Five Australian Government departments and agencies are participating in the 2021 Australian Government Graduate Recruitment program (Generalist stream), seeking graduates from a range of disciplines to work in policy and implementation roles.
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Five Australian Government departments and agencies are participating in the 2021 Australian Government Graduate Recruitment program (Generalist stream), seeking graduates from a range of disciplines to work in policy and implementation roles. These include public policy, arts, sciences, humanities, law, international relations, media, communications, design, accounting, finance, etc.
With a single application and assessment process, you will be considered for graduate roles at five APS agencies. Successful candidates will be offered a role with a graduate program at one of the agencies.
If you are looking for the opportunity to work on contemporary policy and services that make a difference to the lives of Australians, this is the opportunity for you.
The five agencies are:
Australian Electoral Commission (AEC)
The AEC is an independent statutory authority established by the Australian Government to maintain an impartial and independent electoral system for eligible voters through active electoral roll management, efficient delivery of polling services, and targeted education and public awareness programs.
Australian Public Service Commission (APSC)
The APSC is responsible for providing advice to the Government on the APS; providing advice on strategic people management; supporting the implementation of Government policy; contributing to effective APS leadership and evaluating and reporting on the performance of the APS.
Department of Finance (Finance)
Finance is a central agency of the Australian Government, who plays an important role in assisting government across a wide range of policy areas to ensure its outcomes are met. Finance supports the government’s ongoing priorities through the Budget process and fosters leading practice through the public sector resource management, governance and accountability frameworks.
Department of Veterans’ Affairs (DVA)
DVA delivers government programs for war veterans, serving and former serving members of the Australian Defence Force, Australian Federal Police and their families.
National Indigenous Australians Agency (NIAA)
NIAA is committed to implementing the Government’s policies and programs to improve the lives of all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples. NIAA works to influence policy across the entire
Graduate Program Structure
As a Generalist stream graduate, you will join a graduate program at one of the five participating APS agencies. Each agency runs its own graduate program, with each program having its own unique features.
Generally, a graduate program will consist of 2-3 work rotations, formal training and networking opportunities. It will also generally provide an automatic promotion upon successful completion.
Pay and Advancement
Graduates will start at an APS 3 or APS 4 level, depending on the agency they join. All APS employees are provided with 15.4% superannuation.
Graduates at the five participating agencies will be based in Canberra. If you currently live interstate, you will be given relocation assistance by your hiring agency, which usually covers temporary accommodation and relocation expenses.
Each year, a large number of graduates relocate to Canberra to start graduate programs across the APS. Your graduate cohort and the APS-wide Social Network of Graduates can assist with developing new networks.
Besides a minimum of a completed undergraduate degree, we are looking for people who are adaptable, positive, and willing to learn and innovate. The APS offers challenges in a flexible and fast-paced environment, and seeks people who are keen to serve in the public interest.
Working for the APS provides opportunities to make a difference to the lives of Australian residents and citizens. Governments aim to work for the greater good of society, not to generate a profit. If you want to feel like you are working for a bigger cause, the APS may be a good choice. The APS provides a wide range of job and career options, from policy making, legal advocacy and administration to data analytics, IT, HR and marketing. There is also the opportunity for movement between government agencies which are located nationwide.
The APS provides good benefits, including comfortable offices, flexible hours and above average superannuation. All APS staff are required to embody the APS Values of being impartial, committed to service, accountable, respectful and ethical. These values are set out in the Public Service Act 1999, which governs the operation of the APS.
The Australian Public Service (APS) is committed to providing employment opportunities and workplace equality to all diversity groups, including Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders, disabled, LGBTI, women, and multi-cultural. Many government departments and agencies have volunteer groups that promote and offer support to various diversity groups.
Examples of these groups include Gender Equality Networks, Aboriginal and Torres Straits Islander Networks, LGBTI+ networks, and Culturally and Linguistically Diverse Networks.
Affirmative measures – Indigenous
The APS supports the employment of Indigenous people via affirmative measures recruitment. The Australian Public Service Commissioner's Directions 2016 work with the provisions of the Racial Discrimination Act 1975 to enable agency heads to put in place affirmative measures to identify particular vacancies as open only to Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander applicants.
Subsection 26(2) of the Commissioner’s Directions provides that the agency head or delegate must ensure that eligible applicants:
- are of Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander descent; and
- identify as Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander; and
- are accepted by their community as being Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander.
Candidates who apply under the affirmative measure will need to meet minimum benchmarks to progress through the assessment stages.
Applicants who are shortlisted to the face-to-face stage of the recruitment process will be required to provide suitable evidence of Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander heritage. This includes:
- a letter signed by the Chairperson of an incorporated Indigenous organisation confirming that the applicant is recognised as an Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander person, or
- a confirmation of Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander descent document executed by an Indigenous organisation, or
- two statutory declarations confirming your heritage, one from yourself and another from an Indigenous APS employee or an Indigenous Service Provider such as a University Indigenous Support Unit or an Indigenous Medical Service.
For further information on affirmative measures for recruiting Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians, visit the Australian Public Service Commission website.
Affirmative measures – Disability
This affirmative measure allows a particular job in the Australian Public Service (APS) to be open only to persons who have a disability, or a particular type of disability. This affirmative measure is designed to support the employment of people with disability in the APS. Candidates who apply under this affirmative measure need to meet minimum benchmarks to progress through the assessment stages.
Eligibility of applicants
Subsection 27(2) of the Australian Public Service Commissioner’s Directions 2016 provides that the agency head or delegate must ensure that only persons with a disability are eligible. Applicants who are shortlisted to the face-to-face stage of the recruitment process will be required to provide evidence of disability.
Evidence of disability
Evidence of disability does not need to include information about the type of disability, unless the vacancy itself has been restricted to persons with a particular type of disability.
Suitable evidence of a disability includes:
- a certificate or letter from a registered medical practitioner
- a letter from a Disability Employment Service provider; or
- a letter from a secondary or tertiary institution disability services unit in relation to a recent student.
For further information on affirmative measures for recruiting people with disability, visit the Australian Public Service Commission’s website.
A vacancy advertised under RecruitAbility offers applicants an opportunity to progress to the next stage in the assessment process if they opt in to RecruitAbility and meet the minimum requirements of the role. Merit remains the basis for engagement and promotion.
Job applicants are advanced to a further stage in the selection process if they:
- opt into the scheme
- declare they have disability, and
- meet the minimum requirements of a vacancy advertised under the scheme
Applicants with disability can opt in by ticking the RecruitAbility box when applying. Regardless of whether or not an applicant opts into RecruitAbility, they will have access to reasonable adjustments.
Ordinarily, only highly suitable applicants are shortlisted for further consideration by agencies for job vacancies. In contrast, applicants under RecruitAbility can progress to the next stage in the process if they meet the minimum requirements of the role.
Applicants who are assessed as not meeting the minimum requirements for the job, regardless of their participation in RecruitAbility, are not shortlisted for further consideration.