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New Grad Programmes

Here in Ireland our new grad vets are limited when it comes to what’s on offer in terms of graduate programmes. More so if you’re a veterinary nurse then you can be sure there’s really nothing on offer. So why, unlike our neighbours in the UK, have we so little to offer for new graduates?

For recently graduated vets the only programme we could find was one ran by the veterinary group XL Vets. Their programmes is on offer for those who are graduated 3 years or less. With numerous franchise practices throughout the country and up against no other competition they presumably are running a successful programme. You would think that there is a market out there for practices to provide these kinds of opportunities. As far as I can see, offering a graduate programme and taking on a new grad has so many advantages to it. The greatest of these being that practices have the chance to mould young vets into the kind of vet they want working in their practice. New grads, having studied intensely for the previous 5 years are there to learn and any good new grad worth their salt will take the opportunity to learn as much as possible from their more experienced colleagues. Additionally having new grads within a practice, be it for a graduate programme or not, they give reason for the veterinary team to stay sharp and in tune with protocols, procedures and explanations behind their medical and surgical choices.

In terms of arranging and setting up a graduate programme within a practice, there would be a fair amount of additional work for any practice manager or team to take on. No doubt this being the major factor behind a lack of programmes for graduates in the country. Independent small scale practises, which Ireland is so heavily saturated with, just can’t justify the time and financial investment it would take to create, promote and run a successful graduate programme.

In my opinion, in order for our veterinary industry to retain the new graduate vets and vet nurses in the country, the introduction of grad programmes and other such initiatives would be a stepping stone in the right direction.

Let me know your opinion.



  1. Denise Duggan


    My name is Denise and I work with XLVets (XL Vets represents 25 independent veterinary practices). Interesting to read your blog about the lack of Graduate Programmes and opportunities for young grads in Ireland. We identified the difficulties practices across our network faced with recruiting and retaining new graduates, this problem was one of the key reasons we decided to launch our own graduate programme. We did our research and developed a programme tailored specifically to new graduates’ needs. Our programme is a blend of formal learning with access to a mentor throughout, which allows graduates to develop key clinical and client skills faster.

    We still have a couple of places left on our next programme which kicks off October 3rd. To be eligible graduates must be employed within the XLVets network, however the good news is we are recruiting. Our website has a list of some of the vacancies available. Although all CVs can be sent directly to me.

    For further information on XLVets – call us at 061 381505 or email

    1. VetLo Ireland Author

      Denise, thank you for the comment. Graduate programmes are so important for the growth of our new grads confidence and experience out in practice. We hope the XL Vets graduate programme is going from strength to strength.


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