Australian Government - Australian Customs and Border Protection Service

To protect Australia's borders and foster lawful trade and travel.

Customs and Border Protection Indigenous Cadetship Program

Customs and Border Protection plays a vital role in preventing the illegal movement of people and goods across Australia’s Border. In addition to border protection we play a key role in the contributing to Australia’s economic prosperity by facilitating legitimate trade and travel through airports, seaports and the international mail environment.

A cadetship within Customs and Border Protection helps eligible Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander University or TAFE students to gain the professional qualifications and experience needed to seamlessly move into employment when they finish their studies. 

The Customs and Border Protection Cadetship allows you to study full-time and complete 12 weeks work in a Division which complements your studied subjects.  The 12 week work placement can be completed in one block or broken up into smaller timeframes to suit your academic and personal needs.

Customs and Border Protection offers 57% of the annual salary, as well as financial support whilst you complete your studies. 

The programs’ aim is to recruit and retain Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students with the intention of providing financial support during their studies and offering practical work placements during the long semester break. Cadets are allocated positions within Customs and Border Protection after successful completion of their qualification.

We encourage students from across all disciplines to apply to reflect the diverse range of job opportunities Customs and Border Protection has to offer.

How to apply

To apply for the Customs and Border Protection Indigenous Cadetship Program, you will need to register as a student on the Indigenous Cadetship Support (ICS) website. To find out how to register with the ICS visit

The recruitment process for the Customs and Border Protection Indigenous Cadetship Program is a joint exercise between the Department of Education, Employment and Workplace Relations (DEEWR), Australian Public Service Commission (APSC) and participating agencies, including Customs and Border Protection.

The program is advertised in Indigenous papers, on Indigenous radio, on the APSjobs website, on the APSC website and on the ICS website.  Applicants need to submit an on-line form through the ICS website.

About the Program

DEEWR has overall responsibility for the management of the ICS within the APS. Within Customs and Border Protection the project is coordinated by National Learning and Development.


Cadets undertake studies throughout the academic year at the educational institution at which they have gained entry for their course. At the commencement of each semester, within five working days, cadets need to provide proof of enrolment as well as the prior semester’s academic results to Customs and Border Protection for verification.

Degree disciplines

We value a range of degrees as well as the transferable skills and abilities developed through a course of tertiary study.

Characteristics we seek

  • High standards of probity, ethics and accountability.
  • Leadership skills.
  • Strong goal orientation and commitment to continuous improvement.
  • Sound communication and interpersonal skills.

Employment conditions

Employment conditions include:

A training salary within the ranges listed below (as at as at 15 December 2010 as per the Customs and Border Protection Enterprise Agreement 2010–2011).  Please note academic salary paid at 57% while at University.

Max                        $44,663

Min                         $39,616

At 20 yrs                 $36,051

At 19 yrs                 $32,088

At 18 yrs                 $27,731

Generous employer superannuation contributions (15.4%).

The Higher Education Load Program (HELP) for participants in the ICS is paid by Customs and Border Protection to the Australian Taxation Office on behalf of cadets (this relates to HELP debts for the period of the cadetship).

Four weeks annual leave and a range of family-friendly practices including flex-time and carer’s leave.

Mentor and buddy program facilitated throughout the Cadet program

Security clearance to Protected level required

On successful completion of the program Cadets are allocated a Customs Level 1 (APS 3 equivalent) position with a salary of $45,651 (as at 15 December 2010).

More information

More information about the program is on the APSC and ICS websites as above.