Office for the Public Sector


For Graduates

Overview of Employment programs – Graduates

As part of the Premier’s Building a Stronger South Australia – A Modern Public Service Policy, the Office for the Public Sector is leading the Flexibility for the Future initiative.

This initiative asks Public Sector employees to consider part-time and flexible working arrangements. By increasing the opportunities for public sector employees to voluntarily work part-time, the sector can reinvest in new trainee and graduate positions.


The graduate program is for participants who have attained a University qualification within the last three years or will attain one before their employment commences.

An eligible candidate for a graduate position will have the following characteristics:

  • Have completed a University Qualification within the last 3 years, or will attain one before employment commences.
  • Be a South Australian resident.
  • Be an Australian Citizen, permanent resident or have an appropriate work visa.
  • Have not completed a graduate program within the South Australian Public Sector or Commonwealth Government previously, or one hosted by the SA Public Sector.
  • Not currently a SA Public Sector employee.
  • If you were once a Public Sector employee who accepted a TVSP, you are not eligible to be re-employed in the South Australian public sector:
    • for a period coinciding with the number of weeks of the payment to them as part of the TVSP, from the effective date of the termination of their employment by resignation; unless
    • the individual repays to the Crown a sum equivalent to the number of weeks’ pay or part of a week remaining in the nominal period by reference to the number of weeks’ remuneration paid to them upon the termination of their employment by resignation.

An eligible candidate for a graduate position must be:

  • Be willing to complete a pre-employment declaration
  • Be willing to undertake a National Police Check or other appropriate background screening where required
  • Be suitable to the future needs of SA Public Sector agencies and participate in pre-requisite
    requirements such as an assessment of verbal, numeric and abstract ability if required.
  • Be willing to participate in vocational qualification training requirements of the program. Qualifications as set by the Office for the Public Sector.
  • Be willing to participate in training and professional development activities scheduled over the 12 month period.
  • Meet all other employment and participation conditions of the program including
    travelling independently to and from the workplace, training sites and other sites as determined.
  • Be willing to uphold the Public Sector Values and adhere to the Code of Ethics

Graduates participating in the program will be:

  • offered a 12-month employment contract with a South Australian Public Sector agency
  • enrolled to undertake Certificate IV in Project Management Practice, or similar
  • assigned a mentor group
  • provided with exposure to the diversity of opportunities across government
  • offered job seeking and interview skills workshops for future opportunities

Note: internal agency professional development opportunities may also be offered

To successfully complete the program and be competitive for future South Australian Government employment opportunities after the 12-month program, a participant must:

  • successfully complete their study component
  • achieve satisfactory performance throughout their employment and be verified by their immediate supervisor
  • uphold the public sector values and Code of Ethics.

For more information and register your interest in graduate positions visit:

Certificate IV in Project Management Practice

The Certificate IV in Project Management Practice program is facilitated by TAFE SA through a combination of online training and face-to-face sessions. The program is designed to link off–the-job and on-the-job training by allowing you to implement the theoretical knowledge whilst undertaking related tasks in the workplace. This diverse learning assists you to develop the skills and knowledge required to work effectively as an employee of the South Australian Government.

You will receive support from your supervisor, workplace managers, colleagues and specialist staff (e.g. project managers) when completing learning tasks and assessments.

What is a Unit of Competency?

A Unit of Competency describes the skills and knowledge required to undertake the job function described and is the smallest unit that can be assessed and recognised.

The Certificate IV in Project Management comprises nine units including three core units plus six elective units

Core Units

  • Apply project scope management techniques
  • Apply project time management techniques
  • Apply project quality management techniques

Elective Units

  • Apply project information management and communication techniques
  • Apply project procurement procedures
  • Apply project risk management techniques
  • Apply project stakeholder engagement techniques
  • Uphold and support the values and principles of public service
  • Apply government processes


Your supervisor will work with you to develop a workplan that outlines the tasks to be undertaken in the workplace and link these to your competency outcomes and align the plan with the performance management and development processes in your workplace.

Training schedule

TAFE SA will provide a schedule once you have been enrolled and commenced in the workplace.


