NSW Public Service Commissioner NSW Health Good Health Great Jobs Stepping Up Forum 2015

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1 NSW Public Service Commissioner NSW Health Good Health Great Jobs Stepping Up Forum 2015 Our Aboriginal workforce The Australian Bureau of Statistics figures from 2011 estimate that 2.9% of the NSW population identify as Aboriginal people. The representation of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander employees has been growing steadily in the NSW public sector, from an estimated 1.9% of the workforce in 2006 to 2.9% of employees identify as Aboriginal in Aboriginal employees in the NSW Public Sector have a lower median age (41 years) than the total sector(45) and share a similar gender profile to the sector, with 63.5% of Aboriginal employees identifying as female (compared with 62.4% across the sector). The median tenure for Aboriginal employees has increased since 2013, from 7.0 years to 7.1 years. For non-aboriginal employees, the median tenure in 2014 was higher, at 9.0 years. The highest proportions of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander employees are in Family and Community Services (9.5%), Planning and Environment (6.5%), Justice (3.6%) and Education and Communities (3.4%). Health has 2.1% of their employees identify as Aboriginal. Currently, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander employees are under-represented at senior levels. The majority of employees work in lower grades and, with only 0.4% of senior executives identifying as an Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander person. Background to the NSW Public Sector Aboriginal Employment Strategy The NSW Government is committed to growing and developing its Aboriginal workforce and we have a Aboriginal Employment strategy that will help us drive change through to Making it Our Business The intent of the previous Aboriginal employment strategy Making it Our Business was to encourage increased Aboriginal employment levels in the Public Sector, improved opportunities for professional learning and career development, and enhanced relationships between agencies and Aboriginal organisations and communities. Making it Our Business came to term in 2012 and an evaluation was carried out by my team to determine its effectiveness across the sector. The headline results of the evaluation showed us that: o Employment levels of our Aboriginal workforce had an 67% increase (4237 to 7096) compared to 8% for the total workforce o The biggest contributors to this increase were Family and Community Services, Department of Education and Communities and Health Clusters o In relation to retention, Aboriginal people continue to separate from employment at a rate around 2% or 3% higher than the workforce as a whole. o The representation of Aboriginal employees in higher level roles is growing, but at slower rate than the total workforce COAG target In addition to Making it Our Business, in 2007 and 2008, the Council of Australian Governments (COAG) set six targets for closing the disadvantage gap between

2 Aboriginal and non-aboriginal people. One of those targets is to halve the gap in employment outcomes between Aboriginal and non-aboriginal people with 10 years. As part of the COAG agreement, the NSW Public Sector committed to meeting a target of 2.6% Aboriginal employment within the public sector by The sector exceeded the target ahead of time (in 2011), and the latest workforce profile indicates we have reached 2.9% OCHRE OCHRE is the NSW Government s Plan for Aboriginal Affairs: Education, Employment and Accountability and was launched in April OCHRE: opportunity, choice, healing, responsibility, empowerment has been informed by consultation with over 2000 Aboriginal people, undertaken by the Ministerial Taskforce on Aboriginal Affairs. OCHRE commits the NSW Public Service Commission to focus on Aboriginal employment and career development to boost both the number of Aboriginal people in employment and their representation in decision making roles. General background 80% of Aboriginal respondents to the 2014 People Matter Employee Survey reported that equal employment opportunity is provided in their organisation. Perceptions of commitment to creating a diverse workforce were very positive across the sector (88%), while Aboriginal respondents were slightly less positive regarding these perceptions (84%). Despite the encouraging results in overall proportions, Department Secretaries and I have determined that more can be done to increase the number of Aboriginal employees and their representation in a broader range of roles, from entry-level roles right through to senior executive roles. The NSW Public Sector Aboriginal Employment Strategy The new NSW Public Sector Aboriginal Employment Strategy was informed by the MIOB evaluation and importantly, in collaboration with the sector. Eight strategy development workshops were conducted with representatives of all Departments and their agencies, as well as consultation with other key stakeholders, including the Aboriginal Employment Advisory Committee. It also links together the NSW Government s plan for Aboriginal affairs OCHRE (opportunity, choice, healing, responsibility, empowerment) with the new opportunities brought about by the current reforms to pursue major gains for Aboriginal employment, retention and career development in the public sector. The Strategy focuses on attracting and retaining Aboriginal employees, supporting career development and progression and improving Aboriginal cultural competency in the workplace. Importantly, the last element of the strategy will require agencies to gather more information to improve data on the capabilities, aspirations and development needs of Aboriginal employees. This, in turn, will assist with defining the initiatives agencies will need to adopt. Recognising that many agencies already successfully implement their own Aboriginal Employment Strategies, this Strategy is not prescriptive. Instead,, it will provide a

