Outcomes for diversity in public employment

EEO data collection

Each year, the DEOPE collects EEO data from public authorities to identify the representation and distribution across salary levels of diversity groups. As well as supporting public authorities to meet their obligations to report annually to the DEOPE under s. 146 of the EO Act, this data assists the DEOPE in evaluating the effectiveness of EEO management plans.

This year's report has used EEO data from the March quarter, rather than from the June quarter as used in previous years. This has allowed EEO data to be collected across the public sector, local governments, public universities and other authorities within a similar time period for improved consistency in analysing data. Table 2 provides a summary of the diversity representation across the WA public sector.

Table 2: Summary of WA public sector diversity representation, 2011 to 2015

 

Representation (%)

Diversity group

2011

2012

2013

2014

2015

Women in management - SES

26.4

27.6

29.2

30.1

31.7

Women in management - Tier 1

29.6

31.4

26.2

29.3

27.3

Women in management - Tier 2

35.6

33.7

35.4

34.9

36.2

Women in management - Tier 3

40.0

40.5

42.0

42.7

41.7

People from culturally diverse backgrounds

13.1

12.8

12.5

12.5

12.4

Aboriginal Australians

3.1

3.3

3.0

2.9

2.8

Employees with disability

4.2

4.8

2.6

2.3

2.2

Youth (24 years and under)

5.5

5.4

5.1

4.6

4.7

Mature workers (45 years and over)

51.9

51.9

51.9

52.5

52.4

Source: HRMOIR data as at 31 March 2015 and 30 June for 2011 - 2014

At 30 March 2015, the DEOPE received EEO data through the HRMOIR process for

108 public sector entities (including the non-public sector authorities of the Police Force and the electorate offices). The remaining non-public sector authorities provided data as at March 2015 through EEO surveys as follows:

  • 138 local governments
  • four public universities
  • 17 other authorities, including government trading enterprises.

Figure 1 provides total employee numbers within each sector reporting to the DEOPE. There was a total of 200 674 employees across all public authorities reporting in 2015. Appendix B provides a list of these public authorities.

Figure 1: Public authorities reporting to the DEOPE, 2015

Local governments (23916 employees), Public universities (21377 employees), Public sector entities (138307 employees), Other authorities e.g. government trading enterprises, Police Force and electorate offices (17074 employees)

Source: EEO surveys and HRMOIR

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Employment outcomes

Aboriginal Australians1

1 The term 'Aboriginal Australians' describes persons of Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander descent who identify as such and are accepted as such by the community in which they live.

The Council of Australian Governments' (COAG's) National partnership agreement on Indigenous economic participation aims to halve the gap in employment outcomes between Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal Australian within a decade (by 2018). As part of COAG's agreement, a national target of 2.6% Aboriginal representation in the public sector workforce was set.

As a signatory to the agreement, WA has committed to a further target of 3.2% by 2015. This is an ambitious target given public sector entities face some challenges in Aboriginal employment, particularly in the context of competition for labour from the mining and resources sector.

In the Closing the Gap: Prime Minister's Report 2015, it was reported that no progress towards COAG's goal had been made since 2008, with the proportion of Aboriginal Australians aged 15-64 years who are employed falling from 53.8% in 2008 to 47.5% in 2012/13.

However, the proportion of Aboriginal Australians in the WA public sector this year (2.8%) compares favourably to the estimated proportion in the WA working age population (2.8%)2. The WA public sector also continued to have one of the highest representations across all Australian jurisdictions as seen in Figure 2.

2 Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) 2013, 2002.0 – Census of population and housing: Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples (Indigenous) profile, 2011 third release.

Figure 2: Representation of Aboriginal employees across public sector jurisdictions, 2015 and 2015

Percentage of Aboriginal employees across public sector jurisdictions (from highest to lowest): NT, NSW, WA, APS, Tas, Qld, SA, ACT, Vic

Source: HRMOIR and other jurisdictions' publications (see Appendix D)

Table 3 provides a snapshot of Aboriginal Australians in the WA public sector in March 2015. There was a small increase in the proportion of Aboriginal Australian employees in higher level salary bands and the senior executive service.

