This year Finance was named Australia’s number one graduate employer by the Australian Association of Graduate Employers Top 75 list, improving on its thirteenth position last year. This achievement marks the first time a government agency has achieved this ranking nationally.
More than 2,500 graduates across Australia were anonymously surveyed and asked to rate their employer on a number of key areas including:
- orientation or induction program;
- training and development program;
- quality of work;
- career progression;
- supervisor or manager;
- compensation and benefits;
- work/life balance; and
- company culture.
Seven graduates with a diverse range of qualifications, approaches to innovation, problem-solving and critical thinking skills were recruited by Finance in 2019.
Graduates are rotated throughout the organisation offering insight into the diverse services we deliver, helping them develop transferrable skills. Gaining knowledge from a number of business units helps Finance to improve the way we work through fostering professional relationships and eliminating silos.
Our program, which has seen 134 graduates participate since it was established in 2011, provides opportunities to interact with a wide variety of stakeholders, including working collaboratively with other government agencies and accompanying the Director General and other senior staff to work-related events.
Another key component of our success is our focus on relationships and the support provided by management, supervisors, co-workers and the graduate alumni to help our graduates transition smoothly from study to a professional working environment.
The success of the program allows Finance to share its knowledge and experience with other agencies and provide advice on how to establish or improve their own Graduate Programs. Due to the high calibre of applicants, Finance shares the applicants placed in a graduate pool with other agencies.
A graduate perspective
Comments from 2019 graduate Victoria Gray
Finance has a really positive attitude towards training and retaining graduates so I felt like my contribution was valued right from day one. My first rotation was in the Information Technology and Communications team in Corporate Services where I was engaged in the development of policies to support the Department’s Information Security Management Framework.
Finance has a focus on recruiting graduates based on their values and all university degrees are considered. The benefit of values-based recruitment has been obvious in our graduate cohort. Despite coming from vastly different backgrounds we have been bonded by our shared values and attitudes.
The program includes Community Involvement Development, which we spent with Conservation Volunteers Australia at Lesmurdie Falls National Park. This gave us an opportunity to give back to the community and further share experiences as a cohort.
Rather than just a job, I have been given countless opportunities to develop myself as an individual and as a professional. Within the program, there is an internal training calendar that focusses on developing transferrable skills. This skill development is continued through the Public Sector Commission’s Graduate Development Program, which has exposed me to parts of government that I never even knew existed while studying at university. Further to this, your supervisor and graduate coordinator work to identify your strengths and weaknesses and seek to individually tailor training, allowing you to reach your full potential.
The program creates an environment that not only wants you to flourish, but gives you tailored support to achieve your potential. This has seen the majority of previous graduates gain full-time employment within the Department or with other agencies. Last year, 100 per cent of graduates secured roles within Finance, and I hope to see the same outcome for our cohort.