3 strategically aligned suite of focus areas to continue improving Aboriginal employment results and it will monitor progress against the focus areas. This Strategy sets out the key initiatives to be implemented across the NSW Public Sector as a whole and within Departments and agencies over the period 2014 to These cross-sector activities will be driven by the NSW Public Service Commission, in particular the Aboriginal Workforce Development Team, in collaboration with Departments and individual agencies. The aspirational target The strategy introduces an aspirational target of 1.8% for all salary bands to overcome the pyramid effect of the previous target and approach which saw the majority of our 2.9% Aboriginal staff population at the lower levels of the structure. The Strategy s strong focus on career and leadership development for existing Aboriginal staff will create a pipeline of Aboriginal talent to feed into more senior roles within the Public Sector, and create opportunities for staff in the lower classifications to move up through ranks. Importantly, classifications that are already at levels above this target should be maintained at these levels or improve upon the level of participation. If the aspirational target of 1.8% is achieved across all classifications, the cumulative representation of Aboriginal employees in the NSW Public Sector is estimated to be 3.3% Five key elements of the strategy Attracting Aboriginal Staff to the Public Sector- There is a need to build on the Sector s success in growing Aboriginal employment and to ensure that all Departments and agencies play a role in this and recruit Aboriginal people. The new recruitment processes, introduced through the Public Sector reforms, need to be harnessed in a way that works well for Aboriginal applicants. o Developing tools and resources to support agencies recruitment processes, these will be available on the PSC s website o Developing a sector wide talent pool of Aboriginal job applicants o Establishing an additional entry point for Aboriginal applicants through the NSW Government Aboriginal Employment and Development Program Retain Aboriginal Staff Workforce profile data shows that as a Sector, we have been able to improve on our performance in attracting Aboriginal employees to roles across the Public Sector over recent years, but Aboriginal staff are still separating from the Sector at a rate 2 or 3 percentage points higher than the Sector as a whole. There is a need to understand and address the issues that lead to lower retention rates for Aboriginal people and to apply strategies to help resolve these issues in the workplace. o Researching and responding to issues that affect retention o Facilitating Aboriginal staff networks Support Career Development and Career Progression There is a need to support Aboriginal staff, their managers and supervisors to harness the opportunities created by Public Sector reforms, to improve career mobility and progression for Aboriginal staff. In the past, some Aboriginal staff in Identified roles have had limited opportunities for

4 career progression, but new approaches to capability development, performance management and career path planning now have the potential to remedy this. o Developing a sector-wide Aboriginal Career and Leadership Development program o Developing a sector-wide Public Sector Mobility Program o Developing a sector-wide Induction and Orientation Program for Aboriginal staff o Supporting agencies to coach and mentor their Aboriginal staff Improve Aboriginal Cultural Competency in the Workplace Public Sector agencies need to ensure that their workplaces and all their staff understand, respect and celebrate Aboriginal cultures as a vital part of workforce diversity and improved customer service. All Public Sector staff and leaders need to better understand the cultural issues that influence both service delivery outcomes for Aboriginal people and the attractiveness of Public Sector workplaces for potential Aboriginal recruits. o Reviewing the effectiveness of various approaches to Aboriginal Cultural Competency development across the Sector o Promoting the recognition of significant Aboriginal events o Facilitating partnerships between Public Sector agencies and Aboriginal communities Know our Aboriginal Workforce and Plan for Results There is a need to improve the accuracy of our Aboriginal workforce statistics, including using both actual data on the number of staff who identify as Aboriginal, as well as estimates where these are statistically valid. A focus on Aboriginal recruitment, employment and career development need to continue to be a specific focus of workforce diversity planning. o Developing and online toolkit of resources with guides and best practice methods o Forming and supporting an Aboriginal Workforce Development Community of Practice o Supporting workforce diversity planning with practical tools and resources o Regularly collecting and reporting Aboriginal employment results against performance indicators in retention o Supporting a cross-sector Aboriginal Employment Advisory Committee Whilst the Public Service Commission is driving most of the initiatives within the strategy, these are also initiatives that agencies can work towards implementing. Workforce planning and management is a priority under the Government Sector Employment Act 2013 (GSE Act). Under section 63 of the GSE Act, the head of a government Sector Department or agency is responsible for the workforce diversity within the agency and for ensuring that workforce diversity is integrated into workforce planning in the agency. The Success of the Sector in improving Aboriginal employment outcomes across the NSW Public Sector is the responsibility of all Public Sector agencies. While the strategy does not impose a prescriptive list of task for individual Departments and agencies to implement, all NSW Public Sector Departments and individual agencies are expected to play a role in achieving the goals of this strategy.

