Graduate Program

The Department of Education, Skills and Employment contributes to Australia’s economic prosperity and social wellbeing by creating opportunities and driving better outcomes for people, through education, skills and employment pathways.

On this page:

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.

Creating opportunities through education, skills and employment is at the heart of our department’s purpose. Join us as we work to implement transformative government policies and programs and draw on the best research and evidence to improve education and employment outcomes for Australians – starting with you.

Our Graduate Program

The department offers a ten-month graduate program to those with Higher Education (university) qualifications. Successfully completing the Program will help you apply your skills and build on your experience for a fulfilling career in the Australian Public Service (APS).

The ten-month program provides the opportunity for graduates to experience a holistic view of working in a government agency and it establishes the foundation for graduates to learn core APS fundamentals.

The successful completion of the graduate program offers you the stepping stone to launch your career into the broader Australian Public Service. 

Our 10-month Graduate Program runs from February to December 2022.

Located in Canberra, the program offers:

  • two diverse work placements which provide the opportunity to work on a variety of programs and policies developed and implemented by the department
  • a supportive, inclusive and flexible working environment
  • on-the-job experience
  • learning and development opportunities and;
  • various opportunities to be involved in a wide range of networks and fundraising events.

When you join the Program you also get:

  • relocation assistance to move to Canberra
  • permanent ongoing employment in the Australian Public Service
  • career progression from APS level 3.1 to APS Level 4.1 on successful completion of the program
  • an Employee Assistance Program for wellbeing and career support
  • a dedicated Graduate Sponsor passionate about seeing you thrive.

Through our work, we aim to create brighter futures – starting with you.

Expressions of Interest are now open for the DESE Graduate Program.

By expressing your interest, you will be notified when applications open mid-year. We will keep in regular contact with you with information and make sure you don’t forget to apply when it’s time.

Our Graduate Career Streams

Career streams are designed to give graduates the opportunity, where possible, to be placed in areas relevant to their qualifications and career of choice and engage in relevant specific on-the-job learning and development.

DESE Graduate Program

In 2022, as part of DESE’s Graduate Recruitment Program we are recruiting for graduates with various skill sets.

Our work is broad and requires people with all types of qualifications, which is why it is so important that we encourage as many applications as possible to our DESE Graduate Program.

Education and jobs are central to Australia’s COVID-19 recovery and our department has a big program of work to deliver. That’s why, we are encouraging applications from people with a broad range of skills including but not limited to:

  • Finance
  • Business and Commerce
  • Economics
  • Public Policy
  • Legal
  • IT
  • Arts & Humanities
  • Education
  • Project Management and Human Resources
  • Information Systems
  • Information Technology
  • Media & Communications
  • Actuary
  • Administration
  • Data Science & Analytics
  • Digital Technology

If you’re not sure about the relevance of your qualifications to the work of the department, simply apply.

Expressions of Interest are now open for the DESE Graduate Program.

By expressing your interest, you will be notified when applications open mid-year.

If you have any questions, email

Specialist career streams

The Department of Education, Skills and Employment participate in the Australian Government Graduate Program (AGGP).

The department works collaboratively with AGGP to recruit talented individuals through speciality graduate programs. In 2022, DESE will participate in the following career streams:

Explore each career stream above to learn more, including how to apply.

When opting to apply for one of the above speciality streams, your application and recruitment process will be managed by a participating AGGP partnering agency. More information is provided through the individual stream links.

Opting into a specialist stream does not preclude you from submitting an application to the 2022 DESE Graduate Program.

Expressions of Interest are now open for the DESE Graduate Program.

By expressing your interest, you will be notified when applications open mid-year.

Read more about the recruitment process and if you have any questions, email


To be eligible for the 2022 Department of Education, Skills and Employment Graduate Program, you will be required to:

  • be an Australian Citizen or going to be granted Australian citizenship by January 2022 and be able to provide evidence of this
  • have successfully completed a Bachelor degree or higher within the five years prior to the start date of the 2022 Graduate Program. You will be required to provide evidence of completion before the start of the program
  • obtain and maintain a valid Australian Government Baseline security clearance
  • relocate to Canberra for the commencement of the program.
  • satisfy the relevant medical check (if required for the position).

Some career streams will have additional or slightly different requirements. Please refer to the career stream pages for more information.

Recruitment process

The department seeks to attract enthusiastic and motivated people, who are passionate about driving better outcomes for people through education, skills and employment. This important work contributes to Australia’s prosperity and social wellbeing—it makes a difference.

Express your interest

To learn more about our department’s Graduate Program, express your interest and we will be in touch with more information about our work, and tips on how to apply. The Expression of Interest involves completing a short online form capturing your key interests and contact information so we can keep in contact with you.

Expressions of Interest are now open for the DESE Graduate Program.

Applying for our Graduate Program

Applications for the 2022 Graduate Program will open mid-year 2021.

To apply for the 2022 DESE Graduate program you will need to submit an application via our online recruitment system, upload your resume and respond by submitting a one-page (500 word) pitch.

If you would like to be notified when applications open, submit an Expression of Interest or return to the APSJobs website regularly and select the Department of Education, Skills and Employment to view the latest opportunities.

Our recruitment process

When applications formally open (mid-year 2021), the first step in the application process is to submit your application by the due date when applications open. You will be advised at each stage of the process if you have progressed further. 

The recruitment process involves a range of assessments which may include:

  • psychometric and cognitive online assessment
  • video interview
  • attendance at assessment centres (face to face or virtual) including research and presentation task
  • reference check.

To apply for the Specialist career streams you will need to explore each career stream above on our website to learn more, including how to apply.