FDM IT training academy




Actually we do insist on geographical flexibility, so although we will try to place you in the North West, if we have a role in London or somewhere else which would be a good match for you, you may end up working there.

However, if you are very focused on ensuring you do stay working in the North West ten you may be interested in some opportunities we have coming up. Occasionally we have a specific client demand so you go through the normal programme but will know which client you are working with for the full two years and where you will be based too. We may have one coming up for the North West. If you let me know which IT programme you are interested in I will ensure I post the role on this forum or send the job spec to you



I have an assessment day coming up with FDM. I have applied for the application support role and have been asked to come in for the assessment day.

I previously applied a couple of years back where the structure to the assessment day was different. When i went it was a face to face interview with a memeber of the sales team and then they would re-invite you back if you passed that. I then got re-invited back for a 5day assessment where we tested on programming skills. I was unsuccessful at this stage.

I heard that the assessment stage has changed to a 1 stage process where you come in and have a interview with the manager and then do a presentation or go through some code. Is this correct?..that no direct programming is required?

Please let me know.

PS regarding the points made about FDM on this thread doesnt concern me as i have the contract and other contracts in other industries and the clauses are their to protect the company and business. They do not hide anything from you everything is explained to you from the start in terms of how they work and operate. As a company any employer wants to sell the oportunity to potential candidates by explaining the benefits and slightly sugar coating the negatives, but as graduates and adults we should have the brains to realise what is best for us. Also try thinking and looking into the current employment climate, even though the economy is slowing coming up it is still tough to find jobs especially for grads.

Anyways back to my point can someone please let me know the new structure to the assessment day and how many stages.




Yes we now have a one day assessment. You receive a presentation which explains the history of FDM, our graduate programme, the contract and upcoming opportunities. The first task is a group one (to test your team working, interpersonal skills), followed by a short logic test and short written test. You then have an interview with a member of our sales team and one with a member of our HR team too. Depending on the stream you are going for, you are either required to bring in some coding examples or to do a short presentation. Your recruiter will inform you of which you need to do and what is involved. If you do not hear about this then please contact me and i will find out for you
Thank You and good luck!



I am applying for the application support stream. My recruiter has mentioned I ca bring a presentation with me if I dont have any coding (which is the case). I have prepared a presentation but not sure if I can use a presentation. Can you please confirm if that is ok?

And thanks for the information in your last message.




Checked on this for you and for the application support stream a presentation is fine, instead of bringing in any code.
Good luck!



Thank you for taking your time to answer the questions.

However, for someone who doesnt have an IT background,

must the presentation be IT related?



It would be preferable, although it doesn’t have to be overly technical. It can be on the industry trends, maybe pick a subject which is being discussed in the news (IT related though).

Which stream are you going for can i ask?



Are the presentations held one or one basis or is it held as a class?

Kind regards


I’m not part of the FDM team but I went for an assessment day earlier this week and got offered a place. The presentations are done individually to either 1 or 2 interviewers.


Yes that is correct, they are done individually. Congratulations as well on passing your assessment Graduate2011 


Thanks! It was quite a chilled, informal and fun day and nothing to worry about. As long as you know about what you’re presenting and haven’t just thought of something just for the sake of it, you should be fine.


How many people were at the assessment day and how many people got through?

At the end of the 12-16 weeks training, is it up to FDM if you pass? If you didnt make it through the training, how much would you need to pay back?

Could you please give more information about the 12-16 weeks training and how it is assessed??


This is my opinion and what I experienced on the assessment day.

I got offered the job after going to the assessment day (found out the next morning) and I have applied for the Java Development role. From talking to other firends and lecturers in Computing, the training appears to be excellent and to a very high industry recognised standard, and you would learn an awful lot with the two years experience working with huge companies across the UK. I was sent a contract and a conditional offer form. The offer form is just a confirmation to say that I want to work for the company and I do not have to sign the contract until I arrive on my induction day.

First and foremost, I’m sure you are aware of the catches… 16 wks UNPAID training and then you have to commit to work for them for 2 years subsequently. If you leave before your time is up (unless there are extenuating circumstances) they will look for the money they spent on you for training you up, which is UP TO £21000 for the Java training (the 21k is divided out over the 16 weeks, if you leave say after 8 weeks it would be less)!!! I feel this is an excellent opportunity for me as I do not have strong Java skills yet, but I really want to become a skilled software developer and it will provide me with a foot in the door of some large companies in the UK.
Just so you know what you are getting yourself in for!

I arrived and there were 6 of us there for interview. We sat in the room and began some team building exercises. I reckon this was to see how we managed to get on with each other. We were paired off and had 10 mins to ask each other questions about each other (name, education, where from, etc.), while taking notes on the pad provided. This was basically in order to find out as much about the other person as possible and then we had to introduce that person to the rest of the room. During this time we were monitored by 2/3 staff members. I think they were just watching who does what and how we get on together, etc. Also, while introducing ourselves to the person we were paired with, we were told to choose a person (dead or alive) that you would take out to dinner (person who inspires you) and give reasons why and your partner then had to describe that person to the room.

