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2023 DESE Graduate Program - Register of Interest

The Department of Education, Skills and Employment contributes to Australia’s economic prosperity and social wellbeing by creating opportunities and driving better outcomes for people, through education, skills and employment pathways.

Our graduate program is a great way for you to transition from education to employment. We know firsthand the significance of this milestone and you’ll find our graduate program connects you to friendly, experienced professionals who will help you apply your skills and knowledge as you start your career pathway in life.

Creating opportunities through education, skills and employment is at the heart of our department’s purpose. Join us as we work to implement transformative government policies and programs and draw on the best research and evidence to improve education and employment outcomes for Australians.

Our work is as diverse and meaningful offering you many ways to use your degree in ways you never could have imagined? Join us!

What we offer

The department offers a ten-month graduate program to those with Higher Education (university) qualifications. Successfully completing the Program will help you apply your skills and build on your experience for a fulfilling career in the Australian Public Service (APS). Our Graduate Program runs from February to December 2023.


Located in Canberra, the Graduate Program offers:

  • two diverse work placements which provide the opportunity to work on a variety of programs and policies developed and implemented by the department
  • a supportive, inclusive, and flexible working environment
  • on-the-job experience
  • extensive learning and development opportunities, including a Graduate Certificate in Public Administration 
  • various opportunities to be involved in a wide range of networks and fundraising events.

When you join the Graduate Program you also get:

  • relocation assistance to move to Canberra
  • permanent ongoing employment in the Australian Public Service
  • career progression from APS level 3.1 to APS Level 4.1 on successful completion of the program
  • an Employee Assistance Program for wellbeing and career support
  • support from buddy/alumni
  • a dedicated Graduate Sponsor passionate about seeing you thrive.

You have what it takes! Join us.

A diverse range of opportunities

Our work is broad and requires people with all types of qualifications, which is why it is so important that we encourage as many applications as possible to our DESE Graduate Program. Join us! For the 2023 Graduate Program, the department will offer mainstream positions and a number of specialist career streams including Economics, Finance, Data, STEM and Legal.

We strive to create a workforce that reflects the diversity of the Australian community and welcome applications from Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, people from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds, and people with disability, regardless of sex, sexuality or gender identity.

The department seeks to attract enthusiastic and motivated people, who are passionate about driving better outcomes for people through education, skills and employment. This important work contributes to Australia’s prosperity and social wellbeing—it makes a difference. 

Education and jobs are central to Australia’s COVID-19 recovery and our department has a big program of work to deliver. We are encouraging applications from people with a broad range of skills. If you’re not sure about the relevance of your qualifications to the work of the department, you are encouraged to apply.

Specialist career streams

The department also worked collaboratively with other agencies through the Australian Government Graduate Program (AGGP) to recruit talented individuals through other specialty graduate and entry level programs. Applications for the AGGP specialty streams are closed but this does not preclude you from submitting an application to the 2023 DESE Graduate Program. 

For DESE’s 2023 Graduate Program, the department will offer mainstream positions and a number of specialist career streams including Economics, Finance, Data and Legal. 


To be eligible for the 2023 Department of Education, Skills and Employment Graduate Program, you will be required to:

  • Be an Australian Citizen or going to be granted Australian citizenship by January 2023 and be able to provide evidence of this.
  • Have successfully completed a Bachelor degree or higher within the five years prior to the start date of the 2023 Graduate Program. You will be required to provide evidence of completion before the start of the program.
  • Obtain and maintain a valid Australian Government Baseline security clearance
  • Relocate to Canberra for the commencement of the program if the position requires you to do so
  • Satisfy the relevant medical check (if required for the position).

Some career streams will have additional or slightly different requirements. Visit for more information.

Feedback from past Graduates

‘I am working on the implementation of the New Employment Services Trial across different regions of Australia. This work directly feeds into the design of the New Employment Services (NESM) model, which rolls out nationwide to support Australians looking for work! Compared to previous work I’ve done in the private sector; I feel like the work I do here creates something important for the wider community.
This work requires people who are adaptable, have a good attention to detail and can self-manage. A genuine interest in the issue of unemployment and how government can create solutions that help people is a must.’ 
- Kate, Graduate (2020)

My job as a Policy Officer and Secretariat Support to the Coalition of Australian Governments (COAG) Skills Council is all about providing logistical support for senior skills officials and skills ministers’ meetings. This includes liaising with venues and jurisdictional staff. And I get to travel around the country to provide on-site support. Seeing Ministers in action is pretty impressive! (And I am so lucky I work with an amazing team!) But in this role, the degree you have isn’t as important as your work ethic so if you don’t know what to do after graduation joining a graduate program like this is a great way to find what you want to do.’ 
- Kristine, Graduate (2019)

Recruitment and Application Process 

The Department welcomes applications from all degree disciplines for our program. The Department will offer mainstream positions and a number of specialist career streams including Economics, Finance, STEM, Data and Legal. These specialist career streams will have slightly different requirements. Career streams are designed to give graduates the opportunity to be placed in areas relevant to their qualifications and career of choice and engage in relevant specific learning and development (and/or additional qualifications). 

Applying for our Graduate Program

Register your interest in the DESE Graduate Program and be the first to be notified when applications open mid-year.  

Our recruitment process

The recruitment process involves a range of assessments which may include:

  • psychometric and cognitive online assessment
  • video interview
  • attendance at assessment centres (face to face or virtual) including an interview, group activity, research and written task 
  • reference check.

2023 Graduate Program – Affirmative Measures, Disability 

  • This Affirmative Measure vacancy is open only to people with disability. The purpose of employing staff under this measure is to improve employment outcomes for people with disability, and to ensure that the diversity of the APS workforce reflects that of the Australian community.
  • The definition of disability for the purposes of the affirmative measure is outlined here.
  • People with disability can request workplace modifications or reasonable adjustments to assist you to apply for positions, participate in the recruitment process, and with your daily job. They are aimed at removing barriers for people with disability and provide the tools and equipment to undertake their job in the best way possible.
  • You can discuss your needs with the position’s contact officer if you think you may require reasonable adjustment during the recruitment process. 
  • To find our more about the 2023 DESE Graduate Program, email [email protected].

For more information

If you would like to learn more about DESE’s Graduate Program including our Affirmative Measures, Disability placements, please email [email protected] and we’ll be in touch with more information. 

We look forward to welcoming you to DESE.

Closed a month ago
Closed a month ago
  • Job type:Graduate Jobs
  • Disciplines:

    Accounting, Actuary, Administration, Arts and Humanities,

  • Work rights:

    Australian Citizen

  • Work from home:

    Hybrid remote

    Hybrid remote

    Employees are allowed to work remotely some of the time but most of the work is done at the company’s physical office. Remote work is considered a perk or a privilege. For example, an employee may work from home for 1-2 days per week.

  • Locations:







    Feb 2023 (approx)

  • Program Duration

    10 Months

  • Closing Date:31st May 2022, 1:30 pm


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