“Major ICT projects such as the National Broadband Network, Service Delivery Reform and the Government 2.0 Taskforce are likely to generate significant future demand and competition for qualified ICT staff”, said Ann Steward, Australian Government Chief Information Officer and Stephen Sedgwick, Australian Public Sector Commission, in their Foreword to Whole-of-government ICT Strategic Workforce Plan 2010-2013.
This is affirmation of Intermedium's speculation that the the findings of Engage: Getting on with Government 2.0 and Ahead of the Game: Blueprint for Reform of Australian Government Administration would signal the Government’s future ICT project intentions.
Recommendation 4 of the Gershon Review was realised last week with the announcement that the Australian Public Service Commission (APSC) and the Department of Finance and Deregulation (Finance) have completed the Whole-of-Government Strategic ICT Workforce Plan and ICT Career Structure.
The announcement was made last Thursday, 28 April while Minster for Finance and Deregulation, Lindsay Tanner, and Cabinet Secretary and Special Minister of State, Senator Joe Ludwig, were held up in Sydney and unable to attend.
In their place, Steward and Sedgwick announced the Plan which was a joint initiative between Finance and the APSC. The plan was described by an industry attendee as “aggressive" in its timetable who also commented that only the framework and project plan were discussed.
The purpose of this whole-of-government ICT strategic workforce plan is to assist agencies in:
- Identifying the ICT capacity and capabilities required to effectively deliver government priorities; and
- Developing a strategic APS-wide understanding of the interconnection between demography, labour markets, skills shortage, workforce planning, employment branding, attraction and retention strategies for the APS ICT workforce.
Strategic ICT Workforce Plan
The 2009 ICT Statistical Bulletin (last updated April 2010) reveals that in May 2008, 295,000 people were employed in the Australian ICT workforce—11 per cent more than in 2001. The whole-of-government strategic ICT Workforce Plan provides a high level overview of the issues affecting the ICT workforce and strategies to address the future human capital needs of ICT employment in the Australian Public Service.
Successful and premeditated workforce planning is essential for the Australian Public Sector (APS) to run smoothly and efficiently. The Workforce Plan states that in June 2009, 68 per cent of agencies reported that they had policies, strategies and/or frameworks in place that aim to ensure they have the skills and capabilities needed for the next one-to-five years.
Under the Plan, agencies are required by the Secretaries’ ICT Governance Board (SIGB) to develop their own ICT workforce plan and review it annually. It is expected that agency-level workforce plans will include analysis of the agency’s current and future operating environment and adhere to the framework provided.
The expected increase of 3 per cent of employment in ICT occupations puts pressures on the need to find suitably qualified ICT staff to effectively deliver the Government’s priorities.
The Whole-of-Government Strategic ICT Workforce Plan is available here.