Graduate Program Overview


The Department

The Department of Education and Training is responsible for national policies and programs that help Australians access quality and affordable early child care and childhood education, school education, higher education, vocational education and training, international education and research.

Valuing Difference - Respecting Our People

Workplace diversity and inclusion is vitally important in creating a productive and harmonious environment for people to work. The department recognises and embraces the diversity that each employee brings to the workplace, creating an environment of trust, mutual respect and appreciation.

We work to increase the representation of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander employees and employees with disability. We also focus on other diversity groups on the basis of: race, gender identity, sexual orientation, intersex status, language, cultural and linguistically diverse backgrounds.

Many of our policies and programs celebrate diversity and tackle discrimination and bullying, and we continue to build on these initiatives through our Diversity Champion, Indigenous Champion, Indigenous Leader, Employee Support Officers (ESO) and Employee Networks.

Employee Networks

Ability NetworkPride NetworkAboriginal and Torres Straight Islander Employee NetworkWomen's Network


About the program

Our ten month Graduate Program offers diverse work placements across the department to help you understand our core business and find the type of work that best suits your skills and interests. The program commences in February and concludes in December with promotion to the APS4 level upon successful completion.


In 2018 we will offer three pathways into our graduate program; ICT, Data Analytics and Generalist. Each pathway will allow you to build your skills and experience while applying your academic education.

We welcome applications from graduates with all degree backgrounds.

Further information on the pathways offered in 2018 is available here.

Assessment Process

The assessment process will vary dependent on the pathway/s you apply for. If you apply for multiple pathways you may be required to undertake more than one test.

The department is also conducting affirmative measures selection processes for people with disability and people who are Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander.

Further information on the assessment process in 2018 is available here.

Development opportunities

During the Program you will have the opportunity to participate in a range of internal and external development activities which incorporates face to face, self-paced and virtual leaning.

These include:

  • Australian Public Service Commission events
  • Formal training opportunities
  • On-the-job experiences
  • Participation in department wide and graduate specific development activities
  • Attendance at Senate Estimates and Question Time during parliamentary sittings

An example of formal learning activities:

  • Strategic Thinking and Innovation
  • Policy Development
  • Resilience
  • Cultural Awareness
  • Design Thinking
  • Communication Skills
  • Presentation Skills
  • Effective Conversations
  • Career Planning

Program requirements

Graduates participating in the program are required to:

  • successfully complete a six month probation period with the department
  • actively participate in all graduate learning and development events
  • adhere to the Department of Education and Training Enterprise Agreement, all departmental policies, procedures and guidelines
  • comply with the APS Values, APS Employment Principles and APS Code of Conduct
  • demonstrate a commitment to supporting the department’s culture and objectives.

You will be supported by the Entry-Level Programs team who will work closely with you and your supervisor to ensure you have everything you need to complete the program successfully.

You will be matched with a graduate buddy from the previous Graduate Program cohort to help you transition into your workplace and the APS.