Indigenous Apprenticeships Program

Applications for the 2023-24 Australian Government Indigenous Apprenticeships Program are now closed. Applications for 2024-25 will open in January 2024.

The Indigenous Apprenticeships Program (IAP) is a pathway for First Nations people to start their career in the Australian Public Service (APS). The program provides an opportunity to undertake a formal qualification of Certificate IV or a Diploma upon successful completion of the program, equipping you with the skills to build your career.

The IAP won the Stan Grant Indigenous Employment Award at the 2018 Australian HR Institute (AHRI) Awards as well as the 2018 Secretary's Award at the Pinnacle Awards.

The IAP has recruited over 1,500 First Nations people across the APS since 2015. The 2021 intake had 17 partnering agencies participate in the program with a total of 307 First Nations people employed across the APS in the program.

About the program

  • A permanent, full-time, entry-level position in government at either the APS level 2 or 3 and an advancement opportunity to the next level post-program.
  • Competitive salary, superannuation and employment conditions.
  • Peer support, access to the First Nations Network (FNN), a dedicated buddy and First Nations mentor.
  • Opportunity to complete a Diploma qualification.
  • Paid First Nations Ceremonial Leave.

Potential roles available

Our department is diverse with a variety of work areas that directly improve the lives of all Australians. You could find yourself supporting regional development and local communities, developing policy that protects our cultural heritage, regulating airports, helping set the course for Australia's digital future, implementing the Smart Cities Plan, providing advice on strengthening our national broadcasters, developing policy for broadband, bolstering the arts sector, or working on the development of the Inland Rail, we have an array of exciting positions waiting for you!


We value and draw on the skills, capability and life experiences that First Nations employees bring and are committed to developing a talented, versatile, and culturally safe workforce.

To help achieve this, we have developed the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Employment and Retention Strategy and the department’s first Reconciliation Action Plan (RAP). The RAP signifies our ongoing commitment to fostering opportunities for, and strengthening our relationships with, Australia’s First Nations people.  

Our RAP contains actions for policy development, stakeholder engagement, internal processes and cultural learning. No matter where you are located in the department, there is a RAP action item that you can adopt, champion and encourage within your day-to-day work. 

The department has a dedicated First Nations Network that provides support and networking for First Nations employees. They work with areas of the department to increase acknowledgement, awareness and understanding of First Nations cultures and peoples, in particular in relation to the work of the department. The network is managed by Co-chairs and is supported by the department's Indigenous Champion.

The department seeks to build cultural awareness and understanding through recognising National Reconciliation Week and celebrating the diversity of First Nations peoples and cultures during NAIDOC week. It is acknowledged that increasing awareness and understanding should not be limited to these two weeks and the department's diversity networks and Indigenous Liaison Officer are working together to ensure that diversity is acknowledged year-round.


To be eligible for the Indigenous Apprenticeships Program, you must:

  • be of First Nations heritage
  • be an Australian citizen at the time an offer is made
  • be available to commence your position in July 2023
  • be able to obtain and maintain a Baseline security clearance
  • be prepared to study a Diploma-level qualification
  • be prepared to relocate to Canberra/Ngunawal Country if local or regional placements are not available—we will cover your relocation costs
  • satisfactory health clearance through the completion of an Employment Health Declaration.

For more information please see the Services Australia website.

Application details will be available closer to the opening date.

Key dates

Applications open 23 January 2023

Applications close

17 February 2023


Late February 2023


March-April 2023

Process finalised—offers made

May-July 2023

Program commencement

31 July 2023

If you have any questions, you can email our Entry Level Programs Team.

Find out more