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Workforce Development

National Local Government Workforce Strategy 2013-2020

The Future-Proofing Local Government: National Workforce Strategy 2013-2020 was prepared by the Local Government Practice Unit of Local Government Managers Australia (LGMA) on behalf of the Australian Centre of Excellence for Local Government (ACELG), Workforce Development Program. It was published in April 2013 and officially released by the federal Minister for Local Government, the Hon. Catherine King MP, on 2 August 2013.

To access the National Workforce Strategy 2013, click here.

The Strategy, as well as the media release of the Minister and the joint media release of LGMA and ACELG can be accessed here


Development of the current Strategy

In 2008, the then Local Government and Planning Ministers Council (LGPMC) tasked local government officials with developing a draft workforce strategy to further address local government skill shortages and to enhance the professionalism of the sector.  The development of such a strategy also related to diversity commitments by the Council of Australian Governments (COAG) in relation to the Australian workforce, as well as a desire to improve the skills of the Australian workforce to support improvement to national productivity. It was also decided that a national data set should also be developed.

In 2010, LGMA, on behalf of the newly established ACELG, was requested to complete work on developing the Strategy, with funding provided through the Local Government Reform Fund. A draft strategy was circulated to stakeholders in 2011 and received in-principle agreement from all jurisdictions. At the same time, the process of establishing a national data set also began.

Since 2011 there has been exhaustive consultation with all the stakeholders. The final Strategy document has 8 strategies, each with a number of associated actions, designed to be implemented over the course of the next 7 years (to 2020) by ACELG and numerous other stakeholders.

Stemming from the earlier recommendations, the 8 strategies are:

   1. Improving workforce planning and development

   2. Promoting Local Government as a place-based employer of choice

   3. Retaining and attracting a diverse workforce

   4. Creating a contemporary workforce

   5. Investing in skills

   6. Improving productivity and leveraging technology

   7. Maximising management and leadership

   8. Implementation and collaboration

The Strategy also has a section on data gathering. Though the collection of data for the national data set (now called the ALGWECensus) took place in late 2012, only some of the preliminary analysis was used to inform the Strategy. The rest of the data mentioned in the Strategy came from other sources and references. 

The nearly 2 year consultation process was designed to ensure that all the stakeholders have buy-in, so that there is joint ownership. As such, the final Strategy reads very differently from the original 2011 version, but now it is a document that all stakeholders can use for implementation. The Strategy is designed to move the sector towards a more sustainable workforce through retention, attraction and workforce development to 2020 and beyond, at a time when Australia is confronted by decreasing supply and an increasing demand for skilled workers, and when the sector is losing a significant number of mature age workers.

2007 Skill Shortages Strategy

In 2006 LGMA hosted a national forum in Canberra to explore and define skill shortages and develop a coordinated, sector-wide action plan to address the impact of these shortages. With Commonwealth and state government agencies, and local government stakeholder consultation, a National Strategy on Skill Shortages in Australian Local Government was published in 2007. It was designed to present an overview of the complexity of issues confronting local government, deliver suggested responses, demonstrate examples of good practices adopted to address the complex issues relating to skills shortages, and to propose a number of strategic approaches to tackle the issue of skill shortages.

2007 National Skills Shortage Strategy - Executive Summary

2007 National Skills Shortage Strategy for Local Government - Full Version

The Strategy was intended to address 4 strategic objectives: