The Australian Public Service Commission ‘job family’ model groups functionally-similar jobs that perform related tasks and require similar or related skills and knowledge. The model classifies jobs at three levels; by Family, Function and Role. There are nineteen job families, which are broken down into clusters of job functions and further into job roles.
In this chapter, the analysis is focused at the job family and job role levels. The job family framework was updated in 2021 to be more aligned with the principles of an occupational taxonomy, by removing duplicates, obsolete roles and adding new relevant job roles aligned with the APS Professions. This new version of the job family model is referred to in this December data release. As a result the previous data release’s job family model may not be directly comparable in all cases. For more information on the job family model, please refer to https://www.apsc.gov.au/job-family-model.
As at 31 December 2021, 37 agencies supplied job family data relating to 132,186 (85%) of APS employees. The high number of roles mapped to the job family model to date provides a reliable dataset for statistical modelling and forecasting.
A quarter of the APS work in the Service Delivery job family (25.6%). Other job families that employ significant numbers of APS staff are Compliance and Regulation (12.1%), Administration (8.7%) and Portfolio, Program and Project Management (8.5%) (APSED December 2021 Table 29).
There were 249 distinct job roles in the APS at 31 December 2021. The Call or Contact Centre role remains the most common type of work in the APS (17,605 or 13.3%). Staff working in Call or Contact Centre roles are mostly employed by Services Australia (98.3% of Call or Contact Centre roles), although the Department of Agriculture, Water and the Environment, Department of Veterans’ Affairs, the Australian Financial Security Authority and the Department of Education, Skills and Employment also have a small number of jobs in this role. Other common APS job roles include Strategic Policy Advice and Development (7,071 or 5.3%), Administrative Support Officer (6,661 or 5%), and Compliance Case Management (5,684 or 4.3%).
Many job families have an uneven gender representation (Figure 5.1). There are a high proportion of females employed in a number of job families including Service Delivery (72.2%), Human Resources (71.7%), Administration (68.5%) and Communications and Marketing (67.7%). In contrast, males are more highly represented in technical job families such as Engineering and Technical (82.2%), Trades and Labour (81.6%), ICT and Digital Solutions (67.6%) and Intelligence (55.2%).
Figure 5.1: Proportion of men and women by job family, December 2021
Source: APSED December 2021 Table 29
The geographic distribution of job families across Australia reflects a focus on service delivery to citizens. Figure 5.2 shows the Service Delivery job family has higher proportion of employees located outside the Australian Capital Territory. For example, 93.2% of employees working in Service Delivery work outside the Australian Capital Territory. Other job families that are concentrated outside the Australian Capital Territory include Compliance and Regulation (88.4%), Science and Health (82.2%) and Data and Research (67.9%). Job families commonly represented in the Australian Capital Territory are are Policy (81.3%), Senior Executive (67.3%), ICT and Digital Solutions (63.5%), Portfolio, Program and Project Management (55.3%) and Intelligence (55.0%).
Figure 5.2: Proportion of job families located outside the Australian Capital Territory, December 2021
Source: APSED December 2021 Table 31
Employees at the APS 1 to 4 levels are mostly clustered in the Service Delivery, Compliance and Regulation and Administration job families. The bulk of APS 1 employees work in Administration (74.6%), with 72.5% in the Administrative Support Officer role. More than half (52.9%) of APS 2 to 4 staff work in Service Delivery while a further 17.1% are employed in Compliance and Regulation. There is a much greater spread across job families for APS 5 and APS 6 classifications, although a significant proportion are still employed in Service Delivery (17.6%) and Portfolio, Program and Project Management (10.7%). Staff at the EL 1 and EL 2 classifications are employed across most job families with a significant proportion working in Policy (14.8%), Portfolio, Program and Project Management (14.6%), Compliance and Regulation (8.0%) and ICT (7.7%). (APSED December 2021 Table 32).
Most non-ongoing employees work in three job families: Service Delivery (50.8%), Administration (14.3%) and Compliance and Regulation (9.6%). Non-ongoing employees employed on an irregular or intermittent basis (known as ‘casual’ employees) are even more concentrated within the Service Delivery (64.1%) and Administration (19.2%) job families. The proportion of casual employees in Service Delivery decreased from 70.0% to 64.1% during 2021, whereas the Administration job family saw an increase from 11.4% to 19.2%. The Call, Contact or Smart Centre role remains the most represented type of work for casual employees at 45.9%, followed by Administrative Support (19.0%) and Customer Support (17.6%).
Movement between agencies
During the 2021 calendar year, 4,896 ongoing employees have moved agencies (including temporary movements) out of the 111,526 ongoing employees with recorded job family details at December 2020. Analysis shows that more specialised technical roles tend to have lower external mobility than generalist job family roles (Figure 5.3). The Policy (11.5%) job family had the highest level of mobility, followed by Communications and Marketing (9.1%) and the Senior Executive (8.3%). The job families with the lowest mobility of less than 1% were Trade and Labour, Science and Health, and Engineering and Technical. Note that not all employees have moved to the same job family in their new agency.
Figure 5.3: Proportion of employees by job family that have moved agencies, 2020-21