APS trials veterans employment program following state equivalents

By Jackson Graham

March 9, 2022

Veterans undertook two APS Academy courses at the Museum of Australian Democracy. (Debu55yAdobe)

The federal government is trialling a pathway for veterans to find careers in the Australian Public Service in the wake of state governments already offering similar programs. 

A partnership between the Department of Veterans Affairs, Defence Department and the Australian Public Service Commission has led to 13 veterans taking part in a program coined VetPaths. 

The program is the first veteran-exclusive pathway to offer ongoing roles in the federal public service, but programs have existed in the Victorian government since 2016 and the NSW government since 2015

Those programs have collectively put nearly 2000 veterans into government jobs, although critics have called for more veterans to receive positions. 

The 13 veterans in the federal pathway were recruited in late 2021 and are now benefiting from a program offering learning and development, a mentor, an internal buddy, access to peer networks and family inclusion events.

“VetPaths has been designed to ensure long-term career success in the APS,” a Veterans’ Affairs statement says. 

During a five-day induction the veterans undertook two APS Academy courses, the Museum of Australian Democracy provided background on the machinery of government and current APS staff who are veterans shared their experiences about transitioning into their jobs. 

“[They] provided hints and tips on how to flourish using their military experience in an APS context,” the Veterans’ Affairs statement says. 

The program uses the motto “continuing to serve” with most participants saying the main driver for entering APS employment was wanting to continue to work for the Australian community. 

Veterans’ Affairs says the pilot program will be evaluated with the possibility to expand it to other APS agencies. 

We hope that the program will continue in 2023 and will advise when applications are due to open,” the department said.


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