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Graduate Development Program

Our Graduate Development Program is for university undergraduates interested in a career in the Australian Public Service (APS).

Why join our department?

We offer graduates the opportunity to work in a department that supports economic growth and job creation for all Australians. We:

  • boost Australia’s competitiveness and economic transformation by backing business, science, innovation and investment
  • deliver policies and programs to reduce emissions, increase renewable energy uptake and help Australia adapt to climate change
  • rely on building strong relationships between businesses, entrepreneurs, employees, the science community, government, regulators and international partners

See what our graduates say

Read the video transcript.

Program benefits

The program gives you an opportunity to build on and use the skills you have gained during university through work that benefits Australians.

It offers:

  • a structured 12-month training and development program
  • 2 work placements to experience diverse roles and responsibilities across the department
  • starting salary of $67,094 plus 15.4% superannuation
  • advancement to APS 5 (current salary of $77,913 plus 15.4% superannuation) once you successfully complete the program
  • an optional 6-month career transition support after the program with tailored professional development activities

Program format

Our 12-month program provides on-the-job learning, formal training and networking opportunities.

We understand and appreciate that diverse experiences, backgrounds and insights help us deliver to the public and government. You can contribute your unique skills by applying for all or any of our program streams.

Generalist stream

We accept all disciplines of study. Our graduates come from a range of backgrounds, including economics, arts, commerce, public policy and administration, law and international relations.

STEM stream

The APS is looking for graduates with qualifications in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM). Our department is leading the APS Graduate STEM stream, enabling you to apply for STEM graduate roles with us as well as other agencies in 2021.

Graduates in this stream will have the opportunity to work across multiple STEM fields such as:

  • women in STEM
  • international and national space negotiations and agreements
  • earth observations
  • robotics
  • neuromorphic engineering
  • chemical and biological analysis
  • electro technology

STEM graduates can also participate in APS networking events.

Professional services streams

We are also looking for graduates with an academic background in:

  • ICT
  • finance
  • law
  • communications/marketing
  • human resources (HR)

Graduates in these streams undertake work placements in their area of expertise.


During our program you will experience:

  • the opportunity to collaborate with other graduates on a major project tackling real-life policy issues
  • soft and technical skills training and on-the-job learning throughout the program

In addition, we’ll provide you with:

  • relocation assistance if you’re moving to Canberra
  • a buddy to help you transition to Canberra and the workplace
  • an extensive induction program so you can hit the ground running
  • a dedicated team who is here for you throughout the recruitment process and program


To apply, you must:

  • be an Australian citizen
  • have completed a minimum 3 year undergraduate degree within the last 5 years
  • be able to obtain and maintain a baseline security clearance
  • be prepared to relocate to Canberra

If your degree is from an overseas university, the National Office of Overseas Skill Recognition must recognise the qualification.

If you are applying for one of the professional service streams, you should hold a formal qualification in the relevant area.

Application process

Online applications are now open and will close 6 May 2020.

Apply for any of our graduate opportunities:

From there, the process may include:

  • a written pitch that shows your interest in working with us
  • an assessment centre with a group based activity, written task, and presentation
  • referee checks
  • an additional short phone or video interview for those applying through specialist streams

HR graduates can apply through the APS HR Graduate Development Program website.

Connect with us

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Last updated: 27 July 2020

Content ID: 811