What it does: Guides infrastructure, transport, regional development, cities and territories policies, programs, and regulations.
Staff stats: Around 1100
The good bits: Having a real-world impact
The not so good bits: Needing to be based permanently in Canberra
Hiring grads with degrees in: Property & Built Environment; Sciences; Teaching, Education & Human Welfare; Engineering, Maths, IT & Computer Sciences; Finance, Accounting, Economics & Business Administration; Health & Medical Sciences; Humanities, Arts & Social Sciences; Law & Legal Studies
The Department of Infrastructure and Regional Development story
The Department of Infrastructure, Regional Development and Cities (DIRDC) was established under an Administrative Arrangements Order in 2013. It assumed the majority of the functions of the former Department of Infrastructure and Transport and some of the purposes of the former Department of Regional Australia, Local Government, Arts and Sport (excepting the Arts and Sport portfolios).
DIRDC has responsibility for the design and roll-out of the Federal Government’s infrastructure, transport and regional development policies and programs. Its goals are to develop economic growth through transport, improve travel safety, make transport more accessible, ensure transport is secure, advance regional development and local communities and deliver good governance in the territories.
The department is headed by the Secretary of the Department of Infrastructure, Regional Development and Cities. The Secretary reports to the Minister for Infrastructure, Transport and Regional Development, the Minister for Regional Services, and the Minister for Cities, Urban Infrastructure and Population.
DIRDC’s three key priorities concerning workplace diversity are to attract and recruit a diverse workforce, develop and retain it and embed workforce diversity into the fabric of everyday business.
The department has a diversity team. It is part of the RecruitAbility scheme (which encourages people with disability to apply for federal public service jobs). It also offers an Indigenous grad program. DIRDC has employee network groups for both its people with disability and Indigenous staff. It has a Reconciliation Plan and offers eligible employees the opportunity to undertake secondments to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander-led organisations.
Adequate infrastructure is central to Australians ability to move around and their economic prosperity. Regional development is obviously important to Australians living in regional areas, as well as playing a part in the strength of Australia’s economy and society as a whole.
As a DIRDC staffer, you’ll be contributing to developing infrastructure, transportation systems and regional initiatives that will have a huge impact on many people’s lives and livelihoods.
DIRDC also involves its graduates in initiatives to raise funds for a range of charities.
The recruitment process
The department’s Graduate Development Program is open to graduates across all disciplines. However, you’ll need to have completed an undergraduate degree in the last five years, be willing to move to Canberra, have a minimum credit average and be able to get a security clearance. DIRDC seeks quality graduates who can articulate their vision for Australia’s future and demonstrate that they have a genuine interest in the work the department does.
Applicants submit an online application. No written application or CV is necessary, just contact, qualification, and referee details.
The initial assessment include a cognitive assessment and video interview, those shortlisted after the online application period has ended are invited to attend an assessment centre. Here they do a panel interview, group exercise and written exercise. Successful applicants commence the graduate program the following January and finish early December.
There are two graduate recruitment streams. The Graduate Development Program is for all eligible Australian citizens. The Graduate Development Program - Special Measures is open to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians.
The graduate program is a generalist program. It’s structured around three rotations (such as planning, policy development and research and analysis), internal training and an interstate industry tour. You’ll also be allocated a buddy and also have access to a Graduate Development Program Manager.
Your starting annual salary is pegged to a APS3 grade, which is around $57,000 (plus 15.4 per cent superannuation). After successfully completing your first two rotations, you’ll advance to an APS4, around $66,500. At the end of the program, you’ll get bumped up to the APS5 band, which means your salary will increase to about $71,000.
You will also have access to a range of benefits including 20 days leave per year, flexible work hours and employee health and wellbeing support. The department will pay for you to move to Canberra, arrange three weeks’ temporary accommodation in the city and assist you with storing your belongings.
Around the end of the grad program, you’ll take part in a ‘Graduate Career Planning and Coaching’ training session to clarify your thoughts about where to focus your career within the department. Quick promotions are available to early career employees who are prepared to put in the work.
The vibe of the place
While undertaking the grad program you’ll be working and playing with a cohort of like-minded people.
If you’re the sociable type, the Social Network of Graduates organises plenty of social, sporting and professional networking activities with others working in the Australian Public Service.
DIRDC’s offices are centrally located and pleasant to work in. Managers are approachable and will provide plenty of feedback about your performance. The hours are reasonable and there’s a friendly workplace culture with staff often getting together for team lunches and after-work drinks.
Star rating: 4.2
From the Employer:
Are you looking for a head start in your Australian Public Service career? Our 11-month Graduate Development Program is a generalist program that sources talent across all academic disciplines.
As an Infrastructure Graduate, we will add to the skills you have acquired at university by developing your professional public sector skills through a combination of work rotations, exciting capability development opportunities and an interstate industry tour. From roads to large-scale shipping, city planning to the development of regional Australia, the department shapes the future direction of Australia. As part of our Graduate Development Program, you will be right in the thick of it as you build your career.
