How the Indigenous Apprenticeships Program works

A pathway for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples to start their career in the Australian Public Service (APS).

Apply now for the 2021 Indigenous Apprenticeships Program (IAP).

The background of the program

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

Since 2015, the IAP has given over 1,200 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people opportunities to join the APS. These are people with diverse backgrounds, including people leaving school, finishing study or looking for a new career.

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
  • on-the-job training
  • a competitive salary and great benefits
  • 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.

Check which agencies and departments are participating in the program this year.

You can also find out more at one of our information sessions. Register your interest in attending one today.

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 1 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 1 department or agency. You can then select the 1 that is best for you.

Placements and locations will depend on the business needs of the participating departments and agencies.

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. Often they are a past Indigenous apprentice. 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: 13 October 2020