VET Entry Level Program

Kickstart your career at DESE!

Are you 18 to 25 years old and keen to start a career in a sector where you can make a difference?

The Department of Education, Skills and Employment (DESE) is looking for talented school leavers and young people who are eager to work on issues that have a real impact on Australians.

VET is an awesome opportunity to get your foot in the door with one of the nation’s largest employers – the Australian Public Service (APS).

More than just a job, this is an opportunity to launch a long-term career filled with opportunities to learn new skills, the potential for advancement and most importantly a chance to work on issues that matter.

All positions are located in Canberra.

Applications for the 2021 VET Entry Level Program have now closed.

On this page:

Who is DESE?

DESE works to ensure all Australian can experience the social and economic benefits of quality education, training and employment. We provide national leadership in the areas of education, skills and employment policy to help create an inclusive and prosperous Australia.

We operate in the areas of child care, early childhood education, schooling, tertiary education, research, vocational skills training, employment and jobs.

What does the VET program offer?

Successful applicants will join DESE at an APS 3 level and undertake a combination of on-the-job training and formal learning and development activities, including a Diploma of Government. After successful completion of the 12 month program, you will gain a promotion to a permanent, ongoing position at the APS 4 level.

You can apply to participate in one of three streams:

  1. Project and program delivery
  2. Compliance and regulation
  3. Administration (leading to Executive Administration and Executive Officer roles)

Why should you apply?

There are a range of benefits for successful applicants including:

  • a competitive starting salary at the APS3 level plus superannuation
  • A full time permanent position from day one, transitioning to a permanent role upon successful completion of the program
  • structured learning opportunities to help build your career
  • a nationally recognised Diploma qualification specialising in;
    • Diploma of Government - Project Management
    • Diploma of Government - Compliance and Regulation
    • Diploma of Government – Administration
  • flexible arrangements to help you balance study and work
  • access to peer support, mentoring and coaching.

How to apply

Your application

You will need to submit a written application outlining why you are suitable for the program and attend an interview. You can find advice and resources on how to make a quality application on the Australian Public Service Commission website.


To be eligible for the program, you must:

  • Be able to obtain a security clearance
  • Be prepared to study a Diploma-level qualification
  • Be an Australian Citizen
  • Be prepared to relocate to Canberra – with potential for relocation assistance

Do I need to be a certain age to apply?  

Yes, applicants must be over the age of 18 at the time of commencement in the program. Applications are welcome from all groups above this age limit.

Do I need to travel to attend an interview?

Due to covid-19 restrictions, the department will align with government advice as it arises with regard to travel. It is anticipated that shortlisted applicants from the ACT will attend a face to face interview. Virtual interviews may be conducted with shortlisted applicants from interstate.

I’m already studying my Diploma – is that a problem? 

No, your current studies may contribute to your Diploma, this will be assessed on a case by case basis.

Applications for the 2021 VET Entry Level Program have now closed.