Our Award Winning Graduate Programme

Our Award Winning Graduate Programme

We're inspired by the challenge to create a better future. The purpose of our award-winning graduate programme is to develop Aotearoa’s future leaders.

Our programme has recently evolved into a pathway which supports our young professionals through the first five years of their development. This pathway is designed to expose our graduates to a variety of opportunities within the contracting landscape and aid them towards becoming chartered engineers. During this time, we aim to develop well-rounded, highly skilled professionals by exposing you to the wider business before you specialise in one area.

Within a graduate role at Downer, you will have the opportunity to learn how to manage contracts, programmes, manage risk and budgets, supervise civil works/road maintenance and design. You'll develop core competencies across the areas of people management, delegation, negotiation, time management and presentation skills - and that's just the start of it!

The programme is open to students who have completed a Bachelor of Engineering (Hons) in Civil, Mechanical or Electrical Engineering. Intakes for the graduate programme occur annually and applications can be found on our website.


Downer Young Professional Perks

Young Professionals Mentoring Programme

Downer has an established network of mentors across our business communities. As a Graduate, you will be partnered with an experienced senior leader who has time to meet with you on a regular basis to help you set future career goals and find your way as a graduate.

Ongoing Professional Development

Our Young Professional community are constantly innovating and pushing the boundaries for Downer to think differently about the way we work. Check out below a number of our internal community groups/initiatives which have been endorsed by our senior leadership teams and stemmed from our emerging talent programmes.



Young Professionals Conference

Every year we invite Graduates to participate in the Young Professionals Conference. This is a two-day event that incorporates personal and professional development, along with some great team building and networking opportunities. Our Executive leadership team also attend and join in the activities throughout the couple of days.

Downer recognises the importance of graduates contributing to the Downer strategic plan now as they will be leading the Downer of the future. Our last conference “Be The Wave” focused on the waves of change in our business, our industry and our society and taught our graduates tools that help them to not only survive but thrive in times of change.

Engineering Forums

We know professional registration is important and encourage our graduates to become Chartered Professional Engineers through EngNZ. We run a series of monthly technical forums alongside in person forums across New Zealand to help you in getting there.

Forums are designed for our graduates to bring their portfolios of evidence for review and receive feedback and guidance from Engineering NZ recognised assessors on their paperwork. Managers are also encouraged to attend and provide support to the wider Young Professionals network. The forums are a mix of education, informal networking and plenty of pizza!

Our Cadetship Programme

Our Cadetship Programme

Kick start your career at Downer. We offer a great Cadet Programme, which will help you to get the experience you need to succeed as an engineer. Here at Downer, we view every cadet as a potential leader. In fact, some of our current leaders started their careers as a cadet, this is a great opportunity to earn while you learn and grow your career.

Our programme takes between 2.5 to 4 years to complete, depending on the academic status at the time of commencing the programme. Every cadet has their own mentor to support study and work placement learnings and our dedicated programme managers oversee and support their progress. This programme offers a structured rotation plan that ensures a full range of roading and construction knowledge and experiences.

The programme includes regular meetings to share experiences with other cadets and connect with our wider young professional community. We also provide an opportunity to expand your network with peers and give you access to business managers and our executive leaders.

During this programme, Downer provides financial and leave allocation to support academic achievement and permanent entry-level engineering roles will be offered upon successful completion of the programme.

Applications will open next year, please keep an eye on our website and social media for opening dates.

Our Summer Internship Programme

Our Summer Internship Programme

 The Downer Summer Intern Programme provides engineering students with a structured 12 week programme of hands on job training and work experience and an introduction to the world of contracting. It’s also an excellent pathway to our Graduate programme. 

Working as part of a road maintenance crew or supporting a tender submission, our summer interns are expected to get involved, gain a greater understanding of the industry and make a contribution to the business. 

We are looking for future leaders who are keen to demonstrate their ability, want to develop their leadership skills, are self-motivated and enjoy being challenged every day. Interns who prove themselves may be offered full-time employment into the Downer graduate programme or be invited back for the following summer if still a student. 

Downer has projects throughout New Zealand so ideally candidates need to be agile, willing to move to projects where their skill set is needed, and be keen to face any challenge to gain the right experiences to take their career forward. 

Applications are now closed for our 2022/2023 programme, but stay tuned later in the year when we release more information for 2023/2024!

Building your career at Downer

We've got the work, bring your difference

If you're passionate about pushing the boundaries, trying something and challenging the norms, take the next step in your career journey with Downer.

Find the right job for you