What it does: Supports the growth of globally competitive industries
Staff stats: Not publicly available, but presumably several hundred
The good bits: A cutting-edge department with good career development opportunities
The not so good bits: Bureaucracy
The Department of Industry, Innovation and Science
The Department of Industry, Innovation and Science (DIIS) superseded the Department of Industry and Science after Malcolm Turnbull became Prime Minister in 2015. As part of the change, DIIS took on responsibility for Northern Australia policy and national issues concerning the digital economy.
The department’s objective is to develop globally competitive industries through innovation, science and commercialisation.
The department is situated within the Industry, Innovation and Science portfolio along with several other agencies. (Geoscience Australia; IP Australia; Australian Institute of Marine Science; Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Organisation; CSIRO and National Offshore Petroleum Safety and the Environmental Management Authority.)
DIIS is headed by a Secretary who reports to the Minister for Industry, Innovation and Science and the Minister for Resources and Northern Australia.
DIIS appreciates the skills and viewpoints offered by employees of diverse gender, age, language, ethnicity, religious belief, sexual orientation and cultural backgrounds.
It encourages Indigenous, disabled and LGBTI individuals, as well as others from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds, to apply for roles.
The department employs a dedicated diversity team. It has gold member status with the Australian Network on Disability. It also participates in the Australian Public Service’s (APS) RecruitAbility Scheme, which supports job candidates with disabilities to compete for APS vacancies.
DIIS has a Reconciliation Action Plan, Indigenous Traineeship Program and an Indigenous Employee Network.
The DIIS increases Australia’s productivity, creates jobs and strengthens the economy. As an employee of the department, you’ll play an important role in creating a prosperous future for your fellow citizens. Department staff also get involved in charity events, with those in the grad program usually taking a leading role in fundraising for the World’s Greatest Shave Event.
The recruitment process
The DIIS Graduate Development Program runs for two years and is only offered in Canberra. The program accepts graduates from all disciplines. However, graduates with degrees in Economics, Commerce, Law, Business, Public Policy, Science, Data and analytics, Information and communication technology and Accounting are in particular demand.
The department favours candidates who are skilled in communication, teamwork, research and analysis, as well as possessing adaptability, flexibility, initiative and judgement. Work experience, evidence of business acumen and post-graduate qualifications can also be an advantage.
The recruitment process begins with an online application. This involves submitting a CV and addressing some selection criteria questions. If you make it to the next stage, you’ll be asked to complete a writing task. The final stage is an interview. These are conducted in person in all capital cities except Darwin, Perth and Hobart. (Candidates in those cities are invited to do an interview over the phone or via video conferencing.)
The program starts in February in Canberra. There are some opportunities to work in other locations in the second year of the program. (Relocation assistance is provided to those moving interstate.)
Those doing the program are divided into generalist, ICT and accounting streams. You have the same learning and development opportunities within each of these pathways but work in areas most relevant to your specialty during your four rotations. In the first-year of the program grads collaborate on a major project that addresses real-world policy issues.
Under the Department of Industry, Innovation and Science Enterprise Agreement 2016-2019, graduates are paid $57,733 under the APS Level 3 classification. Upon successful completion of the first year of the program, they are recognised as APS5-equivalent employees, which results in a pay bump of close to $10,000. As a DIIS employee you’ll also get 15.4 per cent super and access to generous leave provisions.
You will have career development opportunities that include secondments and access to career management programs.
In the second year of your program, you’ll complete a Graduate Certificate in either management or economics. This is delivered by the University of Canberra’s Institute for Governance and Policy Analysis and seen a pre-requisite for moving into a leadership role. Speaking of which, starting your career at DIIS will provide a solid grounding. One that will facilitate you transferring into other government departments, or moving into the private sector, if that is something you wish to consider later in your career.
The vibe of the place
As might be expected of a government department with ‘Innovation’ in its title, DIIS offer all the good bits of the public service – reasonable hours, lots of training, plenty of leave – along with some of the buzz typically associated with the start-up scene. You’ll be working in a well-appointed office with impressive views of Lake Burley Griffin. While you’ll be expected to look professional, you won’t need to wear a suit and tie. Most exciting of all, you’ll be liaising with business and scientific organisations and helping to develop and implement vital policies. You should also enjoy working with warm and collegial co-workers and reporting to managers who are supportive and provide plenty of feedback.
Star rating: 4.2
From the Employer:
"Our vision is to enable growth and productivity for globally competitive industries. To help realise this vision, the department has four key objectives: supporting science and commercialisation, growing business investment and improving business capability, streamlining regulation and building a high performance organisation.
The Australian Government’s vision is for an agile economy, capitalising on Australia’s commercial and scientific strengths.
Central to this vision is the need for strong, self-reliant and innovative businesses.
The Department of Industry, Innovation and Science contributes to this vision by facilitating the growth and productivity of globally competitive industries.
We also support: scientific capability; strong science, technology, engineering and mathematics skills; and science literacy, as critical requirements for productivity and economic growth.
The Department of Industry, Innovation and Science Graduate Development Programme is a two year programme. We accept all disciplines of study, so there are numerous opportunities available letting you use the skills and knowledge you gained through university and work experience.
Choose your future at Industry, Innovation and Science! We offer you;
- a two year programme
- specialised on-the-job training
- four work placements to experience the diversity of roles and responsibilities across the department
- advancement to APS 5 after the first year on the programme
- the opportunity to collaborate with other graduates on a major project, tackling real-life policy issues, engaging with our stakeholders, and presenting your findings to the Department’s Executive
- a Post Graduate Qualification in the form of a Graduate Certificate in either Economics or Management
- a previous graduate buddy to offer support as you settle in and provide advice on how to make the most of the programme
- a dedicated team to support you throughout the programme
- a commitment to continuing professional development after the graduate programme.
We offer graduates positions in the following areas:
- generalist pathway
- Professional Pathway – Accounting
- Professional Pathway – ICT
We support Diversity
The department takes a pro-active and innovative approach in creating a flexible and inclusive employment environment that values and utilises the contribution of people of different backgrounds, experiences, perspectives and abilities. We acknowledge the skills and perspectives that people may bring to the workplace because of their gender, age, language, ethnicity, cultural background, disability, religious belief, sexual orientation and work and life experiences. We recognise that the diversity of our people is, and rightly should be, one of our greatest strengths.
In particular, applications are encouraged from Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander people, people with a disability and people from diverse cultural and linguistic backgrounds."