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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 90s as a way to provide unemployed graduates with real project management experience and to break the cycle of no job = no experience = no job.

Graduates undertake work programmes 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)

The VPA Programme is managed by our sister organisation, Groundwork Bolton, Bury, Oldham & Rochdale.

Apply now

Groundwork in Action:

Matthew secured full-time employment after spending three months with the SBS team on the Volunteer Project Assistant (VPA) Programme.

Read more

Image: Thanks to Salford University