What roles are on offer


Graduate Management Programme 2024 is open

Are you passionate about the environment? Ready to kickstart a career where you can really make a splash? Join our Graduate Management Programme and you’ll gain invaluable hands-on experience as you explore our business and help us build a better future for our communities.

If you think you’ve got what it takes to make an impact and lead the way to a brighter future at South West Water, #JustAddWater.

Ready to apply? Here’s some top tips from Julie Herd, our Graduate Programme Manager.

Apply now

The format of our graduate programme

Join our Graduate Management Programme and over two years, you’ll spend time working within our business areas – these include: Engineering, IT, Regulatory, HR and Operations. Whether you’ve got ambitions to become a HR Assistant, Chemical Engineer or anything in between, we like to think of our Graduate Management Programme as a fast-track programme to kickstart your career.


You’ll spend your first week networking, visiting our sites, and learning about our business, the Graduate Programme and development opportunities available to you. You’ll also spend this time getting to know your line manager, mentor and buddy who’ll all be on hand to support you throughout the programme. We’ll round the week off with some fun team-building activities to make sure you’re settled in and ready to get started.

Your rotation

After an initial induction programme, where you’ll get to know your colleagues and get to grips with our business, you’ll undertake two 9-month rotations and one 6-month rotation, enabling you to gain valuable practical experience in a variety of areas. Some of our placements include going into functional roles where you will have the opportunity to rotate within that business function.

Ongoing development

As part of the programme, you’ll spend one day a week working towards your Operations and Management Diploma through our college provider. Every other month, you’ll take part in fun learning and development activities off-site. You may even have the opportunity to present to executive board members, giving you incredible exposure to our business.

What we’re looking for

Passionate about kick-starting your career at South West Water? We’re looking for open-minded, creative team players from all sorts of backgrounds to join our Graduate Operational Management Programme. Because we know that building a diverse, progressive workforce is key to our future success. As well as a degree in any subject, you’ll also need:

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Excellent written and verbal communication skills

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Top-notch time management and organisational skills

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A desire to work in a hands-on, varied working environment

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To be eager to take initiative

An insight into
the programme

Hear from Beth Lock a previous Operational Management Graduate, who is now our Early Years Acquisition Partner, to find out more about the programme and some tips on applying.


Meet the team


“I really appreciate the networking opportunities that the Operational Management Graduate Programme provides, and the career options that working in different teams opens up. I’m constantly encouraged to challenge the status quo and promote change. I would recommend South West Water to anyone who values working for a big family where you are encouraged to be yourself, take ownership, collaborate, and work with a vision of doing the right thing.”


“I joined South West Water because water connects everything! There’s a huge variety of challenging and rewarding work to get involved in which offers brilliant career development prospects. I get to work on projects that are meaningful and enjoy being part of a community where wellbeing is prioritised. There are really caring, determined people in every part of the business who have surprised me with their passion. I look forward to coming to work and feel proud of what I do.”


“I joined SWW to be a part of the positive change that I want to see in the world. I’m currently leading the deployment of the Electric Vehicle Trial Phase which will see South West Water transition to using electric fleet vehicles. Having this opportunity is priceless. My favourite part of the job is knowing what I do matters. Working to deploy new technologies, including renewables and EVs, offers a great learning experience while pushing the business to be more carbon conscious and therefore improve our environmental impact.”

Our recruitment process


Submit your application along with a short video telling us why you’re inspired to join our graduate scheme.


If we’re impressed by your application, we’ll invite you to our virtual assessment centre.


If you’re successful - congratulations - we’ll offer you a place on our Graduate scheme.


You’ll then receive your contract and begin your onboarding program with us.


When do applications open/close?

The opening and closing dates for application vary each year. Applications will open in the month of January and close in February/March. Keep an eye on our vacancies page for more information.

When is the closing date?

31st March 2023

When does the programme start?

Our Graduate Management Programme will commence in September each year.

Where would I be located during the programme?

We are a company that provides services to the South West, Bristol, Bournemouth and Isles of Scilly so depending on your role, you will be based within these regions.

What will my work involve?

All our employees work as one large team to deliver our business plan and provide the services our customers expect from us. The link below outlines our 5-year business and provides some insight into the work you’ll be supporting in helping us deliver our New Deal for customers.

Our New Deal

Is there a minimum degree classification?

No, we will consider all classifications, from all disciplines.

Can I apply if I have already graduated?

Yes. We will consider your application if you have graduated in recent years.

How can I let you know about the reasonable adjustments I require to complete the online assessment?

If you have a disability or any special requirements which make it difficult for you to apply online, please contact our recruiter named in the job advert who’ll be able to assist.

Do you provide interview feedback?

We provide feedback after interviews as requested. It’s constructive and honest.

How long does the application process take?

From the advert closing date, the recruitment process typically takes 2-3 weeks. If you’re successful, our security checks and referencing can take another 4 weeks.

Can I track the progress of my application?

You will receive regular updates from our business about where your application is in the process.

I’m an international student, can I make an application?

Yes, however applicants require a right to work in the UK.

I have a question that isn’t covered above, who do I contact?

You can email us at talent@pennon-group.co.uk.