At 9.0%, permanent Aboriginal staff had a higher rate of separation from their organisations than permanent public sector staff (7.7%), however the separation rate has decreased since 2014 (10.1%).

Table 3: Aboriginal workforce within the WA public sector, 2015

Aboriginal employees (number)

Headcount

2 459

FTE

1902.9

PSGOGA equivalent salary bands (%)

Level 1 and below

32.2

Level 2

15.7

Level 3

10.9

Level 4

12.9

Level 5

10.6

Level 6

11.6

Level 7

3.9

Level 8

1.1

Level 9

0.6

Class 1 and above

0.5

Employment type (%)

Permanent

71.5

Fixed term

21.8

Casual

5.4

Others

1.3

Geographical distribution (%)

Perth metropolitan area

45.6

Regional WA

54.4

Gender (%)

Women

74.9

Men

25.1

Separation rate (%)

Permanent staff from public sector entity

9.0

Age (% in years)

Less than 25

10.5

25 to 44

44.9

44 and over

44.6

Senior management

(% on headcount basis)

SES

0.20

Disability status

(% on headcount basis)

Ongoing disability and employment restriction

2.5

Source: HRMOIR

Table 4 shows the representation of Aboriginal Australians in public employment over time. This year has seen representation remain steady with slight moderations in local governments. Consultation with local governments has revealed employment is heavily affected in the regions by commencement or completion of major projects and the opening of new community facilities where casual and contract staff numbers fluctuate significantly.

It should be noted that Aboriginal employment statistics have some limitations due to non-identification of Aboriginal status. To illustrate, in HRMOIR data provided by public sector entities at 31 March 2015, Aboriginal status was not identified for 37% of employees (51 611)3.

3 Each year, public sector entities provide workforce data, including EEO data, through the HRMOIR process. If an employee moves to another entity, the data for that individual is not retained in HRMOIR and will only be captured if the new entity collects EEO data for that individual.

Table 4: Aboriginal Australian representation, 2011 to 2015

 

Representation (%)

2011

2012

2013

2014

2015

Public sector

All staff

3.1

3.3

3.0

2.9

2.8

Local governments

Indoor workers

n/a

1.8

1.7

1.4

1.2

Outdoor workers

n/a

6.1

6.3

4.6

4.2

Public universities

Academic staff

1.3

1.2

1.0^

0.9

1.0

General staff

1.2

0.9

1.1^

0.9

1.0

Other authorities

All staff

1.1

1.4

1.5

1.6

1.5

Note: For Tables 4 and 5, for 2011, the reporting date for local governments was changed from December 2011 to March 2012. This change resulted in no local government data for 2011.

^Public university representation for 2013 differs from 2013 report due to improvements in data collection and reporting.

Source: EEO surveys and HRMOIR

Table 5 shows the distribution of Aboriginal Australians across salary levels (equity index)4 in public employment. There has been little significant change this year with the exception of academic staff in public universities.

4 The equity index measures the distribution of a diversity group across salary levels. The ideal index is 100, with an index of less than 100 indicating that a diversity group is concentrated at lower salary levels.

Table 5 : Aboriginal Australian distribution (equity index), 2011 to 2015

 

Distribution

2011

2012

2013

2014

2015

Public sector

All staff

36

35

39

41

42

Local governments

Indoor workers

n/a

61

60

59

60

Outdoor workers

n/a

91

90

87

86

Public universities

Academic staff

76

71

85

90

77

General staff

56

51

61

57

60

Other authorities

All staff

46

51

49

53

49

Source: EEO surveys and HRMOIR

The Commission's Aboriginal employment strategy 2011–2015 (AES) is a useful tool for entities looking to improve their approach to workforce planning, position development and recruitment of Aboriginal Australians. This year, the DEOPE is contributing to the Commission's review of the strategy which is due to be released at the end of 2015. One of the outcomes to arise from the AES is the Aboriginal mentoring guidelines. These guidelines have been developed for authorities to consider when developing a culturally inclusive mentoring program for Aboriginal Australian employees. Aboriginal traineeships continue to be a key part of the strategy, with a variety of placements in metropolitan and regional areas offered to young Aboriginal people as a pathway to sustainable employment.

