About the graduate program

The NSW Government Graduate Program goes for 18 months, starting in February each year. During that time, you’ll complete placements in different roles across NSW Government.

Our graduate program offers a primary stream, which is open to all disciplines, and four degree-specific streams; a legal stream, digital stream, social work stream, and an engineering stream. Each stream offers on-the-job experience and a tailored learning and development component.

Applications for the 2025 program will be open from 17 July to 14 August 2024. You can register your interest now to be the first to know when applications go live.

With one choice, your career opportunities are endless. This video showcases the types of roles graduates can do as part of the NSW Government Graduate Program


Who can apply   


To be eligible for the 2025 NSW Government Graduate Program, you must:

  • at the time of submitting your application, hold a current visa permitting you to work full-time in Australia* for the 18-month duration of the program until 9 August 2026.
  • complete your undergraduate or postgraduate degree between 1 June 2022 and 31 December 2024*
  • be available to start full-time work on 3 February 2025.

*Having the right to work in Australia under the Government Sector Employment legislative framework means that you must be:

  • an Australian citizen, or
  • a permanent resident of Australia, or
  • a New Zealand citizen with a current New Zealand passport, or
  • a citizen of another country with a current visa that allows you to work continuously in Australia until at least 9 August 2026.

*Completion dates: The eligible dates are based on your degree completion date as confirmed by your university or in your university transcript. This is not your degree conferral date or graduation ceremony date. You must complete all components of the degree, including any work placement requirements.

Proof of eligibility                                                                                                                                                             

Citizenship or residency

You must provide evidence of your current eligibility  to work full-time to be eligible for a place in the assessment centre for the NSW Government Graduate Program. Depending on your citizenship, residency, or visa status, you may need to provide one or more of the following documents:

  • Australian or New Zealand passport
  • Australian birth certificate and photo identification
  • Australian citizenship evidence and photo identification
  • Certificate of Status for New Zealand Citizens in Australia and photo identification
  • an overseas passport and a check from the Department of Home Affairs’ Visa Entitlement Verification Online (VEVO) system showing that you are a permanent resident
  • a proof of current visa from the Department of Home Affairs’ that permits you to work full-time in Australia for the duration of the Program until at least 9 August 2026.


You will need to demonstrate that you have fully completed an eligible degree or will complete an eligible degree by 31 December 2024. Eligible degrees are those rated by the Australian Qualifications Framework as being level 7 and above.

In addition, to be eligible for the legal, digital, social work, or engineering streams you must also meet some stream-specific requirements as detailed in the sections below.


Primary stream

Are you interested in gaining broad experience across a range of roles in NSW Government?

Graduates in the primary stream can work in a range of areas, from analytics or human resources, to policy and projects, and more. When applying to the primary stream, you can nominate functional areas of interest to try roles in.

In the primary stream, you’ll complete learning and development modules, which will help to ease your transition from university to work life and provide foundational government knowledge.

Are you interested in working on legislative instruments, learning about criminal prosecution, or conducting reviews of Policies and Acts?

If you want to work as a lawyer in NSW Government, the legal stream offers you experience such as litigation, providing legal advice and developing policy.

In the legal stream, you will study towards a Graduate Diploma in Legal Practice, so you can be admitted as a solicitor in NSW.

To be eligible for the legal stream, you must:

  • hold a law degree
  • be willing to study a Graduate Diploma in Legal Practice (GDLP) during the program. If you have started studying a GDLP, you are ineligible for the legal stream.
  • agree to pay up to $4,000 of the GDLP fees, with FEE-HELP options available.

Digital stream

Are you interested in harnessing emerging technology such as virtual reality, blockchain and sensors to develop innovative and citizen-centric digital solutions?

In the digital stream, you'll play a part in defining how the people of NSW interact with digital government services. From identifying cyber security risks, to designing and delivering products and services, you will work across critical areas such as health, housing, customer service and transport.

You will also become a member of Australian Computer Society’s Partnership Program which includes targeted online courses that are tailored to your career aspirations. You will also attend workshops with your cohort so that you have a foundational knowledge of government and how government works.

To be eligible for the digital stream, your degree must be an information technology or technical degree.

Disciplines we are looking for relate to cyber security, web development, applications development, computer design, computer engineering, data analytics, data science, software engineering, software development and programming, systems analysis and design, programming, data engineering, information technology, computer science, computer systems, UI/UX, and IT architecture.


Social work stream

Are you interested in working with children, young people and their families and carers to bring about support, protection, and safety?

In the social work stream, you’ll play a part in transforming the lives of vulnerable children. You’ll apply your knowledge and skills to improve the lives of children, adults, families, and communities who often experience disadvantage and live in varied and challenging circumstances. The social work stream provides a pathway to becoming a case worker.

In the social work stream you will learn about how child protection works across systems, policies and practice. You will also complete tailored case worker development training and attend workshops with your cohort so that you have a foundational knowledge of government and how government works. You will undertake group supervision so you can make the best possible decisions about children and their families.

To be eligible for the social work stream, you must:

  • hold a degree in social work, psychology or social science welfare
  • have a current driver's licence
  • hold a current Working with Children Check clearance

Engineering stream

Are you interested in applying your knowledge of science and mathematics to find effective solutions to problems?

The engineering stream will provide you with invaluable experience in analysing and addressing problems and coming up with practical ways to change things so they perform better. You will gain exposure and contribute to critical high-profile initiatives that impact the citizens of NSW. You could be working on a wide range of different projects, from health, infrastructure, to transport.

In the engineering stream you’ll receive tailored development from Engineers Australia which will focus on your personal development, project management, and professional skills.

To be eligible for the engineering stream, you must hold an engineering degree.

​​​​​​Disciplines we are looking for relate to biomedical engineering, civil engineering, environmental engineering, construction management, building construction, and project management.


Where you'll work

  • Greater Sydney metropolitan, including Baulkham Hills, Blacktown, Kingswood and Liverpool, Parramatta and Sydney CBD
  • Hunter, including Newcastle, Gosford and Maitland
  • Central Tablelands, including Bathurst, Dubbo, Lithgow, Parkes and Orange
  • North Coast, including Coffs Harbour and Grafton
  • South Coast, including Nowra
  • South East including Queanbeyan
  • South West, including Wagga Wagga

You’ll also work in different roles across NSW Government. Your first placement will be your ‘home’ agency, where you will return for your ongoing (permanent) role once you successfully complete the program.