Graduate trainee scheme

******This scheme is now closed for applications*********

“The only successful societies in the 21st century will be ones that are very low in environmental impact. This will require major innovation. SEPA knows we need to support people and businesses across Scotland to do this.”

Our One Planet Prosperity sets out a powerful vision for our approach to regulation over the coming years. To enable us to deliver our vision, we will need the best people working for us to help Scotland be a hotbed of innovation that will drive 21st century success.

To help us achieve this, we have launched our new graduate trainee scheme, which is now open to applications until 24 March 2017 at 12pm (midday).

Through the scheme, you will explore different parts of our organisation, providing opportunities to develop your skills and gain new knowledge, as well as empowering you to make a difference for Scotland’s environment and its people.

About the scheme

Our scheme lasts for two years. In that time you will have four role rotations to different functions of our organisation. You’ll learn about all aspects of our business with rotations tailored to your degree subject, career interests and our needs. By the end of the programme you’ll be equipped with the skills and knowledge to take up an officer level (Band E) role within SEPA.

You’ll learn through a blend of work experience, shadowing, training events, mentoring and coaching with support from your managers and colleagues.

The scheme is open to those who have graduated within the last two years, no matter your degree subject or classification.


Application process

  • The process starts with an online application (13 February 2017 - 24 March 2017)
  • If you are successful at this stage we will ask you to complete some online testing (27 March 2017 - 10 April 2017).
  • After that, successful candidates will be invited to our assessment centre. This will be on 24 April 2017 in Stirling.
  • Offers made week commencing 1 May 2017.
  • Graduate scheme commences 4 September 2017.

Guidance for completing your application

Your application form is your opportunity to sell yourself. It's important that you take the time to answer the questions completely and check over for any mistakes. Here are some points to bear in mind before submitting your application form to us.

  • Read through the application carefully.
  • Ensure spelling and grammar are correct.
  • Make sure that all questions are completed.
  • Check that your personal details are accurate and correct. 
  • Give yourself plenty of time to complete the form, don't leave it until the last minute.
  • Ensure that you provide full and detailed answers to our longer questions to really demonstrate how you fit with the competencies we are looking for in candidates. It’s important not to go over the 350 word maximum but equally we’d expect you to write more than just a couple of sentences for each. 
  • Use examples from a range of experiences and ensure that they are relevant and highlight the positive impact you made.




Salary and benefits

Financial benefits

  • Starting salary of £23,758.
  • Local Government Pension Scheme (LGPS) administered by Falkirk Council. The scheme operates on a career average revalued earnings (CARE) basis.

Key benefits

  • Generous annual leave entitlements starting from 28 days per year, increasing to 32 days after five years of reckonable service.
  • Seven public holidays.
  • Professional and personal development.
  • Occupational sick pay (entitlements based on length of reckonable service).
  • Employer Supported Volunteering Scheme which allows every member of staff one day’s paid leave per year to participate in voluntary work.
  • Flexible working hours.

Health and lifestyle benefits

  • Financial contribution towards the price of glasses or contact lenses for display screen use.
  • Occupational health benefits and access to a free Employee Assistance Programme which provides life management services.
  • Cycle to work scheme (a tax efficient way to purchase a bicycle through salary sacrifice).
  • Childcare vouchers scheme.


How long is your graduate trainee scheme?

Our scheme lasts for two years. During that time you will have four role rotations to different areas of our organisation. We want you to experience as wide a range of opportunities as possible.

Can I leave throughout this period? What’s the notice period?

We hope that you will choose to stay with us for the full two-year traineeship, but if you choose to leave you will be required to give us four weeks’ notice in writing. 

Is there an application deadline?

The application window opens on the 13 February 2017 and the closing date is 24 March 2017 at 12pm. Unfortunately we cannot accept late applications.

Is this a general scheme or are you looking for specific disciplines?

We are not focussing on any particular discipline. If you have graduated within the last two years you can apply whatever subject your degree is in.

Do I require a certain degree classification to apply?

We have no minimum degree classification. We recognise that qualifications are important, but we want people who have passion and can face the challenges of a working in a forward thinking, progressive organisation. If that’s you, then apply whatever your degree classification is.

I'm a final year student who doesn't graduate until the summer, can I still apply?

Yes you can, but any offer would be made upon the condition that you have graduated before the September 2017 start date.

Are there any age restrictions?

No, our graduate programme is open to all ages.

Do you accept applications from non-UK graduates?

We do, however you must have the legal right to live and work in the UK.

What does the recruitment process involve?

The process will start with an online application. If you are successful at this stage we will ask you to complete some online testing. After that, successful candidates will be invited to our assessment centre. This will be on 24 April 2017 in Stirling.

Do you pay expenses for candidates travelling to the assessment centre?

Yes, you can claim back your travel costs to a maximum of £150. If you’re invited to assessment centre we’ll send you a form and further details on how to claim.

When will I start?

Successful applicants will start on 4 September 2017.

Can I defer my start date?

Unfortunately we cannot accept deferred applications.

What will my salary be?

Your starting salary will be £23,758.

Where could I be based?

We have 22 offices across Scotland. Graduate placements could be in a variety of offices, so some flexibility is required. You will be assigned an office which will be your base location during your traineeship. It’s anticipated that you will undertake four six-month ‘placements’ in different parts of the business. If you are required to travel from your base location or stay overnight you will be reimbursed through business expenses.

Is there shift work?

No, you won’t be asked to do shift work. SEPA has a flexi-time scheme which means that you can work flexibly between the hours of 7.30am and 7.30pm in agreement with your manager. 

You may, from time to time, be asked to work earlier or later because of the specific assignment you’re working on. When this is required your manager will authorise overtime or time off in lieu. It’s highly unlikely that you will be required to work at weekends.

Am I guaranteed a job at the end of the two years?

We can’t guarantee you a job but it is highly likely that you will be offered suitable role on the successful completion of the two-year programme. As part of the scheme we will give you loads of opportunities to develop significant and recognisable transferable skills. You can then use these in any job application.



Contact us

If you have any further questions about the scheme, please feel free to contact us.

  • By e-mail
  • Call us on 0845 074 3789

Lines will be available from 9am to 5pm, Monday - Friday to answer your questions.

You can also follow us on social media through the following accounts:

Apply here
SEPA Graduate trainee scheme brochure
Find us on Facebook