School Leaver Program

Applications for the 2024 intake are now CLOSED. Check back mid 2024 for information about the 2025 application process

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 job with a competitive salary, paid holidays and superannuation.

You’ll build your skills on the job at one of the many Australian Government departments and agencies participating in the program. And if you find you love the meaningful work, you can stay on and continue your career in the Australian Public Service (APS).

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’s the program?

  • If you’re successful, you’ll have a permanent, full-time job at the APS1 level in one of the government departments and agencies listed below.
  • While you’re working, you’ll study for a Certificate IV in Government or Human Resources.
  • You’ll be part of a supportive team, with a dedicated supervisor and ‘buddies’ from previous years’ participants.
  • There’ll be regular networking events with other school leavers.
  • And after the 12-month program, 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 current or previous year
  • be an Australian citizen (or be granted Australian citizenship before November of the current year)
  • undergo security and police checks.

Click the portraits to read previous School Leaver's thoughts on the program

One application, multiple opportunities

With one application you can apply for a job in human resources, a generalist role or both. There are also specific application pathways for Indigenous applicants and those living with disability.

You’ll let us know what type of work you’re interested in, the department or agency where you’d like to work, and in which location – although most positions are based in Canberra.

There are a number of stages in the selection process, including a written application, a video interview and participation in a group assessment.

Check back here to see when our online information sessions for the 2025 process will be held.

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

More questions?

Contact the School Leaver Program:

Phone: 02 6215 1717

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How to Apply

Applications are now CLOSED . Please check back mid 2024 for the 2025 application process.

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

This is a list of Agencies participating in the 2024 Program. Please check back mid-2024 for an updated list of Agencies participating in the 2025 Program.

  • Australian Bureau of Statistics
  • Australian Communications and Media Authority
  • Australian Electoral Commission
  • Australian Criminal Intelligence Commission
  • Australian Signals Directorate
  • Australian Trade and Investment Commission (Austrade)
  • Australian Taxation Office
  • Bureau of Meteorology
  • Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry
  • Department of Climate Change, Energy, the Environment and Water
  • Department of Defence
  • Department of Education
  • Department of Employment and Workplace Relations
  • Department of Finance
  • Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade
  • 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 Social Services
  • Department of Treasury
  • Department of Veterans' Affairs
  • High Speed Rail Authority
  • Murray Darling Basin Authority
  • National Capital Authority
  • National Indigenous Australians Agency
  • Office of National Intelligence
  • Safe Work Australia

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