Over 12,000 graduates have applied for a place on the scheme in September 2009 – an 83% rise on last year’s applications.
There are 220 places on the 2009 scheme. There were 196 places in 2008, 210 in 2007, 213 in 2006, 183 in 2005 and 173 in 2004.
The NHS Institute for Innovation and Improvement, which leads the scheme, believes the high number of applications may be, in part, a sign of the credit crunch.
Over 1,000 applicants, chosen as a result of testing, will now proceed to interviews for selection to attend the final 24-hour Leadership Challenge, out of which around 220 applicants will be offered a place on the scheme in one of four specialisms: finance management, general management, HR management and informatics management.
The graduates take on varied placements for just over two years and then are supported for a further two years in their permanent post.
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