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​​Graduate programme

Procurement graduates are placed in agencies across government, and receive support and training in procurement over a two-year programme.

The Procurement Graduate Programme provides:

  • multiple rotations in a range of government agencies working on interesting and high value projects
  • professional skills development through networking events, a buddy programme and training


Duration: 3:25

Opening doors to Procurement

Kia Ora

I'm Bridget and I'm Jess and today we're going to be talking about Procurement.

If you don't know what this is - don't worry not many people do.

Even though procurement is one of the fastest growing professions in New Zealand not many people know what it is.

We found this out when we went to the streets in Wellington and asked what they thought Procurement is?

I do have quite a few smart friends who probably would be able to tell me exactly what Procurement means but there is quite a few of us who don't.

Absolutely no idea, I don't know.

If they bought businesses more often, they could have more employment for other people?

Procurement as a profession - can be a bit of a mystery.

So what is it in reality?

Procurement actually means a lot of different things to different people.

But probably in its simplest form its all about the planning, sourcing and buying of goods and services for an organisation.

Importantly, it more than just buying stuff, if fact if it was just buying stuff, we would just be called shoppers.

The most interesting procurement I have undertaken in my time in procurement, would be trying to actually source Jaffa's for promotional material for a large corporate bank.

It was by not means a small bit of procurement, we were looking at about 30,000 or 40,000 Jaffas.

That was packets of 10, boxes of 500. It was 3 or 4 pallets, it was massive.

There are only a few companies that do it, and you get to sample a lot of product so that was quite good!

The most interesting thing I have done for procurement would come from my time with New Zealand Defence Force.

I got involved in a really cool project, with the project team and I was running the commercial and procurement side and we were buying parachutes for special forces and their insertion into airfields.

It's not just about buying the parachutes themselves, there is a whole bunch of operational testing that needs to be done as well.

That was certainly something that was quite unique and really exciting to be a part of.

It was also a really good outcome from a project perspective and the procurement aspect attached to the project.

So now that we know a little bit more about procurement and what it is, you may be asking yourself is this for me?

If that is the case and you are a recent university graduate or will be graduating soon you may want to consider applying for the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment's Procurement Graduate Programme.

This is what we did last year.

Our procurement graduate programme is structured uniquely across government.

So you come on board for 2 years and you get 4 rotations at different government agencies which is great, because it allows you to experience different operating environments and different agencies with different purposes.

We also put you through some study which we subsidise, towards a procurement qualification.

The feedback we have from the grad programme so far is that the people who are coming out the other end of it are incredibly employable and really desirable in procurement jobs already.

To find out more information about the Procurement Graduate Programme contact us today.

www.procurement.govt.nz nzpa@mbie.govt.nz

What you'll learn

We'll place you with multiple government agencies over the two year programme to give you broad exposure and experience in procurement. Programme opportunities are based in Auckland and Wellington.

By the end of the programme, you should:

  • understand applicable commercial concepts, strategies and best practice principles and how to apply them to deliver results
  • understand or have had experience undertaking core procurement tasks including:
    • needs identification, market and spend analysis and forecasting future demand
    • early market engagement and market engagement strategies
    • running tenders
    • supplier or provider management
  • have developed excellent written skills including being able to write compelling and well thought through business cases
  • have excellent relationship management skills including:
    • being able to participate effectively in groups and teams
    • identifying and effectively engaging with internal and external stakeholders
    • engaging with suppliers and providers
    • acting with influence in order to help deliver an organisation’s work.

Who should apply

To apply, you must have completed a tertiary degree and have the right to live and work in New Zealand, as well as:

  • understand and demonstrate leadership skills
  • be engaging and dynamic
  • easily adapt and work fluidly in fast-paced, ever-changing environments
  • be an innovative, solutions-based thinker who is easy to learn.

How to apply

Applications for the Procurement Graduate Programme typically open in the first half of each year. You can sign up for a notification when the programme opens by creating a profile with MBIE careers.

MBIE careers

For more information about the programme, email us at procurement@mbie.govt.nz.

For more detail about jobs in the procurement industry, check out the Careers New Zealand website.