This Strategy 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.
This National Local Government Workforce Strategy (‘the Strategy’) is designed to futureproof the challenges faced by local government, and to move the sector towards a more sustainable workforce through retention, attraction and development to 2020 and beyond, at a time when Australia is confronted by decreasing supply and an increasing demand for skilled workers.
As a direct provider of local services with significant responsibility for administrative and governance functions that enable delivery, local governments are significant stakeholders within communities and the broader service delivery environment. Increasingly, local governments are becoming the principal providers of government services to local communities on behalf of state, territory and Commonwealth governments, as a more contextually responsive and localised approach to government service delivery is seen to be the most appropriate model.
Accordingly, local governments are often significant local employers and require a diverse workforce that encompasses a wide range of occupations. In many rural and remote communities, local governments are the primary economic drivers and the only levels of government delivering essential social and community services. Without effective local governments, local economies and communities struggle to operate, especially in regional Australia. In addition, as the functions of local government increase and expand, workforce capacity, capability and innovation become even more critical.
Development of the Strategy
The Strategy is intended to build on and reinforce existing good practices in workforce planning and development, and to facilitate improvements. It embraces the principles of workplace diversity and equity as essential elements in the creation of a flexible and multiskilled workforce.
The Strategy is based on the understanding that a rigorous and long-term approach to retaining, attracting and developing a skilled, committed and inclusive workforce will enable local governments to be more sustainable and capable partners of state and federal governments in advancing the quality of life of their communities.
The Strategy has three main elements:
• a set of strategies and actions from which state and territory jurisdictions, local government associations and councils can assemble an implementation plan suited to their particular circumstances and needs
• the collection of data from the Australian Local Government Workforce and Employment Census (ALGWECensus, formerly the National Minimum Data Set) that will inform the sector’s workforce development
• regular monitoring of progress, together with ongoing development of programs necessary to support improvements to the skills and capacities of the local government workforce.