Graduate and Entry Level Programs

‘At the department we have an ability to influence a wide range of people, whether they be jobseekers, employers or businesses, students, parents, teachers. I think working here is a way we can create change' - Steve, 2017 Graduate

Our programs

The Department of Education, Skills and Employment (DESE) offers a range of entry level programs and pathway opportunities to help you start your career in the Australian Public Service (APS), these include the department’s Graduate Program, Career Starter ProgramVET Entry Level Program and Indigenous Australian Government Development Program.

DESE Graduate Program

Applications for the 2022 Graduate Program are now closed.

Our graduate program is a great way for you to transition from education to employment. We know firsthand the significance of this milestone and you’ll find our graduate program connects you to friendly, experienced professionals who will help you apply your skills and knowledge as you start your career pathway in life.

Speciality Graduate Programs

The department also works collaboratively with other APS agencies to recruit talented individuals through other specialty graduate and entry level programs, such as:

Entry Level Programs

Other entry level pathways include: 

An opportunity to contribute to the lives of all Australians 

The Department of Education, Skills and Employment is responsible for the policies and programs that ensure Australians can access quality education, skills and employment and the wellbeing and economic benefits they provide. Our primary focus is to equip Australians – at all life and career stages – with knowledge, skills and attributes to live well, thrive at work and contribute to community life. Come and join us and contribute to the lives of all Australians!

Competitive Remuneration

The department offers excellent employment conditions with competitive remuneration, superannuation and employee leave and allowance entitlements. This available in our Enterprise Agreement and Determination

Relocation assistance when you move to Canberra

The department will provide reasonable relocation assistance for successful incoming graduates who are required to relocate to Canberra to take up employment with the department. 

Relocation assistance is intended to assist with relocation costs, but it is important to note it may not cover all of the costs of your relocation.

Additionally, the department provides temporary accommodation (time limited) for incoming graduates designed to assist you with accommodation if your permanent property is not available, or you have not secured permanent accommodation upon arrival to Canberra. Relocation Guidelines outlining the conditions will be provided on formal acceptance into the program.

‘The relocation assistance offered by the department made the move down from the NSW Central Coast surprisingly easy and stress free. While I was still looking for a place, the department provided temporary accommodation in a serviced apartment right in the heart of the city. I felt completely at ease with the move and totally looked after. There was no need unmet.’ - Carissa, 2020 Graduate

A strong foundation to kick-start your APS career

You will complete our entry level programs with a strong foundation and the necessary skills to kick start your career in the APS.

You will have the opportunity to develop transferable technical skills (writing, presentation and systems) and inter and intrapersonal skills including communication skills, strategic and innovative thinking, problem solving, stakeholder engagement, and research capabilities. You will have experienced the processes of government and working within legislative frameworks.

You will also have the opportunity to grow your professional and personal network.

‘What surprised me about the department is just how big and how varied it is. For example, in my first placement I was working in labour market research and analysis, and now, after the grad program I am working in the People Branch.
I decided to move from an economics area to a human resources area because I wanted to have a broader range of experience and work experience. This department is very positive and willing to facilitate those processes.’ - Steve, 2017 Graduate

A diverse and inclusive culture

We don’t just say it – we live it! Our culture is important to us and underpins how we work. DESE strives for a culture that positions us with the right capability, passion and pride to make a difference in delivering education and employment outcomes, which enable all Australians to thrive.

DESE is committed to diversity and inclusion. Our commitment is demonstrated by the size and presence of our employee-led networks. These networks, which focus on disability, LGBTIQ, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, gender equality, and cultural heritage, ­are very active and work towards strengthening our workplace inclusiveness. DESE is a member of Pride in Diversity, Diversity Council Australia and Australian Network on Disability.

The department welcomes applications from Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, people from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds, mature-age people and people with disability, regardless of sex, sexuality or gender identity. Additionally, we also work with other APS agencies to recruit through the programs they offer including the Indigenous Graduate Program facilitated by the Australian Public Service Commission.

We strive to create a workforce that reflects the diversity of the Australian community and recognises the important knowledge and skills Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples bring to the work we do.

By embracing these strengths we help create culturally responsive environments where Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people are empowered to achieve their full potential in the workplace.

The department promotes a culture where Indigenous business is everyone’s business ― across its work practices, values and business. Employees are also supported through the provision of a number of learning opportunities to build their cultural capability. 

The department is committed to supporting the employment and career development of people with disability. Our participation in the APS RecruitAbility Scheme means we will progress an applicant with disability to a further stage in the recruitment process, where they opt into the scheme and meet the minimum requirements for the position.   

Live in Canberra

Our department’s national office is located in Canberra and we are proud to live and work in one of the most liveable cities in Australia!  Learn more about living and working in Canberra.

Contact us  

Phone: 02 6121 5000

Australian Government Graduate Program logo
Grad Australia Top 100 Employer 2021
Top 100 Graduate Employer rankings 2021

The department has consistently featured in the Top 100 Graduate Employer rankings over the past few years. This achievement highlights our active commitment to supporting talented graduates, helping them to expand their skills and experience, and reach their full potential.

Want to learn more?

Further updates will be provided on this page or you can follow us on our Facebook page (or tag us using @DESEGradPrograms) for information about 2021 recruitment.