Graduate Program

At the Department of Employment and Workplace Relations (DEWR), our purpose is to enable access to quality skills, training, and employment to support Australians to find secure work in fair, productive and safe workplaces.

On this page:

Watch the video to hear from previous Graduates at the Department of Employment and Workplace Relations.

Application Process

Our department’s work is broad and requires people with all types of qualifications. This diverse and meaningful work offers you many ways to advance your career and make a difference.

Career streams are designed to give graduates the opportunity to be placed in areas relevant to their qualifications and career of choice. You’ll have the chance to engage in relevant specific learning and development (and/or additional qualifications).

We aim to attract enthusiastic and motivated people, who are passionate about driving better outcomes for people through skills and employment. This important work makes a difference by contributing to Australia’s prosperity and social wellbeing.

Applying for our Graduate Program

Our program aims to attract people with a broad range of skills from generalists to specialists, including:

  • Finance
  • Business and Commerce
  • Economics
  • Public Policy
  • Legal
  • Arts & Humanities
  • Human Resources
  • Project Management
  • Information Systems
  • Information Technology
  • Media & Communications
  • Actuary
  • Administration
  • Data Science & Analytics
  • Digital Technology

Regardless of your background, you will engage in diverse, meaningful work and will use your skills in ways you never imagined. That’s what’s exciting about our department’s work.

Find your great at DEWR – Alwyn, 2022 Graduate

How to apply

We work collaboratively with other APS agencies to recruit talented individuals through other specialty graduate and entry level programs. These speciality graduate programs are co-ordinated centrally by AGGP.

We are a participating agency in the Data, Digital, Legal, Human Resources, Economist, Finance and Accounting, STEM streams. We also participate in Indigenous Graduate Career Pathway, including:

Applying to one of these speciality streams means you only have to go through the application and selection process for your selected speciality stream once. This one process enables you to be considered for a range of Australian Government agencies.

Wherever you start your public service career as a graduate, you’ll do meaningful work from day one with the support of a team committed to supporting you thrive. You will be asked to contribute, share your perspectives, and make a difference to the Australian community we serve.

About our department

Secure jobs are vital—driving future economic growth and providing people with certainty. We focus on connecting Australians who are starting, advancing, or changing their career with the relevant skills, knowledge and experience to gain or regain employment.

We do this by actively filling skill gaps to support Australia's economic growth by identifying industries with skill shortages. This includes emerging industries fundamental to the prosperity of individuals, businesses, and our nation. Three specialist Groups lead this work:

  • Skills and Training
  • Employment and Workforce
  • Workplace Relations

We undertake diverse work that supports people to gain the skills, knowledge and experience they need to secure employment and achieve their goals and aspirations. We need people with diverse skills to work with us. Is this you?

Our work makes a difference to the lives of all Australians, and we want you to be part of it.

Because we are all about getting people into secure and stable employment, it is also our ambition to the be the department of great jobs. Our culture is important to us and underpins how we work and interact with each other. When you join TeamDEWR, you join a team united behind our purpose—committed to harnessing the capability, passion, and pride of our people to drive better outcomes for all Australians.

Our Graduate Program

Creating opportunities through skills and secure employment is at the heart of our department’s purpose. We seek to attract enthusiastic and motivated people who are passionate and want to make a difference to the lives of all Australians.

Our graduate program is a great way for you to join the workforce after completing your degree. 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. That’s the TeamDEWR difference.

Our program

The department offers a 10-month graduate program, starting in February each year, and concluding in December of the same year. New and recent graduates with Higher Education (university) qualifications are encouraged to apply.

Located in Canberra, the 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 including the opportunity to work and learn from subject-matter experts
  • a formal learning and development program
  • various opportunities to be involved in a wide range of networks, social and fundraising events.
  • When you join the program, you also get:
    • relocation assistance to move to Canberra
    • permanent ongoing employment in the Australian Public Service (APS)
    • career progression on successful completion of the program
    • excellent employment conditions with competitive remuneration, superannuation, and employee entitlements
    • an Employee Assistance Program for wellbeing and career support
    • a dedicated Graduate Sponsor passionate about seeing you thrive.

Importantly, you will contribute to work that makes a difference while building your own skills and knowledge for a fulfilling career in the APS.

Who are we looking for?

Our work is broad and requires people with all types of qualifications. There are no limits here—we are focused on attracting graduates from all disciplines, backgrounds and abilities. Most importantly, we are looking for curious minds, open to continuous learning and keen to provide a fresh approach to how we do things.

As a member of TeamDEWR, flexibility and interpersonal skills are key attributes that we look for to help you succeed in your graduate year and beyond.

Career prospects

Successfully completing our program will open up many different career pathways in the APS.

You will emerge from the program as a strategic and innovative thinker with a comprehensive understanding of how government policies are developed, and programs implemented. You will also develop excellent communication skills, problem solving, stakeholder engagement, and research capabilities. These transferable skills are invaluable whether you remain in the APS or explore different employment options in the future.

The department offers excellent employment conditions with competitive remuneration, superannuation, and employee entitlements. Information relating to salaries is set out in our Enterprise Agreement and Determination. TeamDEWR staff have access to a wide range of allowances and many different forms of leave, also available in our Enterprise Agreement and Determination.

For more information visit our website or read the FAQs.

Find your great at DEWR – Jemma, 2022 Graduate

Why join us

When you join the Department of Employment and Workplace Relations (DEWR) Graduate Program, you become part of a graduate community. You will forge new connections with your peers and feel supported by TeamDEWR, which includes previous graduates who have successfully completed the program.

Every graduate is assigned a supervisor and a buddy to help you settle in. Our Entry Level Program team offer ongoing advice and support as you progress through the program, and we even have a Graduate Sponsor who is an advocate for our program.

Our Graduate Program is enriched by our core purpose as a department—to enable access to quality skills, training, and employment to support Australians find secure work in fair, productive and safe workplaces.

Make a difference with TeamDEWR:

  • contribute to Australia’s economic and social prosperity through access to quality skills and training
  • foster a productive and competitive labour market through policies and programs that assist job seekers into work, including secure work, and meet employer and industry needs
  • facilitate jobs growth, including secure work, through policies and programs that promote fair, productive, and safe workplaces
  • start your career in a supported environment, in a department dedicated to improving employment outcomes for all Australians
  • rotate through roles to learn about project and program delivery, policy development and enabling services
  • apply your skills in different ways, acquire new skills and learn from experienced professionals
  • undertake a formal learning and development program to complete a Graduate Certificate
  • enjoy the benefits of working in the APS, where flexibility, diversity and inclusion are embraced, and career progression is encouraged and celebrated.

Beyond the Graduate Program, there are so many opportunities in the APS. You can expect to use the skills developed in so many rewarding ways.

Our recruitment process

The first step in the application process is to submit your application and resume online by the due date when applications open. You will be advised at each stage of the process if you have progressed further.

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

  • psychometric and cognitive online assessment
  • video interview
  • attendance at an assessment centre (virtual) including an interview, written/technical task, and group activity
  • reference check.


To be eligible for our Graduate Program, you will be required to:

  • be an Australian Citizen or going to be granted Australian citizenship before you commence and be able to provide evidence of this
  • have successfully completed a Bachelor degree or higher within five years prior to the start date of the 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.
  • satisfy the relevant medical check (if required for the position).
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