School Leaver Program

Applications for the 2025 program will open on Wednesday 07 August and close on Wednesday 28 August 2024

Finishing Year 12 and looking to get a head start on your career?

The Australian Government School Leaver Program is a 12-month career development program. It’s a full-time, permanent role with a competitive salary, paid holidays and superannuation.

You’ll build skills on the job at one of the many Australian Government departments and agencies participating in the program.

The program builds on the success of the Department of Finance’s Career Starter Program and the APS HR Profession’s Human Resources (HR) School Leaver Program that you may have heard about in previous years.

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What is the program?

  • If you’re successful, you’ll have a permanent, full-time role at the APS1 level in one of the participating government departments and agencies
  • While you’re working, you’ll study for a Certificate IV in Government or Human Resources
  • You’ll be part of a supportive team and a dedicated supervisor.
  • There’ll be regular networking events with other school leavers from across our participating departments and agencies
  • On successful completion of your program year, you’ll have the opportunity to advance to the APS2 level.

Who’s eligible?

You will need to:

  • have completed a Year 12 certificate (or equivalent) in the current or previous year
  • be an Australian citizen (or be granted Australian citizenship before November of the current year)
  • undergo security and police checks.

The program has provided me with job specific experience and opportunities to work in diverse roles while gaining a formal qualification. I’ve gained highly transferable skills sought after across the APS. I’ve also gained insight into areas I would like to specialise in.

- Emily

This was the best decision I could have made in terms of my career. I struggled throughout high school to work out what it was I wanted to study or do for a living. Now I have a stable job that I enjoy thoroughly and will be starting university next semester.

- Anna

The program has been excellent for developing my skills in the workplace through on-the-job training and given me a great head start in my career before I commence study. I have explored several areas of my agency and developed key networks with colleagues and mentors.

- Mitchell

Being a School Leaver was an unforgettable experience. My APS agency and mentors were there to help me transition into a professional working environment and support my learning goals. I’ve met like-minded individuals and developed a unique network with my peers, some of which have since become lasting friendships.

- Shenaya

One application, multiple opportunities

With one application you can apply for a job in one of these four different work areas:

Human Resources – people management including recruitment, learning and development, payroll, work health and safety, case support and workforce planning.

Customer and Service Delivery – Roles in this category have a higher level of interaction with people. Working with internal and external stakeholders across many different areas of business, some examples of roles are call centre, help desk and concierge.

Programs Project or Policy – work to support the policy objectives of the Government of the day and learn how the public service achieves this. This could include managing a training calendar or database, providing administrative support for a large policy division, receive, dispatch and record correspondence or providing executive support within a branch.

Professional and Technical Areas – IT, data or financial management. Positions might involve visiting sites to install devices, assisting with virtual infrastructure for online meetings, supporting a team buying goods or services using government money, administrative work assessing commercial bids from businesses and communicating with them on commercial decisions. 

You’ll let us know what type of work you’re interested in, the department or agency where you’d like to work, and your location preference. Most positions are based in Canberra with some departments and agencies also offering limited positions in Brisbane, Cairns, Darwin, Geelong, Melbourne, Perth, Sydney. There are a number of stages in the selection process, including a written application, a video interview and participation in a group assessment.

Affirmative Measures

We are committed to creating an inclusive and diverse workforce and value the unique perspectives that each person brings.
We strongly encourage applications from First Nations people and individuals with disability.

For more information or if you require any adjustments or support during the recruitment process, please let us know and we will be happy to assist.

Want to know more?

To find out more about the program and how to apply, please attend one of our upcoming live information sessions.

The Schedule for our information sessions is below and can be accessed using this Microsoft Teams link

Thursday 01 August 4.00-4.30pm AEST
Thursday 08 August 4.00-4.30pm AEST
Thursday 15 August 4.00-4.30pm AEST
Thursday 22 August 4.00-4.30pm AEST

Click here to find out more about how rewarding it is to be working in the APS.

How to Apply

Applications will open on Wednesday 07 August and close on Wednesday 28 August 2024

To apply, you’ll need answer questions about why you’re interested in the program and upload your resume.

We want to know about you school experience and extra-curricular activities such as part-time or casual work, involvement in clubs, sport and any other achievements you’d like to share.

Participating agencies

The following is a list of agencies who have signed up to participate in the 2025 program. If you are interested to understand more about the type of work the agency or department is responsible for, feel free to visit their respective websites. This can help you to build a better understanding of whether the Australian Government is the right fit for you.

  • Australian Bureau of Statistics
  • Australian Electoral Commission
  • Australian Submarine Agency
  • Australian Taxation Office
  • Defence
  • Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry
  • Department of Climate Change, Energy, the Environment and Water
  • Department of Education
  • Department of Employment and Workplace Relations
  • Department of Finance
  • Department of Health and Aged Care
  • Department of Home Affairs
  • Department of Industry, Science and Resources
  • Department of Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development, Communications and the Arts
  • Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet
  • Department of Veterans’ Affairs
  • Department of the Treasury
  • National Indigenous Australians Agency
  • Office of National Intelligence

More questions?

Contact the Australian Government School Leaver Program team:

Phone: 02 6215 1717

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