The Australian Centre of Excellence for Local Government (ACELG) at UTS has released a new resource called 'Profile of the Local Government Workforce'. The publication contains new research data compiled by ACELG that confirms local governments are particularly important employers in regional Australia that can increase the economic strength of local areas. The data also reveals that local government is well placed to lead the public sector generally in providing quality employment opportunities for women.
A full data report was released in 2014 (see report in related content below).
Australian local government employs nearly 200,000 people nationally which is more than both the mining, and auto-manufacturing sectors. Some ‘headline’ findings from the data are:
- local governments are particularly important employers in rural and regional areas and the economic strength of these regions is increased by the capacity of local governments;
- compared with other levels of government (and other sectors) the workforce is numerically significant and offers a range of high quality jobs and long term career opportunities across Australia. This can have significant flow on effects in regional areas such as opportunities for on-going training and career path development, and keeping a young family in the area and a part of the community;
- with the pending retirement of a senior male cohort, women will soon appear in the most senior management roles in local government if they are supported with continued flexible work opportunities and provided with developmental opportunities;
- local government supports diversity and Indigenous employment more actively than other spheres of public sector employment.
The findings support and complement the aims of Future-Proofing Local Government: National Workforce Strategy 2013-2020 prepared by Local Government Managers Australia (National) for ACELG.
“The research tells a very positive story about local government today and the great benefits of working in the sector,” says Associate Professor Roberta Ryan. “Yet as a substantial national workforce it needs continued support to plan for its workforce needs. An opportunity exists to invest in, educate, and strengthen the capability of the local government workforce which will contribute to every community in Australia, and particularly strengthen regional Australia.”