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Graduate Volunteer Project Assistant (VPA) Programme

Information Pack 

Application Form

Please take some time to read the eligibility criteria below before submitting an application. If you need the form in another format or some support completing it then please get in touch.

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

This graduate volunteer/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 = no experience = no job.

We place graduates in Groundwork Trusts across Greater Manchester for 9 - 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 / Sustainable Business Services
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

Eligibility Criteria:

  • You are legally able to reside and work in the UK
  • You are unemployed
  • You graduated within 12 months OR are about to graduate this year
  • You attended a university in Greater Manchester OR live in Greater Manchester if you graduated from another institution
  • You have or are working towards a level 6 qualification only (i.e. an undergraduate degree – we cannot currently accept applications from those studying at Masters or PhD level)

How do I apply?

Download our Information Pack showing all of our current placements.

Information Pack

Application Form

Complete the application form and send to:

Or post to

Frances Muscatelli
VPA Project Coordinator
Groundwork Environment Centre
Shaw Road

Groundwork Bolton, Bury, Oldham & Rochdale (BBOR) is the lead in this partnership, working with Groundwork Cheshire, Lancashire & Merseyside (CLM) and Groundwork Manchester, Salford, Stockport, Tameside & Trafford (MSSTT).

For more details contact Frances Muscatelli:
Call 0161 785 7419 or email

The VPA programme is part funded by the European Union through the European Social Fund and is co-financed by the Skills Funding Agency