Police grad scheme leads diversity

The Metropolitan Police’s first-ever graduate scheme, championed from the very top of the force, is at the heart of transformation in the organisation.

September 2012 | By Sam Burne James

The Metropolitan Police’s first-ever graduate scheme, championed from the very top of the force, is at the heart of transformation in the organisation.

Matt Simmons, a senior talent manager at the Met, tells Recruiter that commissioner Bernard Hogan-Howe will be “a real sponsor and champion of our graduate approach, which was a real help in moving it forwards and kicking it off”.

The organisation wants to “introduce a new approach to developing talent”, Simmons said. The scheme is one facet of a push to “attract the brightest and best individuals into the organisation to help police the capital”.

The force put in place a recruitment freeze — or in Simmons’ words, it “paused our recruitment” — in September 2009 and recommenced recruiting in early 2011.

While labelled a graduate scheme, the programme is open to anyone aged 18½-57 with a 2:1 minimum degree in any subject. Simmons said that neither was the Met targeting people at a particular stage in their career, nor seeking any particular degrees or certain universities. “What I think we’ll get is a really nice diverse mix, and that can only add to the organisation and to trying to address some of the issues we face,” he said.

The scheme will take on around 150 individuals, with the best 25 candidates to be placed on a “really intensive” accelerated three-year programme which, subject to meeting standards, will see them end it at inspector level.

Aside from extra development opportunities, participants will be on exactly the same terms and conditions as ‘regular’ recruits.

Applicants were invited to complete a telephone screening process before 10 August.

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