An example of good practice in Aboriginal employment in public authorities is provided in the following case study.

Case study

WA Country Health Service – Providing a supportive environment through the Aboriginal mentorship program

The WA Country Health Service (WACHS) has introduced an Aboriginal mentorship program to support the development and retention of Aboriginal employees. The programs key objective is to provide a platform for all Aboriginal employees to participate in a supportive work environment that encourages cultural sharing and learning.

WACHS is committed to building its workforce capacity and recognises that supporting and engaging with Aboriginal employees is integral to the delivery of holistic care to a diverse Western Australian community. The program aligns to strategic actions in the WA Country Health Service Aboriginal Employment Strategy 2014-2018 that promote the development of a workforce culture and environment that support the employment and retention of Aboriginal people.

The AMP is an 'in house' structured formal mentorship program based on a 'train the trainer' model using WACHS staff, Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal, as the trainers and mentors. Aboriginal employees are linked to trained mentors who provide a positive role model and share their experience and knowledge to develop opportunities and networks. This approach has required both mentors and mentees to be open, have mutual trust and respect and be willing to learn and share ideas that will assist Aboriginal employees adjust to the health services industry.

The success of the program has resulted in motivated and engaged employees that have established strong professional networks and are recognised for their experience and what they have to offer. To date, there are 20 Aboriginal employees at different stages in the program.

The program is coordinated by the WACHS Aboriginal Health Improvement Unit with assistance from the trainers, human resource and learning and development teams in each region. The mentor relationship runs for one year.

People with disability

As a signatory to COAG's National disability agreement, WA continues align its work with the aims of the agreement of improved services in delivering outcomes for people with disability and to ensure people with disability participate as valued members of the labour force and broader community.

The DEOPE is working in collaboration with the Disability Services Commission and the Commission to review the Disability employment strategy 2013–2015 (DES) that aims to improve participation, inclusion and access for people with disability across the public sector. The review is in the context of the current sector environment and in preparation for transitioning to the next phase of the strategy at the end of 2015.

Analysis of available data has informed the priorities for this work and aligned these with provisions as required by EEO management plans detailed in section 145 (2) (a-h) of the EO Act.

The DEOPE is a member of a new advisory group, which has been established and will collaborate with the Disability Services Commission to provide the strategic direction and progression of priorities for the transition.

To support the DES, the Disability Services Commission provides a Disability employment toolkit that highlights existing programs such as traineeships, and provides information on inclusive and accessible recruitment and selection, and practices. The experience and expertise that underpins these initiatives is extrapolated to address broader community needs and extends to the wider public through the National Disability Insurance Scheme. It raises the profile of disability services through mechanisms such as the Disability Services Expo held in Perth in March this year.

Figure 3 shows the proportion of people with disability in the WA public sector this year (2.2%), which positions WA close to midway across the Australian jurisdictions. The WA result compares favourably to the estimated proportion in the WA working age population needing assistance with core activities (1.9%5).

5 ABS 2012, 2011 Census of population and housing.

Figure 3: Representation of employees with disability across public sector jurisdictions, 2014 and 2015

Percentage of employees with disability across public sector jurisdictions (from highest to lowest): Tas, Vic, Qld, APS, NSW, WA, ACT, SA, NT

Source: HRMOIR and other jurisdictions' publications (see Appendix D)

Table 6 provides a snapshot of people with disability in the WA public sector in March 2015. This shows the majority of employees with disability were women and work in the Perth metropolitan area. At 7.4%, permanent employees with disability had a slightly lower rate of separation from their organisations than permanent public sector staff (7.7%), and the separation rate has decreased substantially since last year (10.6%).

