2023 Graduate Development Program

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Your career starts here

Are you starting to think about your career options for 2023? You might be spending some time looking at major government departments. Have you thought about working at the Department of Social Services?

We are a small, friendly department with the important mission of improving the wellbeing of individuals and families in Australian communities.

If you are curious and inquisitive with a passion for learning, we want to hear from you.

Application Opening Times

Applications for the 2023 Graduate Development Program have now closed.

Be the first to know when we will be opening for our 2024 Graduate Development Program and submit your Expression of Interest using the link below.


Why choose us?

Our graduate program

  • the program commences in February 2023 for a duration of 10 months
  • commence at APS Level 3 and progress to APS Level 5 on successful completion of program
  • two five-month work area placements (rotations)
  • a challenging and rewarding introduction to working in government and being part of vital government initiatives
  • invitations to participate in a range of learning and development activities, networking events, and short-term placements in not-for-profit organisations, Services Australia service centres and within other Portfolio Agencies
  • starting salary of $64,930
  • superannuation contributions of 15.4%
  • 18 days of personal leave a year
  • 4 weeks annual leave

The public service offers career progression and variety, as well as excellent pay and conditions.

Who are we looking for?

  • Eager learners
  • Curious and inquisitive graduates
  • Those that can generate new and innovative ideas and solutions to help drive success
  • Team players with good judgement and decision making skills

Eligibility Requirements:

  • You must be an Australian citizen
  • Completed your degree in the last 5 years up to December 2022 and are able to provide evidence
  • Obtain and maintain an Australian Government Security Vetting Agency clearance

The application process

The selection process for our Generalist, Generalist (Legal), Finance and Communications/Public Relations streams involves a number of stages and runs over several months. You will need pass each stage of the selection process in order to move onto the next stage.


Stage 1

Online application

You will need the following information:

  • personal particulars.
  • current employment details.
  • responses to the Questions.
  • details of your qualification — completed 5 years before 31 December 2022.
  • your resume.

When you submit your application, you will receive an email to confirm receipt.

If you are successful in the application process, you will advance to the next stage.


Stage 2

Complete an online work sample assessment — May 2022

Applicants moving to stage two participate in a work sample assessment. We will send you instructions on what you need to do.

If your online work sample assessment meets the requirements, you will be invited to participate in a video interview.


Stage 3

Video interview — May/June 2022

You should expect to answer up to five questions.

We recommend you prepare for the interview by:

  • researching the Department of Social Services.
  • practicing possible responses before undertaking your final video interview.
  • ensuring the device you are using for your video is working.
  • ensure your video background is appropriate and the lighting is sufficient.
  • dress as if you were interviewing in person.

Stage 4

Referee reports — June/July 2022

Referee reports confirm information about your employment history, qualifications, experience and role suitability. They also provide the selection panel with the opportunity to seek clarification on matters discussed during your assessment.


Stage 5

Merit pool — July/August 2022

At the completion of the application process, successful applicants move to the merit pool. The merit pool contains more applicants than positions available. From this merit pool, we conduct a matching process, finding the right jobs for the right people.


Stage 6

Receive verbal employment offer — August to December 2022

If you are successful in the matching process, we will contact you with an offer of employment. The offer is conditional based on you obtaining a police check and baseline security clearance.

We recommend you do not give notice to your current employer until you receive a formal, written offer of engagement and you have obtained the required clearances.

5 graduates

Know someone who might be interested in a spot in our 2023 Graduate Program?

Share this page with them – you never know, you might make their career!

Contact us

For enquiries about the Graduate Development Program, email us at GraduateRecruitment@dss.gov.au.


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