Make a great choice for your future.

Begin your cadetship or traineeship today.

Put yourself on the path to success. We offer cadetships and traineeships at various projects across Downer, providing the support and skills and you'll need to master the basics, grow your practical experience and begin a successful career.


Getting out of my comfort zone | Bryn's story


Apart from paid study and a diverse range of work experiences as a part of your cadetship, you may also get the opportunity to travel, by working on one of our Pacific projects or contributing to our VSA partnership in the Solomon Islands.

In 2016 Bryn secured a role with the VSA in the Solomon Islands.  He worked as an Infrastructure Advisor, helping to build the team’s experience and confidence.

"I personally wanted a challenge that would put me right out of my comfort zone.  It was a great chance for me to grow and learn. 

The biggest test I faced was being stranded on an island because the airline booked me on a flight that didn’t exist. I finally got back to civilisation two days later!

The secondment was a chance to see the real Pacific. I got involved with the local Rugby team and had some great days playing rugby and having a few beers with the locals after the match!

Downer is a business that allows you to experience different sectors of the industry as well as giving you responsibility early on to help build you up as an engineer and a person."

Considering a cadetship? Earn while you learn with the Downer Cadet Programme, offering on the job experience and a fully funded two year NZ Diploma in Engineering Practical (NZDEP).

Back to school after 10 years

Joel was a tour guide working on the Franz Josef Glacier and is now a Site Engineer in Nelson.

"I had been out of school for a decade and was daunted by whether I would be able to pick up where I left off. With a bit of extra study I managed to get the cogs turning again and surprised myself with how easily I could learn. I found I was far more focussed and the learning had a purpose and relevance that it never had at school.

I did a summer internship with Downer during my study break. The people I met and the variety of work I was involved with resonated with the kind of company where I wanted to work. Civil engineering was the right mix for me of hands on and being outdoors, balanced with problem solving."


Considering a career change? Earn while you learn with the Downer Cadet Programme, offering on the job experience and a fully funded two year NZ Diploma in Engineering Practical (NZDEP).

Employees receive formal qualifications while on-the-job

Recently, six of our people at Roy Hill raised their hands to undertake our industry first and 100% site based, traineeship in vehicle servicing and work towards receiving a nationally recognised qualification – all while performing their day jobs.

The Certificate II in Heavy Vehicle Servicing is a 12-month program incorporating theory and practical components, providing our service personnel and trade assistants with a stepping stone towards a Certificate III qualification.

The program was developed by Andrew Scudds, Mining Maintenance Training Superintendent, in partnership with Polytechnic West with the pilot launched at our Christmas Creek operation. Its success at Christmas Creek attracted interest from Roy Hill Superintendents Dave Routley and Dayle Wallis.

“I can see a day very soon when this Cert II in Servicing will become mandatory for all service people or trade assistants,” said Dave.

“The modules of the traineeship are designed specifically to provide on-the-job training and give the candidate the best opportunity at developing their skills.”

“Another great thing about this traineeship is that it provides increased safety awareness for people who work around mobile plant and equipment who aren’t tradespeople.”

By investing in our employees we continue to develop our talent pool, enabling our people to step up the career ladder and lead our business into the future.

Pictured above: The Cert II in Servicing candidates with the Roy Hill team (from left): Maintenance Training Superintendent Andrew Scudds, Polytechnic West Lecturer Damir Stajduhar, Brad Congdon, Michael Haigh, Mark Donnelly, Peter Wyatt, Peter Murray, Brandon Weston, Maintenance Superintendent Dave Routley, HSET Superintendent Emma Cullen.

Employee profile: Ian Saltner

It took just three months of his 12-month Operator Traineeship at our Meandu project in Queensland for Ian Saltner to be deemed competent to operate three different models of haul truck.

Ian is of the Wakka Wakka people and grew up in Cherbourg, a small community of just 2,000 people in South East Queensland. One of nine children, he enjoyed footy, hunting and camping. Coming from a small community with limited job opportunities, he appreciated the chance to try something different.

“I heard about the traineeship through Employment Services Queensland, and was interested as I wanted to learn new skills and to improve my family’s lifestyle.”

Ian has a wife and four young children, so being able to work an hour’s drive away suits him well.

”The job is good, as I get to come home to my kids and wife. Getting used to the hours and nightshift has been difficult, but people have helped me get used to it.”

“By the end of the 12-month program, I will have been trained and authorised to operate haul trucks and water carts. After the traineeship, I’d like to work in mining full time and get training for more machines, maybe even supervise a crew one day. I’d also like to encourage more Aborigines to apply for these kinds of opportunities.”

Ian said his work crew has been supportive and that anyone wanting to take part in a traineeship should be willing to ask questions.

“Anyone interested in the traineeship should not be afraid to have a go, ask questions, and listen to what your workmates tell you as you can learn a lot.”

Downer’s Road Services Cadetship program

Now into its seventh year, Downer’s Road Cadetship program welcomes 10 to 12 university students as cadets each year.

The program introduces students how to apply what they learn through studies into real world applications. Parallel education and practical experience reinforce the why of what they are learning and quickly provide opportunities to practice what they have learnt. 

“Our cadets come from a variety of University majors such as Engineering, Science and Business, but all share a keen interest in project management and contracting,” said Michelle Fox, National Human Resources Manager – Road Services.

Cadets are mentored through their University studies right up to their graduation, with full-time work placement from November to March, at a time that their University schedules. Depending on study and work schedules, semester work is also often undertaken through the rest of the year.

“The aim of our Road Services Cadetship program is to rotate our cadets throughout the business so they get a holistic view of what a contracting business does and to build them into future leaders. Our Cadets learn to be flexible, build people skills and project management fundamentals in real life environments. It is important they start from the ground up so they can handle any challenge presented to them in the future,” said Michelle.

Read about some of our Road Services cadets’ experiences below.

Applications for the program open in August each year, and will be advertised here on Downer’s Careers Page. For further inquiries on the program, please email michelle.fox@downergroup.com.

Cadet Daniel Bendo

“I enjoyed being part of the crew, from the start of the day until clean up. I was able to meet lots of new people and learn new skills. Downer’s Road Services Cadetship program also helped me appreciate the amount of organisation a job requires for it to be successful, and gave me experience of how to put that into practice.

‘What was important to me was that I wasn’t just there to watch, I was there to help and learn – it’s something I believe will be invaluable when I graduate.

“I felt extremely well taken care of in the Cadetship program, as well as challenged.  It was a professional atmosphere where I felt comfortable to ask questions, get involved and learn about every aspect of the business. The Cadet rotations are well structured and the Cadet Champions have weekly catch-ups with me to follow my progress. Downer has afforded me an invaluable experience that I will take with me through my engineering degree at University and into my future career.”

Daniel Bendo First Year Cadet, Downer Road Services

“Everyone around me taught me the ropes of each task so that I could be a functioning cog in the machine. Working with the crews helps you learn about the way the processes are completed by the team out on the ground; you get a full understanding of the job - all the way from the initial planning stages to the final clean up once a job is completed. Being involved in all the different aspects of the Road Services business allowed me to get a feel of each of the positions and find out which sections I would want to move into once I complete my cadetship.” 

Thomas Cotter-Gilles, First Year Cadet, Downer Road Services