Structured graduate programs provide opportunities for those at the end of their tertiary education to attain the necessary professional skills to enter the workforce. Successful graduate programs, many of which are provided within public sector organisations, rely on an organisation’s capacity and resources to invest in the training and development opportunities graduates require.
Below are five factors that mean Australian public sector graduate programs can provide a worthwhile experience for graduates.
1. Capacity to invest time
Graduate programs are designed to reinforce professional workplace skills and responsibilities as well as industry specific training. This means graduates need access to management and industry leaders that have the time to invest in them, their career growth and provide tips on how to excel. Longer programs running from between one to three years provide graduates with the opportunity to grow alongside their relevant mentors.. Formal mentoring is a key feature of these programs as is the opportunity to work with a variety of different stakeholders.
2. Size of the organisation
Working within a larger company often means access to management on a range of different levels including those who have successfully completed previous graduate programs. Graduates will have exposure to both senior and team-based management which provides opportunities to learn and understand the complex working of organisations and their structure. It also means that they can contribute to significant projects but with appropriate oversight to ensure they stay on track.
Most programs are offered by large organisations with a pool of graduates often entering the program at the same time (usually at the beginning of a new year). This means they can be designed to provide exposure to a range of different jobs within each field. The size of the pool also means the organisation can provide support through induction and training, professional learning days, career development planning, and seminars to assist in developing professional skills.
4. Access to a variety of areas
Public sector organisations who offer graduate programs represent industries across a spectrum of varying specialisations. Within the program, graduates often participate in 3-6 rotations through the business to understand operations on a broader level and refine their skills. This means they gain exposure to a range of different areas within their organisation over a specifically designed time frame. It also provides exposure to a range of different team structures, culture and work styles providing a sound foundation for navigating future team changes over their career.
Structure is a key element to graduate program specific job training. An advantage of such programs is that the schedule (whether the program be 1 or 3 years) is laid out from orientation to specific department rotations to provide graduates with a holistic set of the required skillsets for the professional workforce as well as the opportunity in a single contract to hone their interests and identify areas they are interested in pursuing over their career
Emily Clifford is a Policy Analyst at FPL Advisory.
FPL Advisory is a team of specialists resolving risks and creating opportunities with respect to government. We work with public sector and corporate clients to execute strategies for owning and managing change