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Student Careers

Here at the Ministry of Education we have multiple pathways into employment for those early in their careers. Below you will find a summary of the main pathways into our Ministry as a student, intern, or graduate. However, there are often other opportunities that pop up that may be suitable for someone early in their careers. Sign up for our email notifications on our careers center so you are able to keep informed for when these roles come up during the year.

If you do have any queries regarding any of the following programmes email us at earlyin.career@education.govt.nz

Graduate Policy Analyst Programme

Applications for the 2023 programme have closed

Every year Te Tāhuhu o te Mātauranga | Ministry of Education recruits a new cohort of Graduate Policy Analysts to join Te Puna Kaupapahere | our extensive Policy Community.

As a Graduate Policy Analyst, you'll be part of an 18-month development programme to kick-start your career in policy. The programme will include two nine-month placements in different policy teams to give you experience in a variety of policy kaupapa and education subject areas.

Most of all, our Graduate programme will provide you with opportunities to help shape an education system that delivers equitable and excellent outcomes for ākonga (learners), families, whānau, communities and wider Aotearoa New Zealand.

We would love to receive your application if you:

  • have completed within the last two years (or are in the final year of) an undergraduate or postgraduate qualification
  • have a genuine interest in working in policy and making a difference to education
  • are creative and flexible and able to work effectively in a fast-paced ambiguous environment
  • have an understanding of Te Tiriti o Waitangi and how giving practical effect to it can support education success for Māori and Māori-Crown relationships.

How to stay up to date:

Stay up to date by following us on social media and registering yourself a profile with our careers centre to receive email notifications for future early in career and graduate opportunities at the Ministry of Education.

Sign-up for email notifications on our careers centre, and keep an eye on our NxtStep page for more information on early in career opportunities at the Ministry of Education.

See what our past graduates have to say about the programme

Maraea Mullane-Ronaki: Policy Analyst, Māori Education

Tahirah Moton

I applied for this role because I wanted to advocate for whānau from within the system. Having ākonga and their whanāu at the front of my mind whenever I'm doing policy work is what makes the job meaningful. As I discover just how huge this machine, we are up against is, I also come to realise that our efforts for change must also be unrelenting – ka whawhai tonu mātou. It's vital that you look after yourself and stay grounded in your communities.

To this end, connecting with and learning from other Māori in the public service has been so important to me. Also, one of my favourite parts of the graduate programme is that you have a cohort of other grads who are a great support system as well.

I'm also the first in my family to graduate from university, so being able to help break intergenerational cycles of disadvantage has been huge. I encourage students who come from similar backgrounds to apply for the programme - we cannot leave decision-making at the highest level to those who are so far removed from our communities. You bring a wealth of knowledge and lived experience and are the best authority on how the system must change.

Alex Cliffe: Policy Analyst, Pacific Education Policy

Kahu Rapira-Davies

I’ve always wanted to work in a role where I’m directly involved in creating and sustaining intergenerational wellbeing for Māori.

Here at the Ministry of Education, I have the privilege of being able to make real contributions to Aotearoa's education system, enabling it to better respond to the diverse needs and aspirations of rangatahi Māori and their whānau.

I would recommend the graduate programme for anyone looking to develop the skills needed to navigate a career in policy while also making real change for the future generations of Aotearoa.

Summer Internship Programme

Applications for our 2022 Programme open July 25th 2022

About the Programme

We currently offer a paid 12 week internship programme over the summer holidays. This programme is available to all students who have completed at least two years of tertiary study, including those who may have already graduated.

This is an opportunity suited for someone who is beginning their career and is looking for their first step into the professional environment. You'll be working on real projects with experienced colleagues, who'll support you to develop your skills and knowledge further, and make the most of your time with us.

Opportunities are available in a range of areas, and can give you a real taste for where your career could take you. Many of our past interns have gone on to be employed with us or with other education sector organisations.

Sign-up for email notifications on our careers centre, and keep an eye on our NxtStep page for more information.

Who are we looking for?

We are looking for resilient and driven people who are motivated to make a difference to our education system. We are looking for effective communicators, who enjoy working as part of a team and collaborating to make a positive contribution to our country's future.

We welcome applications from students from diverse backgrounds, including Māori, Pacific and Disabled people that will enrich our understanding of the education system. We know there are many different pathways in education. Your academic grades aren't the be-all and end-all. We're looking for fresh ideas and diverse perspectives, as well as an ability to learn from your mistakes, take initiative and communicate effectively.

Meet some of our interns

Alex Cliffe: Policy Analyst, Pacific Education Policy

Hannah Buckley

I studied law, politics and political science at Victoria University and have always wanted to work in Government. During my internship, I worked in the Employment Relations team on collective agreement bargaining and the Teacher Aide Pay Equity Claim which were both super new and exciting. The bonds I formed with my intern cohort was the highlight of my experience alongside the transformative work I was lucky enough to be involved in. I was grateful to be offered the opportunity to continue my mahi in the Employment Relations Team after I graduated.

Alex Cliffe: Policy Analyst, Pacific Education Policy

Fa’amanū Taeao

Talofa lava, o lo’u igoa o Fa’amanu Taeao. I am of full Samoan descent but was born in Aotearoa. I come from the villages of Faleālupo Savaii, Saipipi , Matāutu Falelatai, Falevao and Fagamalo. I graduated with a double major in Music Studies and Pacific Studies at Victoria University of Wellington. During my internship, I experienced what it was like to work in the public sector for the first time. The Ministry of Education provided opportunities, in which I was able to experience working with different departments and projects like Ka Ora, Ka Ako | School Lunches. The mahi is purposeful and benefits for all tamariki across Aotearoa. I am now currently working as a Project Administrator for the Special Projects Team in the Sector Enablement & Support Department

Learning Support Pathways

What is Learning Support?

We deliver policies, resources and services for targeted interventions, specialist support services, funding and other resources for children and young people with learning support needs.

The Learning Support area of the Ministry is charged with leading the Education sector in ensuring that children and young people with additional learning needs are supported to achieve their full potential through education.

Our Learning Support specialists work closely with families, whānau, caregivers, schools and early childhood educators in English and Māori medium settings and other agencies to help maximise learning outcomes and promote social inclusion.

Click here to find out more about Learning Support and the work that our specialists do.

Pathways to Specialist Roles


We are the largest employer of Educational Psychologists and one of the largest employers of Speech Language Therapists (SLT) in New Zealand and supporting pathways into these key positions is an ongoing priority for the Ministry. Scholarships open the door to a diverse and rewarding career where you will deal with a rich variety of cases and interact with schools and early learning services, parents, whānau, children and young people.

We offer internship scholarships for Educational Psychologists, and Child and Family Psychologists. Find out more information here.

We also offer a scholarship for Speech Language Therapists which you find out more information about here.