Graduate and Entry Level 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 and Indigenous Australian Government Development Program. The department also works collaboratively with other agencies to recruit talented individuals through other specialty graduate and entry level programs, such as:

When will we be recruiting for our 2021 intake?

For the 2021 Graduate Program, the department will commence recruitment and assessment processes from July 2020 that will offer opportunities for career pathways including generalist, economics, data, ICT, legal and human resources.  

About our Graduate Program

The department offers a ten-month graduate program to those with a Higher Education (university) qualifications. Over the course of the program, graduates have two diverse work placements which provides the opportunity to work on a variety of programs and policies developed and implemented by the department. The Graduate Program provides opportunities to be involved in a wide range of networks, social and fundraising events.

The Graduate Program is the first step for recent graduates to build their career in the APS and gives them the opportunity to contribute to creating opportunities for Australians and supporting economic growth.

We are also excited to announce the implementation of a new career pathway in our Graduate Program for those with Vocational Education Training (VET) qualifications.

APS Human Resources (HR) Graduate Development Program

In 2021, DESE will be one of many Australian Public Service (APS) agencies participating in the new APS Human Resource (HR) Graduate Development program. If you have HR qualifications and are pursuing a HR career with the APS, you could be one of the first to benefit from this program.

As a HR professional in the APS, you will contribute to managing our most valuable asset – our people – and play a crucial role in shaping the future of the APS.

If you are interested in applying for a APS HR graduate position, visit the dedicated website at for more information, and apply just once to be considered for opportunities in both the Department of Education, Skills and Employment and other participating APS agencies.

Opportunities for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples

The department strives 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.

The department offers an Indigenous Affirmative Measure recruitment process which provides a valuable opportunity to engage the cultural strengths that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people bring to the workplace.

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 businesss ― 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. 

We welcome 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.

In addition to our Affirmative Measures ― Indigenous recruitment process, we also work with other APS agencies to recruit through the programs they offer.

RecruitAbility Scheme

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.   

Want to learn more?

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

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