We will adapt to and drive changes in our environment to ensure we remain poised to support the APS to meet the demands and expectations of the Australian Government and people.
We continue to operate in a fast-paced environment, characterised by rapid change, technological advancement and accelerated demand for skills and talent. The challenges facing the APS are interconnected, requiring collaborative and adaptive responses by government, industry and the Australian people.
These trends are playing out against a backdrop of a continued response to the COVID-19 pandemic and a range of natural disasters, reinforcing the importance of a flexible, high-performing APS workforce that is equipped to operate as one enterprise. This is not unique to us. All major workforces both domestically and internationally are facing similar challenges, with renewed focus on citizen-centric services that people trust, and rapid delivery to meet rising community expectations.
To support the APS to design and deliver programs, services and policy that reflect the needs of all Australians, we will provide diversity and inclusion support, guidance and leadership to APS agencies, enabling them to maintain and build an APS workforce that reflects the diversity of Australia.
The Commission’s role in ensuring the continued professionalism, integrity and capability of the APS remains key. Through Delivering for Tomorrow: APS Workforce Strategy 2025, we will continue to develop APS people and the skills they bring.
Recognising the increasing importance of, and demand for skills and talent, the recently launched APS Academy will lift core skills in areas unique to the APS Craft, and the Professionalising APS Capabilities approach will continue to lift skills and expertise in other areas of critical capability, including core digital and data skills.
In July 2021, the Prime Minister agreed that the function within the Digital Transformation Agency that supports the work of the Digital Profession will transfer to the Commission. This change provides closer alignment of the Digital Profession with the Commission’s broader responsibilities for APS-wide capability, including the APS Academy and the APS Workforce Strategy. It also brings valuable, additional digital capability to the Commission.
It is critical to ensure the APS attracts and retains the right people with the rights skills, but also that those people are supported by appropriate structures. Permanently embedding the APS Surge Reserve and the APS Mobility Framework will ensure our people are able to rapidly mobilise in response to crises. To ensure that these staff are supported by appropriate and efficient decision-making structures and simple and clear workforce management guidelines, an independent review panel is exploring, on our behalf, opportunities to improve the hierarchy and classification structure of the APS. Continued efforts in the workplace relations space will also support entities to create and implement workplace arrangements that enable sustainable, high-performing public sector workplaces.
To support the continued delivery of APS Reform initiatives, including those mentioned above, the Commission received additional funding and an increase in Average Staffing Level (ASL) in the 2021–22 Budget. As outlined in the 2021–22 Budget, priority initiatives include:
- building the leadership pipeline, including design and delivery of capability assessments for the Senior Executive Service (SES)
- strengthening APS integrity culture including implementation of recommendations from the Report into consultations regarding APS approaches to institutional integrity
- enhancements to APS employment data infrastructure and the establishment of new evaluation and economic analysis capability for the Commission
- phase two of the Australia’s Public Service— for the Government of the Day exhibition at the Museum of Australian Democracy
- strengthening public sector reporting to the Workplace Gender Equality Agency in alignment with the Government’s response to the Respect@Work report.