Table 6: Employees with disability in the WA public sector, 2015

Disability employees (number)

Headcount

1 896

FTE

1 517.1

PSGOGA equivalent salary bands (%)

Level 1 and below

17.1

Level 2

11.4

Level 3

9.2

Level 4

17.2

Level 5

12.6

Level 6

18.9

Level 7

7.9

Level 8

3.5

Level 9

0.7

Class 1 and above

1.5

Employment type (%)

Permanent

83.0

Fixed term

10.2

Casual

5.5

Others

1.3

Geographical distribution (%)

Perth metropolitan area

77.0

Regional WA

22.9

Gender (%)

Women

59.9

Men

40.1

Separation rate (%)

Permanent staff from public sector entity

7.4

Age (% in years)

Less than 25

2.5

25 to 44

33.8

44 and over

63.7

Senior management

(% on headcount basis)

SES

0.26

Source: HRMOIR

The Department of the Attorney General's traineeship program supports an inclusive workplace and provides opportunities for people with disability to gain a formal qualification.

Case study

Department of the Attorney General – creating a dynamic environment around employing trainees with disability

The challenges associated with having a disability meant that Deanna Scorda found it very difficult to obtain or sustain a job. In 2013, the opportunity to complete a Certificate III in Government at the Department of the Attorney General was the offer of a lifetime and the start of many great outcomes for Deanna and the department.

Deanna was quick to embrace opportunities to acquire new skills and experience in the professional environment, while working towards a formal qualification. Her high performance, enthusiasm and work ethic led to her securing a permanent Level 1 position. Subsequently, and based on her performance, Deanna was offered an opportunity to act in a Level 3 position. In addition to achieving several personal and career goals, Deanna won the 2015 Trainee of the Year award for the Central Institute of Technology, and is a finalist for the 2015 WA State Training Awards.

Deanna has set a new benchmark in the Department's traineeship program and continues to raise awareness around employing people with disability. Her perspectives as a young professional woman, and as someone with disability, are shared at internal Disability Access and Inclusion Plan meetings, policy discussions and at public sector forums for senior executives who are contemplating taking on a trainee.

Deanna said it was about being a valued member in the workplace, having a purpose in life, socialising with others, learning new things and simply being a contributing member of society.

'It is not about money. I could have stayed at home on a pension, receiving benefits and earn only $100 less than what I was paid as a trainee. I can only wish that in the future more organisations, companies, and managers take on trainees and people with disabilities. We might do tasks a little differently at times but in the end we can achieve the same outcome as anyone else,' Deanna said.

Table 7 shows the representation of people with disability in public employment over time. There was a slight trend downwards this year across most sectors with the exception of academic and general staff in public universities whose representation increased slightly.

It should be noted that statistics on disability employment have some limitations due to non-identification of disability status. For example, in HRMOIR data provided by public sector entities at 31 March 2015, disability status was not available for 38% of employees (52 468)6.

6 Each year, public sector entities provide workforce data, including EEO data, through the HRMOIR process. If an employee moves to another entity, the data for that individual is not retained in HRMOIR and will only be captured if the new entity collects EEO data for that individual.

Table 7: Representation of people with disability, 2011 to 2015

 

Representation (%)

2011

2012

2013

2014

2015

Public sector

All staff

4.2*

4.8*

2.6

2.3

2.2

Local governments

Indoor workers

n/a

1.7

1.7

1.4

1.3

Outdoor workers

n/a

3.1

2.9

3.0

2.4

Public universities

Academic staff

1.9

1.7

1.8^

1.4

1.5

General staff

1.7

1.3

1.5^

1.2

1.7

Other authorities

All staff

1.5

1.5

1.6

1.4

1.3

Source: EEO surveys and HRMOIR

Notes for Tables 6 and 7:

For 2011, the reporting date for local governments was changed from December 2011 to March 2012. This change resulted in no local government data for 2011.

* In 2013, the Department of Health identified a significant over-reporting error for employees with disability. This means the public sector figures for 2010 to 2012 reflect an over-representation of employees with disability.

^ Public university representation for 2013 differs from 2013 report due to improvements in data collection and reporting.