5 Work already under way Work on this strategy began in 2014 and several initiatives are already well under way Aboriginal Career and Leadership Development Program o The Aboriginal Career and Leadership Development Program is a short course of approximately six days spread over four months. Three modules are delivered by the Australian Graduate School of Management (AGSM) in collaboration with the NSW Public Service Commission. o Following the successful delivery of a pilot Aboriginal Career and Leadership Development Program in 2014, a second Program commenced on Monday to facilitate career and leadership development for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander NSW Public Sector employees who aspire to leadership roles. I understand a couple of participants may be in the room today. Retention Research Project o In June 2014 PricewaterhouseCoopers Indigenous Consulting (PIC) were engaged to conduct a research project on the factors contributing to lower retention rates of Aboriginal employees within the NSW Public Sector. o The report presents a number of recommendations relevant to improving the retention rates of Aboriginal employees within the NSW Public Sector and was developed in consultation with Public Sector Aboriginal staff from across NSW. Aboriginal Networking Event o Under the strategy, we have begun to develop sector-wide networks and held its inaugural Aboriginal staff networking event in December Three specific networks have been established for Public Sector Aboriginal staff: Regional staff network Young leaders network Emerging leaders network o Planning for networking events in April and May 2015 has already begun, more information will be available on the Public Service Commission s website. Reporting and supporting the strategy Reporting on the implementation and outcomes of the Strategy will be included in the annual State of the Sector report The Aboriginal Workforce Development team form part of the Public Service Commission s Performance group. The team provides ongoing support and advice to Departments and agencies in relation to Aboriginal workforce matters, in particular employment and workforce planning and development. The Public Service Commission has responsibility for monitoring and developing sector wide guidance on Aboriginal employment across the sector. There are 5 people in the Aboriginal Workforce Development Team. Each of the Departments has been assigned a business partner from the Aboriginal Workforce Development Team. Sherry-Ann Toomey is the Health business partner (T: ) The capability framework and the Aboriginal Employment Strategy The new Aboriginal Employment Strategy supports career development and progression in line with the capability framework. A number of initiatives within the Strategy focus on providing development support to staff in line with the capability framework, including tailored programs to help fill any

6 capability gaps and support to staff in regional and remote locations who may currently have fewer development options. We will also develop resources to assist Aboriginal staff to obtain maximum developmental benefits from Public Sector reforms and performance management and capability development systems. Capability framework The Capability Framework, released in August 2013, describes the core capabilities the knowledge, skills and abilities required of all NSW public sector employees. The framework provides a common foundation tool to support workforce management and development activities. The framework includes integration of the Ethical Framework and the Public Sector Core Values It was designed to allow for complementary occupation specific capabilities to be applied in conjunction with capabilities required for all public sector roles Inclusion of the Business Enablers group which comprises capabilities in the areas of Finance, Technology, Procurement and Contract Management and Project Management. These non-specialist capabilities are required at some level by all roles within the sector The Capability Framework allows for complementary occupation specific capabilities to be applied in conjunction with capabilities required for all public sector roles. This approach recognises that additional specialised capabilities are required by roles in particular professions. The framework does not link capability levels to role classifications or grades. There are 16 core capabilities across four groups: o Personal attributes o Relationships o Results o Business enablers For additional capabilities for those roles responsible for managing others. Each capability set has five levels: o Highly advanced o Advanced o Adept o Intermediate o Foundational The Capability framework provides a common foundation tool to support the full range of workforce management and development activities, including: o Role design, role description and job evaluation o Recruitment and assessment o Performance Development o Learning and Development o Strategic Workforce Planning Use of the Capability Framework will help facilitate sector wide capability building, performance and greater mobility. Agencies are expected to embed the Capability Framework in workforce management practices as soon as possible but no later than August 2016.

7 This timeframe will ensure those agencies that have widely embedded the existing frameworks have sufficient time to transition to the new Capability Framework. If you are interested in hearing about the implementation of the Strategy, I encourage you to sign up to our Aboriginal Employment network, located on our website.

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