Agency participation in the Digital Traineeship Program

Information for agencies considering taking trainees or participants for the Digital Traineeship Program.

Early access

The Digital Traineeship Program is being rolled out in stages. We'll be opening the program to a few ‘early adopters’ to help test and refine the program.

Early adopters will have access to participants from April-May 2023. The rest of the public service will have access from mid-2023.

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Rolling recruitment

Recruitment for the program is continual through the year. This makes the program as flexible as possible so agencies can access talent when they need it.

The job advertisement for the program will open and close regularly to allow for new candidates to be added into the merit pool regularly.

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What you can expect from us

We will:

  • manage the recruitment and promotional campaign
  • manage applications, interview process and assessment
  • create merit pools, which will be active for 18 months
  • provide a tailored induction course, delivered in partnership with APS Academy
  • provide mentorship and support for participants and agencies.

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Matching participants to agencies

We can work with you to identify your agency’s capability needs. Based on this, we will provide you with a tailored list of candidates from our merit pool. From that point, you decide who to approach with an offer. We can provide access to panel interview notes and assessment on request.

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Induction program

All participants will undergo a mandatory APS induction course that covers general APS subjects like finance and WHS obligations. This will also apply to participants with previous APS experience. The induction program will also cover foundations of digital ways of working that they may use in their new teams.

Our induction does not replace any additional agency-specific induction that you would normally provide to new employees.

If you wish, you can give input into the participants' APS induction program.

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Program mentors

The program provides mentors who will be trained and managed by the APSC.

Mentor duties include:

  • mentoring and supporting participants in their agency
  • working with agency supervisors, work areas and HR teams to identify career pathways for participants
  • helping to negotiate the work/study balance, in line with the needs of both the participants and agency
  • working with agency supervisors, HR teams and the Digital Traineeships team on any HR or pastoral care issues
  • managing relationships with key stakeholders like agency representatives and Registered Training Organisations (RTO).

Sourcing a mentor from your agency

Agencies are discouraged from providing mentors from their own agency as:

  • mentors may be unable to give impartial advice
  • mentors will be juggling their main duties in addition to providing mentoring support.

If you still want to use your own mentors, you must be able to demonstrate exactly what that support will look like, in line with our compliance guidance. Your supplied mentors must:

  • be based outside of the trainee’s direct work area
  • deliver on the same requirements as our provided mentors, including submitting regular reports.

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What host agencies must provide

Agencies must:

  • provide a suitable manager or supervisor to provide direction and support and work with the  assigned mentor
  • provide equipment, resources and agency-specific onboarding and induction programs
  • pay the wage for the trainee’s APS classification as determined by the assessment process
  • be open to trialling flexible work arrangements.

Positions offered must:

  • be permanent and ongoing in your agency – not temporary
  • provide valuable work and opportunities to apply the skills learned during training
  • support paid study time.

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Supporting flexible work arrangements

One of the program's core aims is to open opportunities to people outside of major centres like Canberra, Sydney and Melbourne. While you are not required to provide flexible working arrangements as part of the program, we strongly encourage this to increase the chance of attracting and retaining talent. 

Flexible work arrangements include:

  • working from home, including remote work from any location (regional or metro) across Australia
  • flexible work hours, such as part-time or hours to allow for family caring duties and study.

We encourage you to discuss working arrangements and terms of employment with your chosen participant and their mentor.

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Training needs

Agencies are required to support the participant to undertake prescribed training to at least the level available in existing study leave policies, and in accordance with the needs of the participant.

The prescribed training is based on the discussion between the participant, mentor and agency.

You can choose to provide the training. It must meet the requirements of the program – that is, a Certificate IV or Diploma in a digital field, delivered by a RTO.

Training for participants in remote or out-posted locations

Participants working remotely or in out-posted locations will have dedicated support from their mentors and virtual networks. This aims to keep them engaged and connected to their agency and work.

The induction program will target effective remote working practices to ensure participants are equipped before starting. If needed, managers will also have access to training and resources on effective remote working practices.

Your agency will need to cover costs related to accommodation or travel.

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Cost to agencies

All costs are estimates and will depend on each agency's needs and training requirements for each participant. 

Core program

Approximately $4,480 per participant plus ongoing employment costs. 

This includes:

  • program marketing by APSC
  • managed recruitment and assessment
  • APS Academy induction program 
  • merit list management
  • ongoing APSC support.


Approximately $4,600 per participant per year.

This includes:

  • a mentor with generalist digital expertise
  • individualised support
  • learning and development plan
  • networking support
  • program and career support.


From $3,820 per participant.

The cost, delivery method and duration will depend on the individual qualification or certification. This will be determined by the agency, participant and the supporting mentor.

Please note - some qualifications may extend the program from 12 to 24 months.

Register your interest

Register your interest below to take participants or become an early adopter.


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