Graduate Programme Associate Manager

Applications close: 31 March 2018

Interviews: 5th and 6th April 2018

Start Date: 23 April 2018

Location: London Waterloo

The Challenge

The Challenge’s vision is a more integrated society where there is understanding and appreciation of each other’s differences. We design and deliver programmes that bring different people together to develop their confidence and skills in understanding and connecting with others. We believe everyone benefits when people from all walks of life come together to better know, understand and trust each other. This also applies to the people we employ to work with us. As an equal opportunities employer our aim is to have a diverse workforce to reflect the communities we work in.

This is a unique opportunity to join a dynamic, rapidly growing organisation, working with young people and local communities across the country. 

About the Role

The Challenge is one of the UK’s fastest growing charities and the largest provider of the government’s National Citizen Service (NCS) programme.  In 2018 we will directly deliver the NCS programme to over 30,000 young people. Our graduate programme will continue to engage thousands of NCS graduates and other young people in on-going opportunities to build on their NCS experience and get further involved in impacting their communities and improving integration.

We are looking for an exceptional, energetic and organised individual who is passionate about young people making a difference in their community. This colleague will join our NCS Graduates Team, playing a key role in supporting our NCS graduate programmes.

The role requires a rare combination of strengths in:

  • project management & logistics
  • planning
  • practical judgement, collaborative decision-making and integrity 
  • youth work leadership
  • community engagement
  • relationship building

About the Opportunity

The Graduate Programme Associate Manager (GPAM) role represents a fantastic opportunity to join an entrepreneurial and innovative team; grow in a dynamic and supportive environment and play a crucial role in delivering the lasting impact of local NCS graduates.

Supported by a Regional Graduate Manager  GPAM will set up, deliver, monitor and evaluate activities for graduates of NCS with The Challenge in one geographical area (South London). Working as part of a national team, there is also opportunity to lead on a central project or aspect of the national Graduate offer.
The Graduate Programme Associate’s key responsibilities are: 

  • NCS Graduate Programme Delivery: Manage the regional delivery of the graduate programme in line with NCS Trust contractual commitments and agreed outcomes. Scope, prepare and deliver high quality, inclusive and locally grounded year-round NCS graduate programme. Develop regional delivery plans in partnership with NCS Trust and attend NCST graduate meetings/training.
  • Event/Projects/Logistics management: Oversee planning and delivery of NCS Graduate reunions, nationally coordinated social action days and other events including all elements of logistics planning; liaising with transport providers, food delivery other event planning functions
  • Line Management: Manage a local team of Graduate mentors supporting with local youth board delivery and graduate events.
  • Reporting & evaluation: Complete required monitoring on activities to support managers’ production of management information and in line with data protection and other best practice
  • Communications & marketing Maintain effective communications with NCS graduates across an NCS delivery Region (“LNS” – South London) across social media and other digital comms and other comms platforms
  • Supervision of delivery staff: Where appropriate, provide line management and carry out quality assurance of sessional / project staff .
  • National responsibility (subject to suitability): Supported by Regional Graduate Programme Manager to lead a central NCS Graduate programme project / aspect of The Challenge’s core NCS graduate offer. Work collaboratively with the Central NCS Graduates Team to develop and share innovation and best practice, including regular meetings with team members.
  • External partnerships and community working: Create and maintain extensive local partnerships which facilitate opportunities for young people to make a difference to their local community. Develop local networks of engaged graduates to deliver meaningful projects.
  • Regional youth board: Facilitate the delivery of a regional youth board of NCS graduates, supporting integration with local youth boards and the NCS Leaders programme
  • Safeguarding and health & safety: Ensure the NCS Graduate programme is appropriately risk assessed, and delivered in line with organisation policy, relevant legal frameworks and health & safety best practice
  • Fundraising: Where appropriate / necessary, apply for relevant local or regional grants and/or other sources of income to support project delivery

Person Specification

We are looking for an exceptional individual with the following qualities:


  • Project & Event Management: Successful track record of managing events or projects e.g. managing youth programmes or complex events
  • Youth-work Leadership: Experience of working directly with / leading groups of young people; ideally within the 16 – 19 age range
  • Creative Community Engagement: Successful track record of working with diverse community groups; directly employed; in a freelance capacity or in partnership. Interest in building stronger communities and seeing change in society
  • People skills: Ability to give very good first impression and form effective relationships with partners; able to work collaboratively with variety of stakeholders on projects across various departments and locations;
  • Character: Strikingly positive attitude and integrity. Strives for continuous improvement by seeking and sharing feedback appropriately and respectfully, learning from their mistakes and always commits to performing at their best.
  • Independent worker: a self-starter with the ability to plan and work with a high degree of independence and autonomy.
  • Experience of working in a fast paced and demanding environment


  • Experience of using SalesForce CRM platform
  • Experience of managing sessional staff

Safeguarding Statement

The Challenge is committed to safeguarding and protecting the young people that we work with. As such, all posts are subject to a safer recruitment process, including the disclosure of criminal records and vetting checks. We ensure that we have a range of policies and procedures in place which promote safeguarding and safer working practice across our programmes.

We expect all staff and post holders to share this commitment to safeguarding by ensuring compliance with our policies and practices.

Employment Screening

Only applicants who have the right to work in the UK or have a valid visa or work permit for a minimum of 6 months at the time of application will be considered for this role.

Further Details

In addition to being part of a fun, dynamic and challenging workforce, we are proud to offer an attractive benefits package including contributory pension, Simplyhealth cash plan, Ride 2 Work, childcare vouchers, season ticket travel card loan etc. to eligible employees.

  • Status: This is a full-time, premanent role.
  • Salary: £27,000 per annum
  • To apply: Please apply by sending your CV and cover letter to Connor Natella (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.). Applications close on 31 March 2018
  • Interview process: Interviews will take place 5th and 6th April 2018

No Agencies

Please note: The Challenge is a fulfilling but demanding place to work. Evening and weekend working will be required on a number of occasions during the year.