Deanna ScordaDeanna Scorda, Department of the Attorney General

Table 8 shows the distribution of people with disability across salary levels (equity index) in public employment. Distribution for the public sector, public universities and other authorities followed similar trends to previous years. The commencement or completion of major projects and the opening of new community facilities in regional local governments has resulted in larger fluctuations than previous years.

Table 8: People with disability distribution (equity index), 2011 to 2015

 

Distribution

2011

2012

2013

2014

2015

Public sector

All staff

95*

100*

87

99

101

Local governments

Indoor workers

n/a

77

78

92

100

Outdoor workers

n/a

83

81

84

68

Public universities

Academic staff

104

97

101

104

86

General staff

77

76

76

84

88

Other authorities

All staff

86

91

88

97

88

Source: EEO surveys and HRMOIR

The City of Stirling's formal agreement with the National Disability Recruitment Coordinator supports inclusiveness and provides people with disability an opportunity to foster a career, as described in the following case study.

Case study

City of Stirling – forging partnerships to support disability employment

The City of Stirling is committed to ensuring that it has an equitable and diverse workplace and that people with disability have the same opportunities as other people to obtain and maintain employment.

In March 2015, the City entered into a formal agreement with the National Disability Recruitment Coordinator. This partnership has enabled the City to develop and implement an action plan with a range of initiatives to increase the number of employees with disability across the organisation, build disability confidence through a mix of training, awareness raising activities and consideration of good practice strategies, and to develop relationships with Disability Employment Services as a source of talent.

The City's Disability Access and Inclusion Plan encourages the access and inclusion of all people to the facilities and services that are offered. One of the many successful initiatives to support employment opportunities for people with disability in the local community was the inaugural Local Business Breakfast in celebration of Disability Awareness Week attended by local community employers. The interactive and informative presentations promoted the benefits and highlighted the misconceptions of recruiting and employing people with disability. As a result of the positive feedback and interest from this event, the City is currently working directly with local businesses to tailor information to meet their specific needs. The City has also developed 'A guide for businesses' brochure to encourage and support initiatives that help create an accessible business.

The City also launched its Accessible Stirling Awards in recognition of businesses within the City of Stirling who facilitate improved access and inclusion for their employees, customers or the community. The Accessible Stirling Awards seek to raise awareness and eliminate discrimination.

The City has undertaken significant consultations to establish partnerships with local stakeholders and will continue to foster these relationships in its aim to increase employment opportunities for people with disability.

Women in the sector

Women made up the majority (72.2%) of the WA public sector workforce as at March 2015. Of these women, a substantial proportion worked part-time, with 47.5% of all women in the public sector working part-time, compared to 13.9% of all men.

It is pleasing that this year the proportion of women in the WA SES has increased to 31.7%. However, this continues to be lower than most other Australian jurisdictions (as shown in Figure 4) and shows only a modest improvement over time (30.1% in 2014). Specific strategies need to be implemented to improve the rate of change and better tap into women as an underutilised employment pool.

Earlier this year, DEOPE released a range of new resources to help public authorities address the under representation of women in leadership roles. Agencies were encouraged to adopt a more purposeful approach to career development for women aspiring to leadership roles. This means ensuring that women gain a broad range of experiences. This includes in roles that are challenging, and that have appropriate support, such as mentors to guide the development of their careers. Therefore, putting women in a strong position to compete for senior management roles. CEOs were asked to examine organisational systems and practices, including attitudes towards flexible work practices and organisational culture and leadership. These factors are what impacts the most on the progression of women into senior management roles.

The resources available on the Commission's website include:

  • an overview of research undertaken in the WA public sector to identify factors that enable and challenge women's mobility
  • information about practical strategies and actions to improve the representation of women in senior leadership roles
  • a comprehensive list of relevant website resources and research.

Figure 4 shows the proportion of women in the SES this year at 31.7%, and how this compares to other Australian jurisdictions.

