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Leadership and Talent - Early in Career logo.

We are investing in ensuring that people have a strong start in the Public Service, from their first day as a new professional. 

The Public Service has roles in every sector within New Zealand, and in every community.

Students, graduates, and new professionals need an understanding of the full range of opportunities available to them, whether they are seeking temporary roles, beginning permanent roles, or their professional career.

New professionals starting in the Public Service can expect:

  • exposure to a range of opportunities which can inform future choices of employment or specialisation, and
  • the ability to connect experiences across sectors, professions, and agencies.

The State Services Commission (SSC) Early in Career programme is currently focused on induction and career development for interns and graduates. Some of the ways we are helping shape leaders for the future include:

1. Summer Interns and Graduates

The SSC centrally hosts inductions for summer interns and graduates, these events highlight career opportunities within the Public Service and help new professionals to create networks amongst peers and form connections across agencies.

SSC also works with agencies to support a collective approach to the attraction, selection, development and retention of new professionals across the system.

2. Induction to the State services

The SSC has worked with agencies to create an online introduction to working in the State services.  This is available for all our Public Service agencies to use in their induction programmes. The module supports new starters to understand what it means to be a public servant, the machinery of government, and how their agency priorities fit into the wider context and system priorities. 

The induction module can be viewed at Induction to the State Services

3. Emerging Leaders Fast Stream programme

2015 to 2018 SSC piloted an Emerging Leaders Fast Stream Programme to increase bench-strength and diversity of the future public service leaders. This program was targeted at high-potential emerging leaders who demonstrated their readiness to step up to their first people management or thought leadership role. Participants developed a breadth and depth of knowledge, skills, and experience over the three-year accelerated development programme. The Justice sector hosted the pilot and further opportunities are being explored. 

The Leadership Development Centre (LDC) partners with agencies to deliver emerging leader development and tools – more information about their role can be found on the LDC website.

If you are thinking about embarking on a public service career, you can find more about current opportunities for interns and graduates at nxtstep or at

Email for more information.

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