Go to top of page

Key findings

An Asia-capable APS providing insightful advice to government and delivering effective services to citizens is an important part of ensuring that Australia is adaptable and successful in what some have termed the Asian century. This chapter has examined APS preparations for the Asian century and provided a baseline from which to monitor progress.

Data from the agency survey suggests a link between the Asia focus of APS agencies and the Asia focus of their stakeholders. A key challenge for all agencies will be to anticipate the shifting level of Asia-oriented interest among their stakeholders so they have the level of Asia capability required to provide well-informed service and advice.

Agency assessments of current maturity levels relating to a range of Asia capabilities demonstrate that agencies have a firm foundation on which to build the capabilities they will require in the future. While there are some deficiencies in knowledge, these can be addressed over time through exposure, experience and training.

APS employees have a diverse range of Asia capabilities, ranging from language skills to Asian studies degrees or experience living and working in Asia. The pipeline of potential APS leaders with Asia experience is strong, with 30% of graduates and trainees having experience in Asia. While the depth of Asia capability and experience will need to continue to expand, the current depth of workforce capability provides a good foundation. The breadth of Asia capability in the ranks of the SES is also encouraging.