Human Services seeks STEM grads for CIO scheme

Human Services seeks STEM grads for CIO scheme

Urging talented grads to apply for six-month placement with opportunity to specialise

The Department of Human Services (DHS) is offering university graduates with STEM skills places on a six month IT career development scheme.

Successful applicants will join the department’s Chief Information Officer Group at hubs in Canberra, Adelaide, and Brisbane.

The scheme – which ran for the first time last year – will require participants to use “analytical and creative thinking, and initiative to tackle the challenges of fast-changing technology in an agile ICT environment”, the department said.

DHS chief information security officer Narelle Devine said the organisation’s ICT operation – which she claimed to be one of the largest in the southern hemisphere – was a unique place for grads to start their career in IT.

“What sets us apart is that our work touches the lives of nearly all Australians at some point, and we have the opportunity to make a real difference for people. The massive scale of our IT systems, exposure to diverse technologies and access to world class training and development make DHS an excellent starting point for a rewarding ICT career,” Devine said.

As part of the scheme – which closes for application on April 18 – graduates will participate in innovation design workshops and work at the APS5 level. Training specific to their chosen career pathway will be provided, which may include internationally recognised certifications in SAP, HANA, JAVA and Microsoft.

The starting salary for those employed after the scheme will be $69,699.

“The 2017 STEM scheme offers graduates countless pathways to kick-start their career including ICT architecture, business analysis, design, system engineering, development, testing, and data analysis,” Devine said. “Graduates will gain valuable, hands-on exposure of the department’s operations and successful participants will be offered permanent employment at the end of their six-month training.”

The department was particularly keen on receiving applications from young women.

“Cyber security, and IT more generally, is often perceived as being a male-dominated industry, but the department’s modern workplace culture provides great opportunities for anyone who is passionate about technology,” Devine added.

DHS’s ICT function supports the systems that deliver more than $172 billion in payments annually across Centrelink, Medicare and Child Support.

There are currently 125 positions to be filled on the scheme.

Overhaul and rural reach

Earlier this month, the department announced it had chosen Accenture to be the lead systems integrator for the first part of a program to overhaul Centrelink’s payment system. The Welfare Payment Infrastructure Transformation (WPIT) Program will be one of the largest welfare ICT transformations in the world, the department said at the time.

The department’s recent Windows 10 implementation was the largest deployment in the Asia-Pacific region to date. Speaking in Sydney last month, Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella said there was “no better example” of how technology can be used to improve lives.

Last year DHS trialled a video interview app known internally as Express Plus Connect, which allows employees to set up video calls, schedule appointments, exchange documents and generate reports with clients via any connected PC. The innovation is expected to prove especially beneficial to operations in rural areas, the department said.

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