Figure 4: Representation of women in senior executive positions across public sector jurisdictions, 2014 and 2015

Percentage of women in senior executive positions across public sector jurisdictions (from highest to lowest): NT, NSW, SA, Vic, APS, Qld, WA, Tas

Source: HRMOIR and other jurisdictions' publications (see Appendix D)

Women who plan to, or already have, children frequently move to part-time employment, choose more family friendly occupations or pass up promotions due to time or locational constraints. Career advancement for these women is more likely to be hindered, and they may be less likely to take advantage of opportunities such as training and professional development.7

7 Journal of Marriage and Family: The Motherhood penalty at midlife: long term effects of children on women's careers, January 2014, viewed 17 March 2015.

This is likely to contribute to the over-representation of women in part time arrangements across the public sector as seen in Figure 5.

Women still, for the most part, shoulder the majority of caring responsibilities for children or other family members. Moving to part-time arrangements to accommodate these needs, interrupts their careers and places them at the risk of being side-lined for leadership positions.8

8 Australian Human Rights Commission: Supporting working parents: pregnancy and return to work national review – report 2014

There are fewer childcare places per capita in WA compared to other state, this factor also contributes to the challenge for women to take on senior roles.9

9 Filling the pool: A landmark report to achieve gender equality in Western Australia

Figure 5: Public sector employees working part-time by gender, 2015

Approximately 15% of public sector male employees work part time. Approximately 45% of public sector female employees work part time

Source: HRMOIR

Figure 6 shows that women made up most of the public sector workforce at the lower Public Service and Government Officers General Agreement 2011 (PSGOGA) equivalent salary bands (Level 6 and below) in March 2015. Approximately 80% of public sector employees at the Level 1 equivalent salary band (up to $54 612 per annum) were women.

Figure 6: Representation of women across PSGOGA equivalent salary bands in the public sector, 2015

Percentage of women (FTE) in salary bands: 1 and below (approximately 80%), 2 (approximately 79%), 3 (approximately 75%), 4 (approximately 70%), 5 (approximately 68%), 6 (approximately 68%), 7 (approximately 64%), 8 (approximately 47%), 9 (approximately 42%), Class 1 and above (approximately 35%)

Source: HRMOIR

Similar to 2014 results, at level 7 and above the percentage of women steadily declines, which reveals that men are being appointed more frequently to director and manager positions that typically are classified at level 8 and above. HRMOIR data suggests women reaching this mid-level classification are often in the 30 – 35 year age group, which is the age when the advent of family responsibilities is likely.

Table 9 shows the representation of women in management across public authorities over time. This year saw minimal variation, with the fluctuating trend for local governments observed in other diversity groups continuing, and fewer women in Tier 2 and 3 management in universities.

Table 9: Representation of women in management, 2011 to 2015

 

Representation (%)

2011

2012

2013

2014

2015

Public sector

SES

26.4

27.6

29.2

30.1

31.7

Tier 1

29.6

31.4

26.2

29.3

27.3

Tier 2

35.6

33.7

35.4

34.9

36.2

Tier 3

40.0

40.5

42.0

42.7

41.7

Local governments

Tier 1 (indoor workers)

n/a

7.9

8.6

12.3

12.3

Tier 2 (indoor workers)

n/a

34.2

32.1

30.0

33.0

Tier 2 (outdoor workers)

n/a

6.9

1.6

1.8

6.7

Tier 3 (indoor workers)

n/a

38.0

37.2

38.0

42.8

Tier 3 (outdoor workers)

n/a

9.3

11.0

6.7

7.8

Public universities

Tier 1 (academic and general staff)

25.0

25.0

25.0

25.0

25.0

Tier 2 (academic and general staff)

40.0

39.1

33.3

36.4

29.4

Tier 3 (academic and general staff)

41.4

36.4

40.8

47.2

44.5

Other authorities

Tier 1

10.5

5.3

10.0

5.0

5.9

Tier 2

16.1

18.3

19.1

17.6

19.0

Tier 3

21.1

20.7

19.5

27.0

24.4

Note: For Tables 9 and 10, for 2011, the reporting date for local governments was changed from December 2011 to March 2012 . This change resulted in no local government data for 2011.