Performance Development and Management

Performance management and development is the primary channel for employees to clarify what is expected of them and to then track progress and achievements at work. Performance management and development is essential to building your professional relationship with your manager/supervisor and helping you to understand how your work ties to the strategic goals and objectives of your agency.

As a state government employee, you will be required to participate in your agency’s performance development and management process. During your induction, your supervisor will meet with you to establish your performance agreement. This agreement provides clarity around expectations, priorities and where you might need specific support or development. All employees in the SA public sector are required to participate in a review of their performance agreement at least twice a year.

While it is mandated that all employees participate in a performance management and development review at least twice a year, informal conversations can and should take place on a regular basis. These regular conversations enable you to provide and receive feedback on progression in your study and at work. It also enables any issues to be discussed and resolved in a prompt manner. While your manager/supervisor may initiate some of these conversations periodically, there is no reason why you can’t also initiate them to help clarify expectations, priorities or next steps. Either way, good quality preparation is essential in order for you to take ownership for shaping and delivering on your performance and development plan. The Office for the Public Sector website provides a number of tools to help you to get the most out of your performance management and development conversations.





FAQs and useful links for graduates

Who do I contact if I have questions?

Your first point of contact is your supervisor; if your supervisor is not available please contact your supervisor’s manager.

The Office for the Public Sector Employment Program Team are available to assist if there are issues relating to your work site that cannot be resolved by talking to your supervisor or manager.

If you don’t feel you can discuss your issue with any of the above listed people you can contact your agency’s Employee Assistance Program (EAP).

What is the difference between my mentor and my supervisor?

Mentors are experienced employees from across State Government who provide you with guidance and support. This may include assistance to develop your skills in the workplace, develop your understanding of the complexities of government, set and achieve professional and career goals. Your mentor is an added support person you have access to during your 12 months program, however, your mentor is not a counsellor or trainer. Mentors are able to provide you with information and connections to services. It is expected that you will attend 10 to 12 mentoring sessions over the course of your 12 month employment.

Supervisors hold a position of authority that mentors do not have. Supervisors delegate, monitor and support your development in the workplace. It is important to establish an open and trusting relationship with your supervisor, so you can develop your skills and address any challenges as they arise.

Why do I have to study?

You are undertaking study that has been designed to complement your workplace learning and support you to work in the public sector. Combining study and on the job experience is crucial to skill building and your development.

When will I start training?

You will be contacted by TAFE SA once you commence your employment and be provided with a schedule and details of all your study commitments. Ensure you share all your study requirements with your supervisor.

Who pays for the travel costs for me to attend training?

All employees are responsible for their own travel costs to and from training within the metropolitan area. If a graduate is required to travel from a Regional Centre to attend training, their agency is responsible for providing transport and accommodation if required.

What jobs can I do in the workplace?

Your supervisor will meet with you to discuss the performance management and development process of your agency and work with you to develop a performance agreement. A performance agreement is between and employee and line manager/supervisor that sets out key tasks, priorities and agreed measures for the performance period, in addition to documented learning and development goals and plan. This may include key competencies and behaviours.

Formal reviews of your performance and development will occur at least biannually. However, you are encouraged to meet with your supervisor regularly to ask questions, discuss your work tasks, progress and any other performance and development matters.

If you are asked to undertake any duties or tasks from any persons other than your supervisor, you must discuss this with your supervisor.

How do I get my certificate once I complete my study?

Your certificate (parchment) will be is issued by TAFE SA within four weeks of completing your qualification.

Can I apply for other jobs?

Should you wish to seek alternative employment within the public sector you should discuss your options with your supervisor, as this may have an impact on your studies and contract of employment. You can use the performance management and development processes of your agency to discuss and set future objectives.

The end date for my contract is coming up soon, what do I need to do?

You should make sure that your training is up to date and assessments completed at least four weeks prior to your contract end date.  You will receive a letter of completion from TAFE SA via email, this need to be provided to the Human Resources Consultant in your agency who manages the graduate program.

Am I guaranteed a job at the end of my graduate program?

There is no guarantee of a position in the State Government at the completion of your Graduate Program.

Graduates can register through the Department of State Development (DSD) Graduate and Skills Registers to be considered by Government agencies. You will also be able to access employment opportunities through JobSA.

Useful links

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