Media Release: State of the Service Report 2021-22
The Australian Public Service (APS) Commissioner, Mr Peter Woolcott AO, released the 25th State of the Service Report today.
This year’s report is about building the future – supporting the rapid and seamless transition of government, accelerating APS reform, ensuring the APS reflects and connects with the changing Australian community and confidently prepares for the future of work.
“The APS touches upon every aspect of the lives of Australians. This is a great responsibility and one we continue to carry out with integrity and professionalism,” said Mr Woolcott.
In 2022, the APS worked together to deliver a robust and transparent federal election result, in the face of unprecedented health, security and workforce challenges.
Agencies provided immediate support to incoming ministers, and machinery of government changes have been implemented to support the priorities of the new government.
The Australian Government has announced its reform agenda for the APS. This focuses on acting with integrity and fairness, putting people and businesses at the centre of policy and services, being a model employer and ensuring the APS has the capability to do its job well.
The APS is changing in step with the Australian community. The report outlines that:
- There has been progress towards greater parity between men and women at senior levels in the APS, with the proportion of SES roles held by women now at 52%.
- In 2022 almost a quarter (22.7%) of APS employees were recorded as being born outside of Australia, with 23.2% speaking a first language other than English.
- The average age of APS employees has increased from 40.2 years in 2003 to 43.4 years in 2022, with the APS workforce now comprising five generations.
The report highlights that the APS is experiencing sustained workforce pressures due to a tight labour market and changing employee expectations.
“We are focusing our efforts on enhancing our Employee Value Proposition by exploring options around location and flexibility,” said Mr Woolcott.
“This includes measured steps towards more modern structures and ways of working, accelerating work on culture and capability.”
Over the past year there has been a fundamental shift in the governance and operating model for Learning and Development in the APS. At the core of this integrated approach are the APS Workforce Strategy, APS Learning and Development Strategy and Action Plan, and the APS Academy.
The APS Academy is leading the way to establish a whole of service approach to learning and development which is practitioner-informed and targeted to the practical needs of core APS Craft.
The APSC has formed partnerships with universities and will be launching four APS campuses in regional locations from 2023. Located in Newcastle, Townsville, Darwin and Launceston, these campuses will allow digital and data students and professionals to stay in their regions. This initiative supports the APS Professional Streams to lift the digital and data expertise of the APS and the recently announced 1,000 Digital Traineeships across the APS (over four years).
Fostering an integrity culture in the APS has continued to be a priority. This year the APSC implemented all recommendations of the Report into consultations regarding APS approaches to institutional integrity prepared by Mr Stephen Sedgwick AO. The Australian Public Service Commissioner’s Directions 2022 now require all employees new to the APS to undertake integrity training within six months of commencement.
Striving towards the APS as a model employer, work has commenced on bargaining towards the greater harmonisation of pay and conditions. The report also outlines the Public Sector Interim Workplace Arrangements that have been put into place until August 2023.
More information about the APS workforce is also available through the APS Employee Census 2022. Individual agency reports are available on agency websites from 24 November 2022 and a de-identified Census dataset will also be available on data.gov.au.
Visit our website to read the full State of the Service Report.
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