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Fact sheet 6: Entry points

Get the facts

The APS offers career opportunities for people who have previously worked in the private, community or other government sectors. In addition, for people just beginning their careers, or developing new skills to change jobs, the APS offers entry points for:

  • school leavers
  • trainees
  • cadets
  • graduates

School leaver programmes, traineeships and cadetships are generally appointed at the APS 1-2 level, while graduates are appointed at the APS 3-4 level (see fact sheet 3 for information on levels).

In most cases, agencies run their own programmes annually, advertising in newspapers, the APS Employment Gazette (www.APSjobs.gov.au) or on agency websites during the middle or end of the calendar year.

You may be asked to complete an application kit, including addressing selection criteria (see fact sheet 5 for information on selection criteria). If your application is successful, you may be invited to an interview or assessment centre as part of the selection process. Fact sheet 9 will give you more advice on this.

If you are an Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander, you may also be interested in Indigenous career pathways for trainees, cadets and graduates. Fact sheet 7 will give you more advice on this.

In the know…tips and hints

Find out which agency best suits your skills and interests. For a list of agencies go to www.australia.gov.au/portfolios.

In the know…tips and hints

We look for people with a wide range of qualifications including law, economics, finance, psychology, international studies, policy and public administration to name a few.

Find out more

What is a school leaver programme?

These programmes are for people who have recently completed Year 12. They may include work placements within various areas of the agency, and provide good learning and development opportunities to begin your career. In some cases, the agency may also support you through tertiary study if it relates to your work.

If you can’t work out the type of job you want, go to www.jobjuice.gov.au, or www.skillsforthefuture.gov.au.

What are traineeships?

Traineeships are suitable for school leavers, TAFE graduates, or people already working. They usually involve work experience with an agency, and the opportunity to gain a formal qualification.

What is the difference between cadetships and graduate programmes?

Cadetships recruit university students to start working while they finish their degree. They generally involve full-time study, with work placements during study breaks, allowing you to begin developing your professional skills. In most cases agencies provide some form of financial assistance towards your study.

If you have graduated, you may wish to consider a graduate programme. Over the course of a year, the agency will give you on-the-job training and professional development opportunities.

Cadetships and graduate programmes provide excellent opportunities to start putting your skills into practice, learn new skills, undertake professional development and begin building your future career.

We look for people with a wide range of qualifications including law, economics, finance, psychology, international studies, policy and public administration to name a few.

Myth vs reality: You can only apply for traineeships, cadetships and graduate programmes if you are young

With the general exception of school leaver programmes, age is not a factor when applying for APS jobs. It is about your skills, experience, and capacity to perform the requirements of the job.

Myth vs reality: You need a good UAI to get into the APS

The University Admissions Index (UAI) applies to entry to university, and is not required when applying for APS jobs. For some jobs, it may be beneficial to provide a copy of your university transcript when applying for jobs, such as cadetships, graduate programmes or jobs which relate directly to areas you have studied. For other jobs, this will not be the case. Also, there are a number of entry pathways into the APS, and having a degree is not always necessary.