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More cadets lose out as public service tightens belt

Another group of young would-be public service recruits have had their career dreams dashed by the wave of cuts hitting government departments.

Up to eight youngsters from this year's planned intake of 40 IT apprentices have been dumped before they could begin their jobs, with departments blaming budget cuts for ending the careers before they began.

The Defence Department dumped six youngsters this month, some of them destined for spy agency The Australian Signals Directorate, and the Australian federal Police also pulled out of this year's program.

The latest round of cancelled recruitments comes after the controversy over the sacking of 38 successful applicants to AusAID's prestigious graduate program last year.

Foreign Affairs, which took over AusAID as part of the “machinery of government” changes, endured a storm of criticism for firing the aid agency's 2014 intake - while pushing ahead with its own graduate program.

But a deal hammered out between DFAT and the public sector union the CPSU has led to more than half of the would-be foreign aid workers being offered work elsewhere in the public service.

But it is understood that the apprentices might not be so lucky, as they had not been made or accepted offers of employment.

About 60 young people began the selection process in June, vying for 40 entry-level traineeships across a number of agencies and departments.

In the case of the intelligence agency, psychiatric assessments were carried out on the applicants before the full invasive security clearance process could begin.

All 40 trainees were due to start trade school together at Canberra Institute of Technology in February, but then the unlucky ones received calls last week telling them their jobs had fallen victim to public service funding cuts.

One of the rejected would-be apprentices, who asked not to be named, spoke of his disappointment at spending months on selection process that had come to nothing.

“I was very disappointed,” he said.

“It was big process and all that time and energy was put into nothing.”

The young man said he was given no guidance by the agency on what to do next, except that he could apply for the next round of apprenticeships.

“There was no suggestion that I might maybe apply for something else, it just said that if I was still keen to apply for an IT apprenticeship then I should apply again in June,” he said.

“That was it, bye-bye.

“It was pretty disappointing really, the whole way they handled it.”

A spokeswoman for the Finance Department, which runs the Australian Government Information Management Office said the Defence Department had provided the following statement.

“As a result of the current Government's policy of reducing the Australian Public Service, recruitment is currently limited to critical vacancies only,” the statement said.

Defence said it had hired three apprentices as well as three IT graduates.

The Finance spokeswoman said the AFP had provided the following statement.

“The AFP withdrew from participation in the 2014 program,” the statement said.

“The AFP conducts its own separate Graduate intake program and has ICT Graduates commencing in 2014.”


  • Oh well, out into the real world for these people then, you know the place, where you are forced to work, take allocated breaks ONLY, earn your promotions and generally learn how the world really works, not the illusion created by the Federal Public Service.

    Date and time
    February 05, 2014, 1:41PM
    • Yes, we have seen how the world really works with Australia's wealthiest companies being run by the sons and daughters. Clearly they are the best qualified. It couldn't be anything else. We have seen how the tax havens are overflowing with money. We have seen how there are two sets of rules. We know the world should be based on merit and need but often it's nepotism and greed.

      Good Logic
      Date and time
      February 05, 2014, 4:19PM
    • So true Michael. Having worked in private sector and public sector, I can for sure say you're spot on. Public Service is a joke!

      Date and time
      February 05, 2014, 8:30PM
  • They should be grateful that their self-worth and "real world mentality" will now be preserved, no longer will they fear becoming a brain dead pen pushing wowser that needs another pay increase and more time off...

    Date and time
    February 05, 2014, 1:46PM
    • OMG - more hackers on the streets to steal the nation's secrets.

      The Village Idiot (Reformed)
      Date and time
      February 05, 2014, 2:57PM
      • They should get rid of the dead weight APS 6's who earn too much for the little work they actually do (within IT depts) and keep these graduates on lower salaries. Doesn't matter if you've been in IT for one year or 20 years, IT is all the same.

        Date and time
        February 05, 2014, 3:13PM
        • No real loss. Why work somewhere where they cover up bullying. Claim security cameras weren't switched on. Then the cameras were on but did not see anything. Then the video is deleted every two weeks. Then wait ................the video is found but we can not let you point out the breaking of the law by public servants because it breaches privacy.

          Who needs idiots like that?????????

          Date and time
          February 05, 2014, 5:56PM
          • Surely potential graduates might have anticipated this? If they didn't then it's not so bad that they missed out. Still, it's even worse workforce planning by the managament of ausaid. Shouldn't have made offers to so many grads in the first place. I'm sure those jobs have enough funding though....

            vote for pedro
            Date and time
            February 05, 2014, 5:59PM
            • There are too many IT graduates because that's been a cushy way to make big money so it has attracted lots of trainees wanting to make big bucks. There are too few younger people doing trades these days and there is a shortage but why bother having to work hard when you can make big dollars in IT? I guess that only lasts for as long as the industry is lucrative and can absorb more personnel, however, if the jobs run out then so do the prospects of obtaining work in the field. Given they are young enough, perhaps they should think about a career in something other than IT?

              Date and time
              February 05, 2014, 6:55PM
              • Spot on..... sooner or later the cycle does a full turn and people realise those that get their hands dirty and work hard deserve the big $$$ rather than those that break out in sweat at any sign of real work and drink super sized cokes and eat cake all day. IT sadly now equals lazy and after a free workless ride

                Date and time
                February 05, 2014, 8:26PM

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