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Department of Social Services Reviews
Reviews by Department of Social Services graduate employees
- starstarstarstarstar3.9GradAustralia surveyed 43 graduates working at Department of Social Services. Read on to get an insider’s view on life as a graduate. 43 responses.
- The friendly atmosphere, the people you get to work with, the opportunities to be challenged and work on issues that affect our community.
- You get to work across a wide range of communications areas
- There are many good things about DSS. There is the flexibility, a great friendly culture, opportunities to gain experience in other roles within the department & good working conditions.
- You get a sense of helping vulnerable people through targeted policies / programs / initiatives
- The breadth of policy issues that DSS is responsible for - it offers a wide variety and plenty of opportunities to work in different areas.
- Government of the day changing the agenda
- Like all large organisations, the bureaucracy to do certain things.
- I miss living in a big city! Don't necessarily get a say as to where you are placed.
- Working in the Australian Public Service involves adhering to a lot of bureaucratic processes.
What insiders say about…
I have worked in a ministerial corporate area, legal area and policy development area. All areas have been really interesting and done quite different work but working towards better social policy for all Australians.
The culture really depends on what area you are in. DSS employees are professionals, and they work to high standards, but some areas are better than others at fostering productive relationships, cooperation etc. The structure and hierarchy of the APS takes a little while to get used to.
Interview process involved online assessment, phone interview and an assessment centre which involved a written assessment, a group assessment and a one-on-one interview
DSS is VERY flexible when it comes to hours. A standard day is 7.5 hours and it is very much up to you how you fit those hours into a day. Some people work from 7am - 3pm with a 30 minute lunch, others prefer to start at 9.30am and work till 6pm. Any time you work in addition to the 7.5 hours adds to your "flex" balance. When you build up enough flex, you are able to day a day off, without using your annual leave.
My initial moving expenses were covered when I started the graduate program - that was a huge bonus coming right out of university.
In my experience, the executive level managers are very accessible to graduates. As a graduate, you are on probation for six months as well as the formal performance feedback process so there are plenty of opportunities for formal performance feedback, praise and recognition as well as informal discussions. Depending on the size of your Branch, you might also have good interactions with your Branch Managers and possibly Group Manager. There is obviously less interaction with the Senior Executive (Secretary and Deputy Secretary) but that said, the Senior Executive is interested in the graduate program. The Secretary has come to a number of graduate events and I think most of the graduates have had a chance to chat with him. The Deputy Secretaries also took part in a very candid discussion forum where the graduates had a great opportunity to get an insight into what it's like to be a Deputy Secretary.
A large amount of training including a formal qualification was offered during graduate year. Study assistance is also available.
I worked hard and won a promotion, however, I'm still doing work above my level which I haven't been rewarded for.
One of the best employers of women and constant promotion of diversity and always looking for ways to improve
There is vague talk about this and in some areas (notably Women's Safety) we're alright but the rank and file seem to view corporate responsibility as an unnecessary hurdle.
I've found the office's very comfortable. The set ups at the desks allow for some adjustments to suits an individual's physical needs. There are a several different office's located around Canberra (and the also some in the States). The facilities are also to a good standard. The dress code varies throughout the Department as different Sections have different dress codes. Usual business attire is the most standard (e.g. long black pants, collared shirt, no ties).
The new office building planned has taken into consideration the environmental impact.Join us to bookmark!
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You'll be able to save searches and much more if you register for free today!Why Sign Up?Personalised alertsGet instant notification about Australia's top graduate jobs and internships openings.Latest insightsWe’ll keep you up-to-date with the latest articles and insights to help you succeed in your graduate job hunt.Your own applications dashboardKeep track of all your job applications in one place.People also viewed...When you apply for PM&C’s Graduate Program, you’re not just applying for a job; you are opening the door to your career.Your time starts now