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Challenge 2: Australian Public Service Commission


Positioning the APS for the future

Australia's future growth and prosperity relies on having a sufficient workforce to fill the jobs of tomorrow.

Over the next 40 years, the proportion of the Australian working age population in the labour force is expected to decline as our community ages. By around 2055 (when many of today's graduates will still have about another decade in the workforce!) the participation rate for Australians aged 15-64 years is projected to fall to 62.4 per cent, compared to 65.9 per cent at 30 June 2016. At the same time, many older workers, who would normal be retiring by today's standards, will be working much longer!

What does this mean for the workforce of the future? What do organisations need to do to accommodate greater age diversity (and everything that comes with it)?

Your challenge:

How can we support younger managers to effectively manage and embrace the employment of staff who may have decades more experience and knowledge?


There are no constraints, other than all answers should be respectful of a valuable component of the workforce, older more experienced employees.

Your expectations

Any solutions need to be:

  • broadly applicable across the APS
  • pragmatic
  • easily implementable
  • not cost restrictive, smaller agencies with tight budgets need to also be able to use your solution.


To assist in formulating solutions, you could take a look at the 2015 Intergenerational Report – Australia in 2055, CEDA's Australia's future workforce? report, Tomorrow's Digitally Enabled Workforce or Australian Bureau of Statistics data.

Last reviewed: 
6 June 2018