Next we were told to pretend to be the inspirational figure that we chose.The scenario was that we were stranded on a lifeboat and it was sinking, so we had to decide among the 6 of us (in the persona of our inspiring figure), who should be kicked out of the boat. I think they are basically looking to see how you stick up for yourself and act in a team environment.

Then we had some intro to the job and FDM in general, about their clients and so on. Any questions you have about anything, ask them here. They basically let you know about some of the finer details of the contract so you know what you’re getting yourself into, etc. Anything you aren’t sure of, ask. I asked plenty of awkward questions and I still got offered a job!

Next was a round of interviews, this was broken up into two types:

  1. Technical - This was with two technical staff. Basic questions about computers, etc. I brought some java code from my course with me and they went through what I did, asking me some random questions about it to see if I knew what I had done.
  2. HR type questions - This was with a HR person in the company, asking the typical behavioural questions (you can look these up to get a sense of what they’re looking for). For example, tell me about a time when you improved a process in work, etc. They are looking for how you answer these questions and how you react to them.

After lunch we were told that some managers from their head office might want to have a further chat with some of us over a video conference. As far as I can gather, they basically werent sure about two of the applicatns so the head office wanted a quick chat with them to help make a decision. If you get called in here, it doesnt mean you wont get the job, just make sure that you really push that you feel this job is for you and that you only ever want to do software developnment.

Next we had a small test ~15 questions. Some of them included some simple Java code with if statements and adding values to a variable. If you have done any Java, these should be ok to you. Some questions were there to catch you out. I remember one of them being, you have 6 balls, 3 black and 3 white. 2 black balls are placed in one bag, 2 white in another and 1 black 1 white in the third bag. By only taking 1 ball out of a bag, can you tell which bags contain which balls!

Another question was about 2 trains on a line travelling towards each other. one travelling at 15mph, another in the opposite direction at 20mph. The track was 3500 miles long. A bird flying at 25mph travels in the same direction as the train travelling at 15mph, how far does the bird travel over and back before the two trains collide. Dont panic if you aren’t sure about some questions, because I’m sure I didnt get them all right myself.

Next we were given an extract of ~2 pages from their site about FDM with grammatical errors and spelling mistakes purposely put in. You had to highlight where you saw the mistakes. Appraently there were 36 (i think) mistakes. Some of the stuff was ridiculous, using SMS texting lingo instead of proper words. If you are any way decent with writing, you should be fine there!

Next we were given a sheet of paper and told to write why you want to join FDM. I wrote about how much I loved computers and what I felt I could bring to the FDM team! Just show you have passion and I reckon thats what they’re looking for. Prove to them that you are worthy of the job, etc.

A big issue with them is the fact of relocating to anywhere in the UK. I know one girl who got called into the video conference was saying she wouldnt want to leave Manchester and I think that is the main reason why she got called in. She said they were repeatedly asking her about relocating and she was really against the idea. It never bothered me because I didnt really care where I would be placed because it owuld only be for 2 years. Once you complete your training you are then ready to be placed with any of their clients across the whole of the UK but apparently 80% of these clients are based in London.

I know some people are unsure and concerned about the infamous contract, and rightly so. My own opinion is that the contract is very one sided, but this is to ensure that FDM is protecting their investment. From what I gather, they see you as an investment. They pay up to £21k to train you up and then ship you off to a client. In my opinion, it would make no sense for FDM to train you up if they weren’t going to make their money back on you so I reckon it is in their best interests to ensure you get a job relative to what you were trained up in. I also believe this is the basic salary, £18k minimum when you are not placed with a client. When you do get placed, you earn an extra £2 per hour, working a minimum of 37.5 hours/wk which brings the year salary up to ~£21k. In the second year, you earn an additional £2 per hour bringing the salary up to ~£25k for the year. And as mentioned in other posts, there is an option of a further year to complete a masters and you earn a further £2 per hour.

Obviously, someone with the intensive training skills provided, if they were to be placed in a job with those skills separate from FDM they would easily be earning upwards of a £30-£40k salary. But how is one to pay for the training off their own back. This is obviously how FDM makes its money, the client pays them, say, £40k for you, and then you receive £21k. It makes sense in my opinion to do this. As far as I can see, it is a win win situation for me and for FDM. I get free training and a relatively low salary, but after the 2 yrs placement I can leave and earn as much as I want with whoever I want with my advanced skills - and FDM gets its return on investment!!! Makes perfect sense to me!

I just have 2 questions of my own!

  1. From what I believe, just say you are placed with a client for 6 months in your first year of placement, you earn the £21k salary (obviously this works out at ~£10k for half the year worked). Then if your 6 months are up and no job is available to you, you move back to the training office and wait for another job offer. During this time you are paid on the £18k pay scale. Is this correct?

