Career Starter Program

Career Starter Program

Recently completed Year 12? Looking to get a competitive edge over your peers?

The Career Starter Program is an award winning, entry level program coordinated by the Department of Finance that allows participants to build skills on the job, learn through structured training and work as part of a team.

This program will recruit for various Australian Government departments and agencies. More details on the participating departments and agencies will become available in due course.

As a Career Starter, you will have a full-time permanent job with a competitive starting salary in the Australian Public Service (APS).

To be eligible, you must:

  • have completed your Year 12 certificate in 2019 or completing it in 2020
  • be an Australian citizen or going to be granted Australian citizenship by November 2020 and be able to provide evidence of this
  • be able to obtain and maintain a Baseline security clearance.

The program includes:

  • Statement of Attainment of a Certificate IV in Government. Training sessions include:
    • transition into corporate life
    • writing skills for the Australian Public Service
    • application and interview skills
    • essentials of project management
    • policy development
  • quarterly networking events
  • a 'buddy' from the previous years' program or similar

You will receive lots of support throughout the program from supervisors, colleagues, the HR team and your 'buddy'.

Your role may include:

  • project assistance and contribution
  • administrative support
  • providing advice to stakeholders
  • drafting basic reports
  • undertaking research
  • general and routine processing.

What's in it for you?

  • permanent job with the Department of Finance or another participating department or agency (interstate candidates may be required to relocate to Canberra. There may be potential for positions within other locations, subject to vacancies within some participating agencies)
  • starting salary of $48,019* (APS Level 1)
  • advancement opportunity to the APS Level 2 (salary increase to $55,138*)
  • four weeks paid leave per year
  • superannuation of 15.4 per cent (above superannuation guarantee of 9.5 per cent).

*Salaries are for Department of Finance positions only; salaries for positions within other participating departments will vary.

Application process

Applications for the 2021 Career Starter Program opens on Monday 27 July 2020 and will close Sunday 9 August 2020 at 11:30pm (AEST).

The recruitment process

  1. submit your resume online by clicking Apply Now below (from 27 July 2020)
  2. complete a short online assessment
  3. participate in a video interview and complete a virtual work sample test
  4. attend a virtual panel interview (during October school holidays)

More information

For more information please download the:

Information session

We will host two Virtual Candidate Information Sessions via GovTEAMS for participants to learn more about the recruitment process, the Career Starter Program, hear from current Career Starters and to ask any questions that you may have.

Please join us at one of the sessions detailed below:

  1. Thursday 30 July 2020 at 5:00pm – 6:00pm. Click to join the session online at the time and date stated.

  2. Thursday 6 August 2020 at 12:00pm – 1:00pm. Click to join the session online at the time and date stated.

Apply Now!

Contact us

About The Department of Finance

The department is a central agency of the Australian Government. We play a key role in assisting the Government to shape and deliver its priorities focusing on ensuring government funded programs are effective, sustainable and reflect best value to government and the Australian community.

A job at Finance gives you exposure to a variety of work that will challenge you and build valuable capabilities for a career in the APS.

Our work also involves:

  • supporting the delivery of the Australian Government Budget
  • collaborating with shareholders to deliver important infrastructure for Australia including Snowy Hydro 2.0, Inland Rail, Western Sydney Airport, Australian Naval Infrastructure and NBN
  • leading the modernisation of the public sector to provide better services to citizens and businesses
  • managing policy for whole of government activities such as procurement, shared services, insurance, advertising and travel
  • advising on the financial impacts, risks and merits of new policy proposals from across all Government portfolios
  • managing the Government's domestic property portfolio
  • delivering a range of tools and services to assist the work of parliamentarians and their staff
  • working with Government Business Enterprises such as the Australian Postal Corporation and Defence Housing Australia.


Undertake work with real impact on the lives of Australians. You will be involved in significant projects and see the results of your work every day.


Experience a diverse range of project based work that will develop your talents and push your career to places you never imagined.


Work with engaged people who succeed as a team. You will have the drive to work hard, deliver to the highest standards and achieve greatness as a team.


Enjoy a wide view and gain exposure to extensive networks and influencers who can help expand your career in countless directions.

About our workplace

At Finance, we recognise that our people are at the centre of the work we do and it is important that Finance staff feel valued and are happy to come to work each day. To make this a reality, we continue to build a positive, collaborative, innovative and curious culture.

Work forms only one facet of our lives. Finance supports flexibility and takes into account the diversity of employees and their individual circumstances. Our workplace has been designed to foster a mobile and collaborative style of working.

We have an inclusive workforce which attracts, retains and supports employees from all diversity groups. We believe we are stronger and more productive if we fully develop and utilise the capabilities and experiences of people from varied backgrounds.

We have seven diversity and social community related networks which contribute to the positive culture of the department. These networks are:

  • Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Staff Network.
  • Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Intersex Plus Network.
  • Ability Network.
  • Gender Equity Network.
  • Emerging Leader’s Network.
  • Culturally and Linguistically Diverse Network
  • Social Club

We support flexible working arrangements and can provide support for you to continue your studies part time.

Our modern head office in Forrest, ACT, includes a free on-site gym, open collaboration spaces and is close to cafes and walking trails.

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