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How to find a Government Procurement and Contracting Job

by | Jul 14, 2022 | Latest News, Procurement and Contracting

So you want a procurement or contract management job in government? We’ve got the inside tips to help you find your next role.

Whether you are just starting out in procurement and contract management, or you want to make your move into the government sector, there are lots of opportunities out there. 

You simply need to know where to look. 

In the article, we’ll uncover where to start looking for procurement or contract management roles for the Australian Government. While these steps are specific to the federal government, the situation is similar across states and territories.

Where are roles promoted?

All full-time or part time roles for government procurement and contract management are advertised on the APS jobs website

APSJobs is a platform for Government Agencies (APS and non-APS) to advertise their vacant positions, as well as promotions, graduate programs and general information for job seekers.

There’s no shortage of jobs – a search in June 2022 returned more than 120 jobs in Procurement and more than 100 in “Contract management”. All of these roles require some knowledge and experience in either procurement or contract management, even though the jobs may not have those terms in their title.

How to search on APSJobs

APSJobs works like most job sites and you can search by location and role.

Search these keywords when looking for procurement and contract management roles:

  • Procurement
  • Contract
  • Buyer
  • Purchasing

Pro Tip: Roles with titles like “Project Officer” may also be used to describe jobs that involve a fair amount of procurement or contract management activities.

Like most job sites, you can create an account to receive email alerts when positions are advertised that match your search criteria. Then, you can apply by clicking the ‘Apply Now’ button on the job ad to be redirected to the recruitment site.

How much do procurement and contract management roles typically pay?

It depends – pay and conditions are determined at an agency level and vary from one agency to the next.

So, if you’ve found a job you like and are thinking about applying, start by going to the agency’s Enterprise Agreement on their website to see their pay and conditions.

For example, here’s the enterprise agreement for the Department of Industry, Science, Energy and Resources

What about contract or temporary roles?

If you want to dip your toe into a procurement role but aren’t looking for full time, permanent work, there are other attractive options.

Non-Ongoing and Casual Roles: 

Not all jobs are permanent, so consider casual or ‘non-ongoing’ roles. Non-ongoing roles are paid at the same rates and have the same conditions as permanent roles, however they are for a set period of time, e.g. 12 months. 

To find these roles, simply check the jobs or careers pages of the agency or department. For example, the Department of Health has a specific Health Careers page that lists a range of available roles

Contract Roles: 

There’s been a big increase in contractor numbers over the past ten years or so. The reason comes down to budget. Australian government agencies are subject to an ‘efficiency dividend’, which means their budgets are reduced each year by around 2.5%. 

With the majority of budgets spent on staffing, this has led to reductions in numbers of permanent staff, even though the work still needs to be done. 

There have also been headcount freezes, meaning agencies could not recruit new staff or even, in some instances, replace employees who have left. 

This has led to an increase in the number of contractors, as well as the outsourcing of all but core functions. This means many roles are now provided under contract to government by a private sector firm. There are many roles supporting government agencies across logistics, information technology, security, cleaning, hospitality and facilities management. Many of these staff even work onsite in government buildings or facilities alongside full-time government staff. 

Most contract roles are sourced through recruitment firms and are advertised on job sites, such as SeekIndeedJora or CareerOne

There’s also a huge number of roles on the Temp Register.

What is the Temp Register (TER)?

All government departments operate a Temporary Employment Register (TER).

The TER helps fill temporary positions across the department and is open for candidates to register an interest in employment at a range of different levels and in different roles. 

Pro Tip: A temporary role can be up to a maximum period of three years, which is still plenty of time to gain experience and skills. 

The beauty of this option is you don’t need to have experience in a government department or the specific industry (e.g. the health sector).

Remember, the TER is a register only and you will only be contacted regarding your application if a vacancy arises that matches your skills, qualifications and/or experience.

Find the TER for each agency on the APS jobs website.

5 things you should do right now

To find your government job, do these things now:

  1. Search on a daily or weekly basis on the APS jobs website, and sign up for notifications of new jobs. 
  2. Register on the TER for all agencies you’re interested in. Remember – registering is no guarantee of work. Find the TER for each agency on the APS jobs website.
  3. Maximise your job search by using job sites, such as Seek and Indeed, and sign up for job alerts.
  4. Register with recruiters who specialise in work with government. Not sure who these agencies are? Look at who is advertising on job sites and reach out to these recruiters. Most recruiters have a registration process which includes an interview, presenting your resume and filling out your details for their database. 
  5. Keep your CV, online profiles (including LinkedIn) and any referees up to date so you can rapidly respond to opportunities as they arise.

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