26 March 2023

Applications open for next APS graduate intake

| Chris Johnson
Start the conversation

The APS has opened applications for its graduate program.

Applications for the Australian Public Service’s graduate program are open for the next round of placements.

Graduates can apply to specific agencies or for whole-of-government placements where they gain experiences in a certain stream across numerous departments.

They can apply for one or more streams.

The 10 streams in the Australian Government Graduate Program are generalist, STEM, accounting and finance, HR, intelligence, Indigenous Graduate Pathway, digital, legal, data, and economist.

The government’s website encourages graduates to apply for a career pathway unique to their own professional interests.

“Find your fit with graduate roles available in a range of different government departments and agencies,” it states.

READ ALSO Reform and integrity, the two words always on the lips of the APS leadership right now

“As a graduate with the Australian Government, you’ll do meaningful work that impacts the lives of every Australian. Help shape the future in a constantly evolving world.

“Whatever your area of study, there are opportunities to apply your interests and use your skills right across the Australian Government.”

A graduate portal on the APS website can be found here.

The graduate program is a much sought-after and highly competitive entry into the APS.

It pays good starting salaries and provides structured professional training for new graduates.

But in recent years some anomalies have appeared in the program’s cycle.

For instance, applicant numbers for the graduate intake at the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) dropped by more than a quarter for the 2023 program.

Normally receiving well above 2000 applications each year, this year’s program fell to 1484, down from 2052 in 2022.

In 2020, application numbers for the department’s graduate program reached 2807.

While no official explanation of the decrease is offered, the pandemic is blamed for many of the peaks and troughs of graduate intake applications across all APS departments in recent years.

READ ALSO Tell ’em they’re dreamin’! Minister rejects CPSU’s 20 per cent wage bid

But with DFAT, delays in security vetting also resulted in a number of graduates initially provisionally accepted into this year’s program having their placement offers withdrawn.

An email sent to what the department described as a “small number” of candidates explained why they were ultimately rejected.

“Unfortunately, due to the deadline to security clear the graduate cohort your clearance process has been ceased,” the email stated.

“This is not a detrimental outcome, as there has been no decision made regarding your suitability to hold a security clearance.

“Due to the time constraints we are unable to progress your clearance, however, this does not stop you from reapplying for next year’s graduate program or other APS graduate programs.

“The government offers `meaningful work from day one’ that will recognise successful applicants’ perspectives.

“We need people from a wide range of disciplines so it doesn’t matter what you have studied, the Australian Government has unrivalled opportunities for you to hone your skills.”

The statement continues: “The opportunity is there for you to craft your own career in policy development, delivery, implementation, and corporate roles.

“Seize the opportunity to pursue your interests in an organisation that will give you the chance to employ your skills and capabilities to do important work.

“See the impact of your efforts, and enjoy a life where work is just one important facet of what you do and who you are.”

Depending on the department, applications for the 2024 Australian Public Service’s graduate program close for various agencies between the first and last weeks of April.

Start the conversation

Daily Digest

Want the best Canberra news delivered daily? Every day we package the most popular Riotact stories and send them straight to your inbox. Sign-up now for trusted local news that will never be behind a paywall.

By submitting your email address you are agreeing to Region Group's terms and conditions and privacy policy.