NCS Graduate Programme Associate Manager – London

Start Date: Immediate

Location: London

Two roles available

  • 1 x 6 month fixed term role
  • 1 x permanent

Context for the roles

We are looking for two exceptional, energetic and organised individuals who are passionate about young people making a difference in their community. These two colleagues will join our local Programmes teams in London, as well as forming part of our Central NCS Graduates Team, playing key roles in supporting our NCS graduate programmes. While one role is fixed term, there is strong appetite to explore potential options for the right candidate to progress within the organisation, should that appeal.

The role requires a rare combination of strengths in:

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

About The Challenge

The Challenge is a national charity that brings together local people. We do this across all generations, ethnic groups and incomes to build a stronger society.

National Citizen Service (NCS) is an intense programme available to all 15-17 year olds, designed to develop key skills and inspire young people to take on more active roles in their communities.

The Challenge is the largest provider of NCS. Our mission is to connect and inspire people to strengthen their communities. In 2016 we will directly deliver the NCS programme to over 30,000 young people.

Our graduate programmes will continue to engage thousands of NCS graduates and other young people in opportunities to build on their NCS experience and get further involved in impacting their communities and improving integration.

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 the fastest growing youth movement since The Scouts. The GPAM will work with the national Graduate Programmes Manager and a local Senior Programme Manager to set up, deliver, monitor and evaluate activities for graduates of NCS with The Challenge in one geographical area (either North West London or South East 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 Manager’s primary responsibilities will be:

  • Programme delivery: Scope, prepare and deliver high quality, inclusive and locally grounded year-round NCS graduate programme; in line with NCS Trust contractual commitments, TCS project frameworks and the organisational mission of The Challenge
  • Training delivery: Participate in internal training delivery to other Challenge staff
  • Communications & marketing Maintain effective communications with NCS graduates within a local area (North West or South East London) across social media and other digital comms and other comms platforms
  • Supervision of delivery staff: Where appropriate, provide line management of sessional / project staff
  • National responsibility (subject to suitability) Supported by Graduate Programmes Manager to lead a national 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
  • Zonal representation for NCS Graduate activities: Lead local monitoring and evaluation of activities Coordinate Graduate provision across the zone, facilitating access to information and resources for local teams
  • Community working: Create and maintain 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
  • Event/Projects/Logistics management: Oversee logistics planning including liaising with transport providers, food delivery other event planning functions Oversee planning and delivery of NCS Graduate reunions, nationally coordinated social action days and other events
  • Regional youth board: In partnership with another GPAM, support 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

Looking for candidates with:


  • 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


  • People Management: experience of managing or motivating groups of people in stressful environments (in a paid or voluntary capacity)
  • Bid-writing / fundraising: experience of responding to tender / writing grant or award application
  • Digital marketing / comms management experience
  • Experience of using SalesForce CRM platform

Further details

 In addition to being part of a fun, dynamic and challenging workforce, there are many benefits working for The Challenge. We are proud to offer an attractive benefits package including a company contributory pension, Simplyhealth cash plan, Ride 2 Work, childcare vouchers, staff discount vouchers etc. to eligible employees.

  • Salary for this role is £27k per annum (pro-rate for fixed term contract). (those transferring from NCS Programmes will maintain their salary based on length of service)
  • The deadline for applications is midday on Friday 22 July 2016.
  • Please apply by sending a cover letter and CV (and internal application form if applicable) to: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

For informal enquiries please contact Ian van der Heyden, Graduate Programmes Manager at the email above, or on: 07837 417 494 (please leave a message if unavailable).

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.

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.