Page 1824 - Week 06 - Thursday, 14 May 2015

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However, the ACT public service has renewed its focus on employment in these areas. In February the Head of Service wrote to directors-general reminding them of their employment obligations and that she takes the commitments outlined in these strategies very seriously and expects significant improvements to be made. The Head of Service further outlined that she expects the ACT public service to, at a minimum, double the 2013-14 growth rates for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and people with a disability in the 2014-15 period.

From the financial year 2015-16 onwards, each directorate will adopt an annual growth rate of 10 per cent for these groups, which will enable the ACT public service to reach and potentially exceed the original 2015 diversity targets by 2018-19. Further, the Head of Service has proposed to add diversity employment targets into directors-general performance agreements.

With this renewed focus on diversity employment being championed by the Head of Service and the Commissioner for Public Administration, numerous initiatives are already underway. An Indigenous employment pathways program was developed in December 2014 that links an Indigenous traineeship, cadetship and the ACT public service graduate program. Significant work has commenced for the implementation of the Indigenous traineeship, with 22 positions being identified across the public service, which is on track to commence in July this year.

Importantly, the traineeship improves on past programs where the ACT public service is partnering with habitat personnel to identify participants and organise relevant training. Mentoring for the trainees will be sourced from members of the Murranga Murranga, formerly known as the ACTPS Indigenous staff network. Most significantly the elements of the Indigenous pathways program will provide permanent employment upon successful completion and is being piloted to provide a similar program for the employment of people with disability.

With that in mind, a key recommendation coming out of the report is that both employment strategies should be redesigned as stand-alone, whole-of-government policies and that the 20 recommendations which the government agreed to in principle coming out of the inquiry are the best practical way for the next iteration of the best employment strategy to be implemented.

At this point it is worth reminding the Assembly that the principles of respect, equity and diversity framework are a strong, positive focus in our workforce initiatives. These key principles enhance our workplace and empower our workforce. It is, for example, through diversity of staff that we encourage and support innovation, a key component of our workforce strategy in the future alongside, of course, respect and equity.

In concluding, the report highlights that the RED framework has been instrumental in developing and fostering a positive workplace culture and should remain a fundamental element to support the ACT public service code of conduct into the future. The framework has successfully provided a foundation on which employees have built and should continue to ensure all the elements are being fully implemented.

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