  2. From reading the above posts, what is the likelyhood that I will definitely get placed in a Java Dev role? and if I dont want a role in another area, will I be forced to pay the training costs?

Thank you for your time, and sorry for the very very long explanation. Hope this helped anyone who was wondering about the assessment day.


They called me from FDM today, and all i can say is that they are trying to persuade you to get the training, and of course they are since it’s 20K training fees. It’s not for free. I thought it was too good to be true and it’s of course the reality, that you are “wed” with them for two and half years. I had a MSc degree for 6K and i’m not going to give 20K for that kind of training, when PRINCE2 for project management is way cheaper. As for the developers like .net or java, self learning? I’ve learned on my own php and java and i can say that now i’m advanced, however when you are in IT or web development you ought to be updated all the time, so the next time that something comes up what are you going to do? Pay another 20k? Anyway, moving from Leicester to London for 3 months is something unreal. Thanks FDM. You are amazing (not).


Welcome Jobseeker100,

that’s probably the longest first post I’ve ever seen on a forum not motivated by anger.

Overall how would you rate the opportunity out of 10? It sounds about 7 or 8 from your message.


Thanks :slight_smile:

Well everyone seems to be really against the idea of what FDM do. I dont know why people are getting so angry, nobody HAS to take the job!!!
I thought the interview day was a bit long winded, we had a lot of waiting around during the technical, HR and the 2 video conferencing sessions.
Overall, I figured when I got home that I would be offered the job, I didnt find anything too difficult or challenging. Its hard to put a number on how I would rate it though! I suppose I would give it an 8/10! Thats just because of the long day in which it could have been done in the space of 3 hours or so! I think withall the trouble and issues about the contract, the DO make sure to explain it to everyone.

I still want my previous 2 questions to be answered by someone!


I totally agree with jobseeker100.

The contract agreements are fully justified. They are paying to train you, if you leave, they would want that money back. If you work with them for 2 years, they recoup their investment.
And as mentioned above, you dont HAVE to take the job!
The training they provide, for the infrastructure stream anyway, is more or less, everthing I need to know to start an infrastructure job. Those skills, which I currently lack, is what makes looking for a ‘proper’ job difficult. And after the 2 years of ‘placements’ Im sure you would get a massive jump in pay for whichever job you get, since you’ve had 2 years experience and training qualifications.
The thing you need to consider, if salary is on your mind, is whether you can earn more by committing to fdm for 2 years or getting an entry level role now and getting 2 years experience on your own.

…not forgetting that with FDM, they look for jobs for you on your behalf.

And as jobseeker100 mentioned, the assessment day was quite long winded. we had about 20 people in our group, which they said themselves was quite a large group. we had a logic/programming test, interview, and presentation/code review, and a 20min group exercise. Less things that jobseeker100 had. Most of the time, we were just waiting. May have been better, if we were individually allotted times for the interviews so that we could have gone out for lunch and got back for those times; rather than only splitting the group into 2 separate times.


Been following this thread for some time it is quite intriguing.

The contract it has to be said is very off putting. Which is a reason why some people like myself do not wish to take their application further or submit an application.

Despite the potential opportunities on offer, the whole scheme does not sound right. If you are uncomfortable about the whole thing, I think it is best not to apply.


Hi Jobseeker,

Sorry it has taken a little while to answer your questions:
1) From what I believe, just say you are placed with a client for 6 months in your first year of placement, you earn the £21k salary (obviously this works out at ~£10k for half the year worked). Then if your 6 months are up and no job is available to you, you move back to the training office and wait for another job offer. During this time you are paid on the £18k pay scale. Is this correct?
- You are right you will be paid your basic rate while you are in between positions. You will most likely come back in house and gain some further training too. However we do try to ensure there is no long wait period between placements so when we know the client no longer needs you onsite, we start lining up a new role for you immediately.
2) From reading the above posts, what is the likelyhood that I will definitely get placed in a Java Dev role? and if I dont want a role in another area, will I be forced to pay the training costs?
- Our clients will be paying rates for a developer so there is not way you will be doing something totally unrelated. Plus we have invested training for that role in you. With development both .Net and Java developers sometimes work in roles where their is some UNIX development as well, which is why we teach you UNIX scripting, so you may not be specifically only doing Java but you will definitely be doing development. Also, just because they are 'placements' this doesn't mean you cannot progress whilst onsite, so options to take team lead roles etc are often open to you if you wish and impress onsite.
Hope this helps and thanks for sharing your experience with everyone.
Please remember we also have our facebook page where you can post questions, talk to other trainees/Consultants and keep up with what is going on at FDM: http://www.facebook.com/pages/FDM-Group-UK/216623878375189?success=1
Thank You


Thanks for the informative reply, Just to clarify though, if I am offered a position in placement, do I have to take it, even if I feel it would be a wrong move for me?