What it does: Helps run the country
Staff stats: Around 2100
The good bits: High-powered work
The not so good bits: Huge demands
Hiring grads with degrees in: Engineering, Maths, IT & Computer Sciences; Finance, Accounting, Economics & Business Administration; Health & Medical Sciences; Humanities, Arts & Social Sciences; Law & Legal Studies; Property & Built Environment; Sciences; Teaching, Education & Human Welfare
For the first decade after the Federation, the Prime Minister (who then also held the External Affairs portfolio) relied on the Department of External Affairs to help him govern the country. In July 1911, the Prime Minister’s Department was created but it wasn’t until 1968 the Department of the Cabinet Office came into being. In 1971, the two were merged to form the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet (PM&C).
Like the Executive Office of the President in the USA or the Cabinet Office in the UK, PM&C is Australia’s central department. It has broad responsibilities including assisting the Prime Minister to manage his or her Ministers and providing sound policy advice to both the Prime Minister and Ministers. PM&C oversees intergovernmental and whole of government policy coordination. It coordinates the implementation of government programs, provides leadership to the broader Australian Public Service, administers ceremonies and overseas visits, and oversees policies relating to national security, counterterrorism, regulatory reform, cities, population, data and women.
It is structured around three policy and program groups. These are: the Domestic Policy Group; the Governance Group and National Security and International Policy Group. PM&C is run by the Secretary of PM&C, who is supported by a senior management team made up of Senior Executive Service Band 3 officials.
PM&C makes all selection decisions on merit and aims for a fair and consistent assessment process. As a public-sector employer, it champions inclusion. In recent years, it has introduced initiatives such as an Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Employment Strategy, a Disability Action Plan and Reconciliation Action Plan. The Department has a ‘Diversity Champion’, who is supported by a Gender Champion, Indigenous Champion and Disability and LGBTI Champion.
While politicians talk about improving the lives of Australians, it's public servants, especially those in PM&C, who have the challenging task of turning those aspirational visions into reality. As a PM&C staffer, you’ll be suggesting and helping implement policies that will have a positive impact on the lives of the Australian people.
You can be from any academic discipline with an interest in; and understanding of Government, policy and/or the work of the Department.
Given the nature of the work you’ll be expected to undertake, you’ll also need to demonstrate excellent verbal and written communication skills, the ability to quickly develop effective relationships with people from a range of backgrounds, analytical abilities, innovative thinking, a knack for absorbing new information, processes and technologies, and a resilient and agile mindset.
You also need to be (or eligible to be) an Australian citizen, to have finished a bachelor degree in the last seven years and to be willing to undergo a security clearance process.
The recruitment process starts with an online application. If successful, your knowledge areas, critical skills, motivation and fit for the role will be further assessed. This will be done through online critical thinking and behavioural exercises, and attending an assessment centre incorporating interviews and group tasks.
If you get an offer, you’ll need to move to Canberra. Once in Canberra, you’ll take part in a structured, on-the-job development program, undertake rotations across various areas of the Department and be provided with a range of on-the-job training, networking and mentoring opportunities, and tailored learning and development activities.
You’ll be working at the heart of government and having experiences, such as meeting heads of state or helping the Minister for Defence devise counter-terrorism strategies, that most grads can only dream about. You will work with other individuals passionate about changing the lives of Australians. You can enjoy a supportive and flexible workplace culture and a reassuring sense of job security.
Overall satisfaction rating among grad employees: 4.2 stars
"Challenge Yourself – Discover, Grow, Learn
At the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet (PM&C) we strive to be bold, be excellent and drive change. Our role is to provide fresh thinking and sound advice to government.
Our expertise spans social and women’s policy, economic and international policy, defence, national security and everything in between. With such diverse responsibilities, we can offer a large variety of opportunities.
At PM&C we believe that the journey is more important than the destination. Our program empowers graduates to discover, learn and grow through diverse opportunities.
The opportunity to work at PM&C will allow you to keep all of your options open, rotating through our areas of focus to explore your potential career path while having the comfort of knowing you have job security.
PM&C gives you incredible insight into how the public service works and how decision-making works at the highest level. And as a graduate, you are working on meaningful work from day one, with the unparalleled opportunity to do that across a range of policy areas as you rotate around the department.
Unlike other government graduate programs, the PM&C program allows you to choose your own rotations, leaving your next adventure up to you. The program will support you to connect and network with different business area, however ultimately the responsibility is yours.
At PM&C, our diverse and inclusive culture supports people to reach their potential, feel valued and are able to be themselves at work. We actively build a workplace that promotes gender equality and harnesses the skills and experiences of people from all backgrounds.
We believe everyone has the right to feel valued, safe and included at work. Inclusion is a proven strength of high-performing teams and organisations. The strength gained from a diverse team impacts our policy advice and solutions and helps create productive relationships.
We encourage applications from Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people; lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, intersex and/or queer people; those from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds, carers, families, mature age people and people with lived experience of disability."