How the program works

The Australian Government Indigenous Apprenticeships Program is a pathway for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people to start their careers in the Australian Public Service (APS).

The background of the program

The Australian Government Indigenous Apprenticeships Program (IAP) plays a pivotal role in increasing Indigenous employment opportunities across the Australian Public Service (APS).

Since 2015, the IAP has given over 2,000 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people opportunities to join the APS. This program helps people with diverse backgrounds start a new career. This includes people leaving school, finishing study or looking for something new.

It’s a great way for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people to make a difference in the lives of Australians.

The program

The 12-month program offers:

  • a permanent, full-time, entry-level job in government
  • job security with a competitive salary
  • opportunities to progress your career, including a nationally recognised certificate or diploma qualification.

It also offers a range of roles across a number of departments and agencies. You could work in:

  • administration
  • policy and program development
  • service delivery
  • finance
  • human resources
  • information technology.

Location and placements

When you apply, we’ll ask you which department or agency you’re interested in. We’ll consider your application for all participating departments and agencies.

We’ll also ask where in Australia you’d like to work. You can apply for a role in one or more locations.

If you’re successful, we’ll take your preferences into account when we offer you a job. We may offer you a job at more than one department or agency. You can then select the one that is best for you.

Recruitment level

The APS classifies jobs at different levels.

We recruit at the APS2 and APS3 levels. We’ll consider you for both levels in our recruitment process.

Once you complete the program, you’ll move up to the next APS level at your department or agency.

Read more about role classifications in the Classifications and work level standards on the Australian Public Service Commission website.

Apprenticeship qualifications

If you’re an APS2 apprentice, you’ll complete a Certificate IV in Government. If you’re an APS3 apprentice, you’ll complete a Diploma in Government. You must complete the relevant course to graduate.

We have a lot of support to make sure you get through your apprenticeship and studies. You’ll get time during your work hours to complete your certificate or diploma.

Mentors, buddies and support

During the program, you may face some challenges. To help you, we’ll team you up with a buddy and a mentor.

Your buddy will help you settle in to your new workplace. They’ll show you around and introduce you to people.

Your mentor is an Indigenous colleague. They’ll be there to support you and share their professional skills, perspectives and experiences. Your mentor can give you great insight and knowledge about:

  • how to get the most from the program
  • how to navigate your first year in your department or agency.

To help with program related questions, each department or agency has a local coordinator. They can help you and your supervisory understand the requirements of the program.

We also have a great support team running the program. If you need help they are just a phone call away. They work with your local coordinator to make sure everyone has the right information.

Page last updated: 15 March 2024.
QC 34061