentation (with the topic provided in advance) and an interview.
  4. We then select our successful candidates. We aim to give the results from the assessment centres quickly, providing feedback to everyone who takes part.

We’re always looking at how we can make our hiring practices more inclusive. If you have a disability or a long-term health or neurodivergent condition, and need us to make reasonable adjustments, at any point, just let us know. We’ll work collaboratively with you to understand which reasonable adjustments would be beneficial and tailor things accordingly.

Here are a few examples of reasonable adjustments that we’ve made: we gave additional time for a written assessment during an interview; we changed the interview format for somebody who had a visual impairment; we posted the questions in the Teams chat for somebody who had difficulty hearing.

If successful, we’ll be in regular contact with you until you start in September. We’ll also invite you to come in on a few days to get to know people and how we work. We want to make you feel welcome and a part of Ofwat before you start in September. If you have any questions or concerns, just ask and we’ll do our best to help answer them.


Hear from our people

Meher

During Meher’s time as a graduate at Ofwat, she has worked on impact assessments for PR24. Meher has learned modelling and coding to run regressions on companies’ costs to find the most efficient cost allowances for each company, as well as learning a wide variety of skills and working on important projects.

“Ofwat has a genuinely friendly and helpful work environment. Everyone has the space and comfort to chat with Senior Directors, Principals, and Board Members. Senior leaders show interest in what you have to say, even as a Graduate Associate.”

Her top tip for those who are applying: “Look up Ofwat’s SAILOR values and think about how they align with your own personal values.”

 

Mohammad

As a Graduate Economist, Mohammad has worked on base cost consultation, carried out analysis, and contributed to building models for large capital projects. He likes that he was trusted with important work right from the start.

“I was given responsibility in helping to ensure the delivery of the final methodology within my cluster was at a high standard.”

He also liked the wide range of development opportunities available.

“There are Ofwat Essential courses for everyone, which is a great opportunity for all grads to hear from in-house experts about the water sector and our work as a regulator, which is key for development within the industry.”

And Ofwat’s culture has really helped to encourage Mohammad to keep asking questions.

“You may think you have a ‘silly’ question, but you’re given confidence to ask any question to help with your learning and development. This has been really important for me as it helped me to remove the barrier of being hesitant to ask questions.”

Mohammad’s top tip for those who are applying: “Research Ofwat, what they do and their culture. I can’t stress how important the SAILOR values are.”

 

Jennifer

Jennifer is a Graduate Associate in data. She works in data management which involves leading data governance, research on open data, and automation through Python.

Jennifer really appreciated the support that she has been given.

“Your development is prioritised with internal and external learning, and you have a lot of input into where you want to develop your skills.”

As well as Ofwat’s friendly culture.

“The people are genuinely nice, easy to work with, and want to help you whenever possible.”

And when it comes to work-life balance, she’s also a big fan of flexible working.

“I am an early bird and like to work 8-4 and Ofwat is really accommodating to that.”

Her top tip for those who are applying: “Be yourself. They want to see your interests and that you share the SAILOR values.”

Emma

Emma is working on the economist stream within our graduate programme. She loves how supportive everyone is.

“There’s a real opportunity to communicate how you want to develop and work on projects that really interest you, getting involved with the actual work.”

She also enjoys being trusted with responsibility in her role.

“I have been given the opportunity to conduct analysis, present findings to the team, and take the lead on a project area – all in my first two months!”

And she’s really excited about what’s to come.

“The water industry is an exciting sector, with big future challenges. Working at Ofwat and being involved within the future of the water sector means work is always diverse and interesting!”

Her three top tips for those applying:

  1. Research the water sector.
  2. Look at how your values and the SAILOR values align.
  3. Be yourself – Ofwat really encourages us to bring our whole selves to work!

 

We are Ofwat. We aspire to act in line with our values in everything we do. Support. Ambition. Integrity. Learning. Ownership. Respect.

 

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