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Working in Government

What does work in government involve?

Here we answer many of your questions about who can work for the Victorian Government, the skills and experience we look for and how jobs are classified. There's also information on what we expect from our employees, as well as the employment benefits, career progression and entitlements that work in government offers in return.

For more information, read on to find out about:

  • Who can work for the Victorian Government?
  • What experience do I need to work for the Victorian Government?
  • What if I don't have much work experience?
  • What does the Victorian Government expect from its employees?
  • How does a promotion work?
  • What is the executive structure?
  • What is a job classification?
  • What are my employee benefits?
  • What health and safety measures cover me?
  • What can I expect from the workplace?

Who can work for the Victorian Government?

To work in government in Victoria you need to be one of the following:

  • an Australian Citizen
  • a permanent resident of Australia
  • a New Zealand citizen, with a valid passport
  • a citizen of another country, with a valid visa that provides work rights
  • a visitor on a 'working holiday visa', who is working in a temporary or casual role for less than six months with any one employer.

Your employer will need to see the original documents (such as passport, birth certificate or citizenship certificate), as evidence of your right to work. Note that the Victorian Government supports the sponsorship of temporary overseas employees and skilled migration, for certain occupations.

Visit the Australian Department of Immigration and Citizenship for more information.

Please also note that ex-Victorian public servants, who accepted voluntary departure packages from a Government organisation, cannot seek work in government, or do work of any kind with any Victorian public sector agency, for at least three calendar years from their resignation or retirement date.

What experience do I need to work for the Victorian Government?

This depends on the role you are applying for. Each role has key selection criteria that outline any qualifications, work experience, knowledge, skills or abilities needed.

It's best to explore current vacancies on the career website to find out exactly what jobs are available, and the kind of backgrounds we seek, for different types of work in government. Search for jobs now.

What if I don't have much work experience?

Some jobs need less experience than others. For base- or entry-level jobs, ability, personal attributes or knowledge are generally more important than work experience. Most of these are administrative roles, so look for jobs classified at Victorian Public Service Grades 1 and 2, as these positions need the least experience. We will provide training and development to give you the skills you need for further progression.

The Youth Employment Scheme provides apprenticeship and traineeship opportunities for young people aged between 15 and 24 years. Click on the link for eligibility and conditions.

There is also the Victorian Government Graduate Recruitment Scheme, which employs university graduates from a wide range of disciplines. Graduates are offered a number of placements over a year and receive accelerated training, before returning to a home department.

What does the Victorian Government expect from its employees?

When you work for the Victorian Government, we expect you to:

  • adhere to the Code of conduct for Victorian public sector employees
  • treat everyone in your working life fairly, courteously and with sensitivity
  • be open, honest and transparent when you make decisions, provide advice or services
  • provide prompt information that is accurate, up-to-date and in a form that people can understand easily
  • perform at a high standard, and undertake your role with diligence and impartiality
  • consult with your managers about absences
  • observe occupational health and safety practices.

How does a promotion work?

To progress your career in the Victorian Government, you may apply for higher-level job vacancies on the careers website, other jobs boards or in the press. You will need to compete on merit through a selection process for any role.

What is the executive structure?

Executives are employed within a three-band structure, on attractive remuneration packages. At this level of work in government there is access to biennial adjustments and annual bonuses, based on performance.

Executives are employed on fixed-term contracts; conditions of employment are in the executive employment handbook.

We also employ non-executive employees at a senior level, in various occupations, organised according to job classifications that reflect the value of work they perform. Salaries are shown in the job details for each advertised vacancy.

What is a job classification?

In the Victorian Public Service (VPS), jobs are organised according to classifications that reflect the type and value of work performed. Some of the classifications include a wide variety of occupations. These classifications are then coded for reference purposes (on the job search page, on the career website, see 'classification').

In general, where the VPS classification has numbers after the code, this shows a classification structure. The number '1' is usually the lowest level in the classification (and salary) - except for executives.

Different salary ranges then apply for eaach classification, again based on work value. The job details or position description normally shows the current salary range. You would generally commence work in government at the base of the range. Adjustments are then made to salaries from time to time, according to negotiated outcomes under various certified workplace agreements.

What are my employee benefits and conditions?

The VPS Workplace Determination sets out the full range of employee entitlements, for most employees who work in government. These entitlements may vary slightly across departments and agencies, but most employees can expect:

  • an average of 76 hours per fortnight, with a spread of work hours from 7:00am to 7:00pm
  • standard overtime provisions
  • a 25% loading for casual employees
  • a higher duties allowance when acting in a higher classified position for more than five consecutive working days
  • discounted private health insurance
  • extensive leave provisions (go to the 'why work for us?' section).

Employees in public sector agencies are bound by awards or enterprise bargaining agreements. You will have to check with the relevant agency about their employment terms and conditions.

What health and safety measures cover me?

All our employees operate under the provisions of the Occupational Health and Safety Act 2004. This outlines both your and our duties and responsibilities to ensure a healthy and safe workplace. Click here to see the Occupational Health and Safety Act.

What can I expect from the workplace?

When you start your job with the Victorian Government you can expect some form of induction and orientation in the workplace. Practices may vary across agencies, but your manager will introduce you to your work colleagues, familiarise you with agency policies, procedures and systems, and show you around the workplace. A number of organisations also assign buddies to help you settle into your new surroundings, and answer any questions you may have.