National Graduate Program

Our employment programme for recent university graduates.

We offer university graduates an opportunity to start their career with us on our graduate programme.

Applications for our 2017 National Graduate Program intake will open shortly. We'll provide key dates and programme updates on this page when available.

About the program

We look for enthusiastic, qualified graduates who have a strong analytical and communication skills for our National Graduate Program. Our programme offers you an opportunity to start your career at one of the biggest and most diverse Australian Government departments.

On our programme we offer you professional development opportunities, mentoring and the chance to help design, develop and deliver policies and programmes that affect the majority of Australians.

Our 10 month programme includes

  • guaranteed advancement to an APS5 role upon completion
  • specialised training
  • accredited learning
  • access to a Senior Executive Service mentor
  • exposure to Australia’s diverse communities, including the unique opportunity of our Outbound Journey and the Indigenous and Multicultural Placements

Read more about our programme’s elements.


As well as being enthusiastic, highly qualified and having strong analytical and communication skills we’re looking for graduates who are committed to helping Australians. As the face of Australian Government services we change lives. We also reach 99% of Australians over their lifetime. We want you to become the potential leaders in the Australian Public Service.

To be eligible for our programme, you must:

  • be an Australian citizen
  • be willing to relocate if required, and
  • have completed a minimum of an Australian recognised bachelor degree in the last 3 years
  • have achieved a postgraduate degree within the same timeframe - you can apply while still studying as long as you will have graduated by the time you start in the programme

Learn more about our programme requirements including skill and degree requisites.

Development opportunities

We offer you a range of development opportunities, from formal to informal training, to accredited training.

Learn more about our programme elements and your opportunities to grow and develop.

Employment conditions

Our employment conditions are outlined in our Enterprise Agreement and supporting policies.

Key employment conditions include

  • a starting salary of:
    • $56,069 at the Graduate APS Pay point 1 if you have a single bachelor degree
    • $62,493 Graduate APS Pay point 2 if you have an Information and Communication Technology degree in the Information and Communication Technology Professional Pathway, multiple degrees, Honours or postgraduate qualifications
  • 23 days annual leave
  • 15.4% superannuation contributions
  • 14 weeks paid maternity leave and 2 weeks paid parental leave

Read more about our employment conditions and our Enterprise Agreement. Our new Enterprise Agreement is currently being negotiated and may change conditions above.

Indigenous graduates

For our National Graduate Program 2017 intake recruitment process, a Special Measures application process will be open only to applicants who are Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander or both. 

The aim of the Special Measures application process is to increase Indigenous representation in our workforce.

After you confirm your Indigenous heritage, you’ll have access to a support officer for the application process to ensure culturally appropriate support mechanisms are used.

Read more about how our programme is suited for Indigenous graduate applicants.

Graduates with Disability

Our National Graduate Program participates in the Australian Public Service RecruitAbility scheme. The initiative is to support the employment of people with disability.

Read more about RecruitAbility and the opportunities we offer for people with disability.

Workplace diversity and our culture

We strongly support workplace diversity and value the contribution of people from diverse backgrounds. To foster and maintain the benefits of a diverse workforce and the contributions people from different backgrounds bring, we maintain a number of memberships with relevant not for profit employer organisations.

We also value a culture where we support each other to deliver quality government outcomes and services, and where we respect one another. Our relationships and spirit of unity underpin our success and we’re proud to work for the department. We want you to be proud to work for us too.

Read more about how we manage workplace diversity and inclusion.

Meet our graduates

Learn more about the experiences you could have on our programme and meet our previous graduates.

Visit this page regularly for updates or connect with us on Facebook.

Page last updated: 5 February 2016

This information was printed Sunday 14 February 2016 from It may not include all of the relevant information on this topic. Please consider any relevant site notices at when using this material.