Graduate Placement Programmes – Get Workplace Experience


The success of a business is largely dependent on the talent of its staff. This is a reason why successful companies use graduate programmes as a strategy to attract talented graduates coming out of university and college. Even the biggest and most successful global companies all compete for the same pool of talent and target high achievers.

Graduate programmes have become a means of netting and recruiting high quality graduates for all sorts of professions and jobs. Graduate programmes have become a marketing tool to attract young people with lucrative packages and incentives.

Many of these firms promote their graduate programmes on their websites and by advertising good reasons why their firms are the best to work for. Successful organisations know that if they can attract the right talent they have the opportunity to build a raw recruit into a successful long-term employee. From the graduates point of view an internship or graduate placement within a firm is a fantastic opportunity to get a ‘foot in the door’ of the job market. It gives the student an opportunity to try out the job and the organisation to see if the organisation suits them and fulfils their own expectations for growth and development.

Here are some of the companies providing graduate development in South Africa:

Company Website
Accenture https://www.accenture.com/za-en/careers/graduate-home
Afrox http://careers.afrox.co.za/?s=static&x=graduates101
Allan Gray https://www.allangray.co.za/careers/
Anglo American http://www.angloamerican.com/careers/graduates-scholarships-and-bursaries
Arcelor Mittal http://corporate.arcelormittal.com/people-and-careers/graduates-and-students
ATNS http://www.atns.co.za/bursary.php?id=107
Aurecon http://www.aurecongroup.com/en/graduates.aspx
Aveng Grinaker LTA http://www.aveng.co.za/careers
Barloworld https://www.barloworld-equipment.com/careers/jobs/graduate-development-programme/
Basil Read Bursary (Civil Engineering) http://www.basilread.co.za/careers.php
BBD Software Development https://kaizenapplications-sa.co.za/2018/09/13/bbd-graduate-development-programme/
Bigen Africa Services http://www.bigenafrica.com/careers/
British American Tobacco SA http://www.bat-careers.com/graduates
Deloitte & Touche https://www2.deloitte.com/za/en/careers/audit-graduate-recruitment.html?icid=top_audit-graduate-recruitment
Ernst and Young http://www.ey.com/za/en/careers/students
Cliffe Dekker Hofmeyr http://www.apply4law.co.za/
Coronation Fund Bursary http://www.coronation.com/za/institutional/internships
Dariel http://dariel.co.za/graduates/
Discovery https://www.discovery.co.za/portal/individual/dfa-recruitment
Mercedes-Benz South Africa http://www.mercedes-benzsa.co.za/careers/graduate-programme/
Engen http://www.engen.co.za/careers/bursaries
Eskom http://www.eskom.co.za/Careers/BursaryInserviceTraining/Pages/Bursary_Inservice_Training_639.aspx
Exxaro http://www.exxaro.com/index.php/talent-pipeline/professionals-in-training/
First Rand Trust https://www.firstrand.co.za/Careers/graduate%20programmes/Pages/default.aspx
RMB Graduate Programme http://rmbgrads.co.za/default.html
Fluor http://www.fluor.com/south-africa/careers/graduate
Ford South Africa https://www.ford.co.za/about-ford/careers/graduate-program/
Group Five http://www.g5.co.za/careers_student.php
Hillary Construction http://hillary.co.za/careers.htm
Impala Platinum http://www.implats.co.za/implats/careers.asp
KPMG https://sjobs.brassring.com/TGWebHost/home.aspx?partnerid=25390&siteid=5178
Liberty Group Limited https://www.libertymutualgroup.com/careers/students-graduates/graduate/opportunities
Metropolitan https://www.momentum.co.za/for/you/careers
Mondi https://www.mondigroup.com/en/careers/graduate-opportunities/
MTN Graduate Programme https://www.mtn.co.za/community/csi/Pages/chatered_accountants_programme.aspx
Murray & Roberts Graduate Programme http://www.murrob.com/careers-graduate-emplyment.asp
National Treasury Graduate Programme http://www.treasury.gov.za/careers
Nedbank Graduate Programme https://www.nedbank.co.za/content/nedbank/desktop/gt/en/careers/youth-talent/graduate-development-programme.html
Old Mutual https://www.oldmutual.co.za/careers-centre/students-and-graduates
Peermont http://www.emperorspalace.com/ep-vacancies
Peregrine-Citadel http://www.peregrine.co.za/Careers
Palabora Mining Company http://www.palabora.com/training_and_development.asp
Power Group http://www.powergrp.co.za/current-vacancies/student-opportunities/
PPS https://www.pps.co.za/explorepps/careers/graduate-development-programme (dated)
Rand Merchant Bank http://www.rmb.co.za/grads/
SABMiller http://www.sab.co.za/post/careers/students*
SABS https://www.sabs.co.za/Careers/index.asp
Samancor http://www.samancorcr.com/content.asp?subID=27
Sanlam Graduate Programme https://www.sanlam.co.za/careers/career-opportunities/graduates/Pages/graduate-leadership-programme.aspx
Sappi Graduate Programme https://www.sappi.com/graduate-opportunities
Selati Sugar Graduate Programme https://www.illovocareers.co.za/Bursary-and-Grad
SENTECH Graduate Programme http://www.sentech.co.za/content/careers
Siemens Limited Graduate Programme http://www.siemens.co.za/en/jobs_careers/index.htm
SKA Graduate Programme https://www.ska.ac.za/students/young-professionals-development-programme/
South African Breweries Ltd http://www.sab.co.za/graduate-programme
Spoornet http://www.spoornet.co.za/Website/git-programme.html
Standard Bank http://graduate.standardbank.co.za/standimg/Graduate/index.html
ThyssenKrupp Engineering https://www.thyssenkrupp-industrial-solutions.com/en/career/
Vodacom Graduate Programme http://www.vodacom.com/graduates.php
Volkswagen Graduate Programme http://www.vw.co.za/en/volkswagen-groupsouthafrica/careers/graduate_traineeprogramme.html
WSP Consulting Engineers http://www.wsp-pb.com/en/WSP-Africa/Careers/

A graduate development programme, sometimes called an ‘internship’, ‘work placement’ or ‘work experience programme’, is contractually limited to a fixed period of time, usually between one week and one year in duration. The programme gives the trainee ‘student’ an opportunity to gain practical work experience and gain first-hand knowledge of the professional responsibilities involved in the job. In some professions, such as in the accounting, engineering, law, architecture and medical professions, an internship is mandatory to become fully qualified and to practice within the specific profession.

Graduates compete for a small number of job openings. Getting into a graduate programme is a great way for students to gain valuable work experience and is a ‘stepping-stone’ to a permanent placement and promotion. As an intern you get to prove yourself while working on-the-job. As an intern you get to try out the company to see how you fit in; the company gets to try you out to see how you perform without the disadvantages which come with hiring permanent staff. If you feel that you do not fit the culture then move on to another job. At least you will have gained some experience.

Many Graduate programme target students in their final year of study at University or College and actively recruit these students on campus at a Job Fair. A Job Fair is like speed dating giving students and employers the opportunity to meet with as many potential graduates / employers as possible within a set time limit.

Companies don’t always target the students with the highest marks but most often look for well-rounded candidates who have a decent academic track record and with high employability skills. Highly employable students are usually well-rounded academically and socially, they particpate in sports as well as in  societies, clubs and student activities. Through interaction in these activities they get to demonstrate the team skills, leadership skills and communication skills which are highly valued by employers.