Page 3322 - Week 10 - Wednesday, 19 October 2022

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I am mindful of the time. The last point that I will make is that this cannot be a place in which we stand still. The nature of this industry, the way it is advertising to people, the way it is being sold to people, is evolving so quickly that governments of all stripes need continue to be very agile in this space and responsive to the evolving nature of the industry.

Mr Barr: Madam Speaker, further questions can be placed on the notice paper.

Supplementary answers to questions without notice

ACT public service—cultural and linguistic diversity

MS CHEYNE: Yesterday, in answer to Mr Cain’s question about the pay rates of culturally and linguistically diverse people in the ACT public service and how that is reflected in the State of the Service Report, I committed to interrogating that and discussing with colleagues and coming back with some further information.

There has been steady growth in the proportion of culturally and linguistically diverse employees in the ACT public service workforce over the past five years. Members might wish to know that the highest number of CALD staff work as nurses, followed by administrative officers and general services officers, and work across a wide range of areas within the service.

The insourcing of school cleaning in the Education Directorate is the government’s preference for internal resourcing in action. The direct employment of school cleaners since January 2020 has provided secure work for many who were migrants or refugees who are from a CALD background and previously were engaged in jobs with insecure work practices.

Additionally, we have had a surge workforce engaged by Canberra Health Services from March 2020 throughout the ACT public service’s sustained COVID-19 response, and the Jobs for Canberrans initiative has provided employment for people who identify as culturally and linguistically diverse as well.

I want to draw members’ attention to two figures. For culturally and linguistically diverse people, the recruitment rate has been at 15.5 per cent, compared to 11.9 per cent overall in the ACT public service, and 58 per cent of culturally and linguistically diverse employees have been in the public service for less than five years, compared to 48 per cent overall. These figures are important because that steady growth and the higher than average recruitment rates, along with the lower length of service, potentially place our culturally and linguistically diverse staff at those lower pay increments, compared with the public service average.

Also for members’ awareness, going more broadly, I think to Mrs Kikkert’s question, a deep-dive analysis of the employee survey in 2021 showed that respondents who identify as culturally and linguistically diverse were more satisfied overall than average and scored their workplaces highly on change management, inclusion and wellbeing indicators. But also, as I alluded to, the ACT government has committed $3.3 million over the next four years to strengthen and expand diversity and inclusion within the ACT public service. That funding will drive overarching strategy program and resource development.

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