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My Career, My APS

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I'm thinking of joining the Australian Public Service

Is the Australian Public Service right for me?

The Australian Public Service offers a huge range of careers. As one of the biggest employers in Australia, we offer careers to suit just about anyone.

Where you go in the Australian Public Service is up to you. We aim to provide the support and assistance for every employee to meet their potential. Once you join us there are many opportunities to keep developing your skills through training, experience and further study. The sky's the limit!

Careers are no longer in the form of 'ladders' but 'lattices' – criss-crossing between industries and organisations to gain experiences that depend on challenge and opportunity.

Deloitte, Crossing the Divide, December 2009

Here are some of the things you should know about the Australian Public Service.

Click on each title to learn more.

It's an inclusive workplace

The diversity of the people in the Australian Public Service is one of its greatest strengths. We are building an environment that values and utilises the contributions made by people of different backgrounds, experiences and perspectives.

Diversity covers gender, age, language, ethnicity, cultural background, sexual orientation, disability, religious belief and family responsibilities. Diversity also refers to the other ways in which people are different, such as educational level, life experience, work experience, socio-economic background, personality and marital status.

In the Australian Public Service we are committed to providing a supportive work environment and flexible work arrangements which can assist all employees to meet their full career potential.

Strive not to be a success, but to be of value.

Albert Einstein

There are a range of entry points

The days of sitting the 'public service test' are long gone. You can join the Australian Public Service if you are successful in applying for a vacant position. People are selected on the basis of their ability to do the job, that is, on the basis of merit. Jobs in the Australian Public Service are either 'ongoing' or 'non-ongoing'. The usual basis for employment is as an ongoing employee but non-ongoing jobs are often available for a specified term where the job is seasonal or the specified task is only for a limited time.

If you start in the Australian Public Service as non-ongoing, it can give you a better understanding of the environment to apply successfully for an ongoing role.

Many people start their career in the public service by applying for an 'entry-level' program such as an Australian traineeship, a cadetship, or a graduate position. These positions are usually part of a longer skills development program such as traineeship or graduate development program. The entry level programs can provide people without prior experience a range of development activities so that they are equipped for a longer-term career in the Australian Public Service.

Special measures are available under the Public Service Act to assist in the employment of people with intellectual disability. Agencies can advertise particular vacancies as being open only to applicants with intellectual disability.

Disability Employment Service Providers can assist people who because of their disability, may not be able to compete successfully in the job application process.

Note: You can call a Job Access Provider on 1800 464 800 for advice on services for job seekers with disability and help with workplace modifications.

You can make a difference

Australian Public Service employees work on a range of service delivery and regulatory functions and policy related roles. Their work impacts on a large percentage of the Australian community on issues such as defence and foreign affairs to health and welfare, the economy, industry issues and the arts. They help in the coordination of government, supporting the Cabinet, developing the Budget, and providing essential legal advice. They may be involved in direct service delivery to the public, or developing the tools to assist those who do.

Don't let the noise of other's opinion drown your own inner voice… have the courage to follow your heart and intuition, they somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary.

Steve Jobs