Overview of the programme

Graduating this year? Already graduated? We want you!!

The Graduate Development Programme at the Department of Industry, Innovation and Science is a great way to start your career in the Australian Public Service. Our two year programme is based in Canberra and will commence early February 2018. You will be given a 2-day induction to introduce you to your graduate group and to the department and then, after some initial training, you will start work in your first placement.

Why choose us?

We are a high performing organisation committed to investing in our people. We have a strong focus on developing our staff and providing inclusive and dynamic workplaces. We offer a large variety of work experience with four rotations through the department as part of the programme. We provide extensive and relevant learning and development opportunities, a university qualification in your second year, and guaranteed advancement to the APS5 level on successful completion of the first year of the programme.

You’ve probably seen the ads on the television and heard it talked about in the media – Australia is focusing on Innovation, and our department is leading the charge. Interested in helping innovators get funding? Want to assist research and business to work together? Feel passionate about ensuring our kids learn the skills of the future? Join us and you will get the chance to do all that and more, working on the National Innovation and Science Agenda.

If you want to work for a department that works for Australia’s future – choose your future at the Department of Industry, Innovation and Science!

The programme

The two-year programme is designed to give you the skills and capabilities required to meet the challenges of working in the Australian Public Service, including in policy development, programme management, project management and potentially as future leaders.

The first year of our programme includes on-the-job training plus tailored and targeted learning and development opportunities. You will get the chance to attend specialised sessions aimed at graduates including:

  • Foundations of Government 
  • Stakeholder Management
  • Cultural Awareness
  • Policy Development
  • Administrative Law and Decision Making
  • Strategic Thinking
  • Economics for Non-Economists
  • Team Building

Want to make a real difference in your workplace? In your first year and as part of your development, you will undertake the Graduate Major Project. Major Project graduate groups tackle real-life policy issues which they then present to the department’s Executive Board at the end of the year. The Major Project provides our graduates with exposure to industry stakeholders and executive. Findings from the Major Project are used to inform future processes and policy needs within the department.

In the second year of the programme you will be supported to undertake either a Graduate Certificate in Management or Economics. The Graduate Certificate is currently delivered by University of Canberra’s Institute for Governance and Policy Analysis.

Ok, I’m interested. What else should I know?

So you want to make a difference and you like what our graduate programme offers. Let us make your decision easy - if you choose your future with us, we will also offer you;

  • relocation assistance if you are located interstate
  • advancement to the APS 5 level on successful completion of the first year of the programme
  • four varied work placements
  • flexible working arrangements
  • dedicated departmental support
  • a previous graduate as a buddy
  • ongoing learning and development opportunities after the programme


If you are successful in gaining a position in our programme, you may be placed in one of three different pathways. There are Generalist graduates, ICT graduates and Accounting graduates. All pathways undertake the same learning and development opportunities and will have exposure to different aspects of their field through rotations. You can apply for one or more pathways in the one application.

Major project

Our graduates get to work together in teams in their first year on a project of significant importance to the department. Our major projects tackle real-life policy issues and give you the opportunity to directly engage with the department’s stakeholders.

As part of a high-performing self-managed project team, you’ll:

  • develop recommendations to potentially inform policy and/or programme delivery
  • liaise with local and interstate industry associations, businesses and skills and training providers
  • build your practical skills, knowledge of government and career development
  • be mentored by senior executives while undertaking your Major Project
  • present your findings to the Department’s Executive

Topics from previous years have included:

  • innovation and gas supply
  • digital skills development in the department
  • understanding how leading organisations support innovation
  • understanding the sharing economy
  • the rise of crowdfunding
  • protecting regional branding in Australia and overseas
  • incorporating design thinking into Australia public sector approaches
  • improving collaboration between researchers and the Australian Public Service
  • sustaining the resources investment pipeline through increased productivity
  • critical commodities: unlocking Australia's potential

Graduate Certificate

In the second year of the programme (2019), you will be supported to study and gain a Graduate Certificate in either Management or Economics as part of your capability development.  Having a formal post-graduate qualification in the second year will enable you to have the theoretical knowledge as well as the capability to perform at higher levels for future public sector and leadership roles within the department and the Australian Public Service. You will be required to choose which of these two qualifications you wish to undertake at the end of the first year of the programme.

Have you got more questions than answers?

Contact us
(02) 6213 6501