During our Program, you will experience:
- A familiarisation day before you commence
- The opportunity to connect with a buddy from the previous year’s Graduate cohort
- An induction week to help you settle in
- A chance to work in different work areas across the department for each of your rotations
- A pay rise after successfully completing your first two rotations
- A diverse range of learning and development opportunities that align to your career goals
- The responsibility of coordinating and hosting the department’s Social Club fundraising activities
- A once in a lifetime industry tour week with your graduate cohort, and
- An awesome graduation ceremony with the departments’ Executive!
You'll receive a starting salary of approx. $59,000 during your graduate year, plus 15.4% superannuation. Then after successfully completing your first two rotations, you’ll advance to approx. $66,500. Upon successful completion of the program, your ongoing salary will be approx. $74,500.
You'll also have access to the following workplace support and conditions, including:
- 20 days recreation leave a year
- 20 days a year of personal circumstances leave, which includes sick, family, emergency and cultural leave
- 18 weeks paid maternity leave or 6 weeks paid supporting partner leave after 12 months of continuous service
- Flexible work hours
- Employee health and wellbeing initiatives.
- Following the program, as a member of the department, you'll also have access to:
- Career coaching and professional development opportunities
- Financial support to undertake further study in an area relevant to the business of the department and broader APS
- Mobility and career progression within the organisation.
What to Expect
We pride ourselves on giving you the best candidate experience possible – we want you to relax, have fun, and maybe even learning something new!
Our application and assessment process is phased. If you’re successful in progressing through each phase, you can expect to:
- Submit an online application form – no written application or CV necessary! Just give us a few personal details via our online form and that’s it!
- Undertake a few initial assessments – this will include a cognitive assessment and video interview, but don’t panic! We have a great team to guide you, and a dedicated hotline available for you to ask any questions.
- Participate in an Assessment Centre – we want to meet you in person! This is your chance to really show us who you are and what you’re made of. Assessments may include but are not limited to:
- A group activity with other candidates
- A work sample testing activity
- An individual panel interview or presentation
- Referee checks – we think you’re amazing! This is when we confirm just how amazing you are with your two chosen referees.
- Receive an offer of employment – congratulations, you did it! Our Executive want you to join the department as part of a fantastic cohort of future leaders.
Applications for the 2020 Graduate Development Program are open from Monday 11 March 2019 to 11:59 pm (AEST) Sunday 5 May 2019 – please see further details under “How to Apply”.
What We Want From You
We’re looking for motivated Graduates with a strong vision for Australia's future and a willingness to identify problems and implement innovative solutions to join our 2020 Graduate Development Program.
Here at Infrastructure, we assess all staff based on 10 core capabilities that you are expected to display, listed under three categories:
Category Core Capability
Outcomes Driven Makes evidence-based decisions
Engages effectively with stakeholders
Acts with integrity
Accountable Communicates with influence
Applies business acumen
Future Focused Adapts to change
Strives for continuous improvement
Before you complete your application, you should consider your eligibility. To be eligible for our Program, you must:
- Be an Australian citizen
- Have completed a minimum of a three year undergraduate degree by January 2020
- Have completed your degree within the last 5 years
- Have achieved a minimum of a credit average
- Be able to obtain and maintain a baseline security clearance
- Be prepared to relocate to Canberra.
Living in Canberra
If you’re an interstate candidate and are successful in gaining a position on our Graduate Development Program, you can expect to:
- Relocate to Canberra – at our expense
- Receive up to three weeks temporary accommodation in the heart of Canberra City
- Have your belongings moved and temporarily stored for up to three weeks while you find your new home.
Its reputation may precede it, but with a population in the vicinity of 390,000 Canberra really is much more than just Australia's public service hub and the seat of Australia's Parliament.
Canberra is Australia's largest inland city and is brimming with lifestyle, city services and world-class events and attractions. The shopping is great, nightclubs are stylish and trendy, the café culture is buzzing and its people are friendly.
Canberrans love their sport and have the highest participation rate in Australia—from lawn bowls to water polo and everything in between. Whether you are cheering on Canberra's top rugby league and rugby union teams, watching AFL, cricket or playing golf, bushwalking or cycling around our many bike trails, Canberra has the sports and recreational facilities to suit your needs.
We're also just a few hours' drive from the NSW snowfields, Sydney and the south coast's legendary beaches. The Canberra region boasts some of the best food and wine experiences Australia has to offer, with more than 10 wineries within a 30km drive.
By capital city standards Canberra is an affordable place to live, with an outstanding education system, excellent health services, shorter commuting times, plenty of fresh air and community living.
More useful information on Canberra can be found here:
- The ACT Government's Live in Canberra website is a great source of information and their team can help you with advice on settlement, employment, housing and lifestyle.
- Australian Capital Tourism's Visit Canberra website has all the info on where to go and what to see and do in the capital.
- The Brumbies Rugby and Raiders website has all the info on memberships.
- The National Capital Authority's website is also a great source of information.
- To find out what other graduates are up to in Canberra, check out the Social Network of Graduates.