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About Us

Department of Education, Skills and Employment

The Department of Education, Skills and Employment was established in February 2020 when the Department of Education was consolidated with several functions from the Department of Employment, Skills, Small and Family Business.

As the name suggests, the Department of Education, Skills and Employment, known as DESE, is responsible for the policies and programs that ensure Australians can access quality education, skills and employment and the wellbeing and economic benefits they provide. Our primary focus is to equip Australians – at all life and career stages – with knowledge, skills and attributes to live well, thrive at work and contribute to community life.

Departmental staff can find themselves doing many different things; from evaluating educational services; preparing and reskilling the future workforce; and helping people find, keep, create or change jobs to enjoy fulfilling careers. The department has committed to using a strong evidence base as the underlying basis for the development and implementation of effective education, skills and employment policies.

The department is led by a Secretary, who reports to the Minister for Education and the Minister for Employment, Skills, Small and Family Business. The department is structured into six main groups, each headed up by a deputy secretary. These are: Corporate and Enabling Services; Early Childhood and Childcare; Schools; Higher Education, Research and International; Skills and Training; and Employment.

Our culture is important to us and underpins how we work. DESE strives for a culture that positions us with the right capability, passion and pride to make a difference in delivering education and employment outcomes, which enable all Australians to thrive.

Like many employers, DESE is committed to diversity and inclusion. Our commitment is demonstrated by the size and presence of our employee-led networks. These networks, which focus on disability, LGBTIQ, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, gender equality, and cultural heritage, ¬are very active and work towards strengthening our workplace inclusiveness. DESE is a member of Pride in Diversity, Diversity Council Australia and Australian Network on Disability.

DESE also has a strong commitment to reconciliation and improving employment outcomes for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, such as through the use of the Affirmative Measures – Indigenous recruitment processes, and investment in professional development opportunities. To support our Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander staff we have the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Employee Network, and an Indigenous Liaison Officer.

DESE encourages people from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds, mature-age people, people with disability, and other job seekers regardless of their sex, sexuality or gender identity to apply.


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