Source: EEO surveys and HRMOIR

Table 10 shows little change in the distribution of women across salary levels (equity index) in public employment for 2015.10

10 Distribution is not available for women in management because salary levels closely correlate with age and experience.

Table 10: Distribution (equity index) of women, 2011 to 2015

 

Distribution

2011

2012

2013

2014

2015

Public sector

All staff

69

69

71

72

72

Local governments

Indoor workers

n/a

79

81

78

77

Outdoor workers

n/a

87

88

84

86

Public universities

Academic staff

70

71

72

70

72

General staff

82

83

84

85

85

Other authorities

All staff

65

66

65

71

66

Source: EEO surveys and HRMOIR

Women scholarship program representatives with Minister Hon. Liza HarveyExpanding career options for women scholarship program representatives with Minister Hon. Liza Harvey in March 2015

The following case study highlights the Department of Training and Workforce Development's scholarship program that will provide women with career options in a number of non-traditional occupations.

Case study

Department of Training and Workforce Development - scholarship program provides career opportunities for women

The Department of Training and Workforce Development's new scholarship program is promoting a range of non-traditional career options for women in a variety of industries over the next four years.

In partnership with the Department of Local Government and Communities and the Construction Training Fund, the scholarship program targets those occupations in which women make up less than 25% of the total workforce.

Up to 400 scholarships to the value of $3000 per person will be available to women commencing training at Certificate III level or above in approximately 180 different qualifications. The scholarships are available in traditional trade areas such as construction, resources and automotive, but also include a range of other industry areas such as printing and graphic arts, electro-technology, property services, aero-skills, animal care and management, aviation, agriculture, and conservation and land management.

The program is designed to assist women obtain the skills and confidence they need to pursue a career in industries they may not have considered previously. Women who work in these occupations also have the opportunity to become role models for other women considering a career in these areas.

Scholarship funds can be used towards costs associated with training, including learning resources, mentoring, and fees. The scholarship can also be used to address specific barriers such as transport costs and childcare.

People from culturally diverse backgrounds

Migration has reshaped the cultural and linguistic diversity of Western Australia's resident population. The 2011 Census revealed WA recorded a high proportion of people from culturally diverse backgrounds (16%, or 375 900 people) 11, most commonly from India, Malaysia, Italy, China and the Philippines.

11 ABS 2015, Migration, Australia 2013-2014

Table 11 shows the representation of people from culturally diverse backgrounds in public employment over time. The slight downward trend for representation in local governments continued this year.

Table 11: Representation of people from culturally diverse backgrounds, 2011 to 2015

 

Representation (%)

2011

2012

2013

2014

2015

Public sector

All staff

13.1

12.8

12.5

12.5

12.4

Local governments

Indoor workers

n/a

19.6

21.4

18.0

15.7

Outdoor workers

n/a

16.0

17.6

15.0

12.5

Public universities

Academic staff

25.4

25.7

27.6^

24.8

26.4

General staff

19.9

19.7

21.5^

20.3

21.4

Other authorities

All staff

17.8

19.6

13.5

12.3

12.5

Note: For Tables 11 and 12, for 2011, the reporting date for local governments was changed from December 2011 to March 2012 . This change resulted in no local government data for 2011.

^ Public university representation for 2013 differs from 2013 report due to improvements in data collection and reporting.

Source: EEO surveys and HRMOIR

Table 12 shows the distribution of people from culturally diverse backgrounds across salary levels (equity index) in public employment. Indoor employees in local governments had a high equity index this year, indicating employees from culturally diverse backgrounds are more concentrated at higher salary levels. The restructuring resulting from the merging of port authorities in other authorities has resulted in a small decrease to the equity index.

Table 12: Distribution (equity index) of people from culturally diverse backgrounds, 2011 to 2015

 

Representation (%)

2011

2012

2013

2014

2015

Public sector

All staff

93

96

96

95

96

Local governments

Indoor workers

n/a

116

112

119

136

Outdoor workers

n/a

108

109

116

116

Public universities

Academic staff

88

88

87

89

87

General staff

92

93

95

96

88

Other authorities

All staff

159

142

153

141

119

Source: EEO surveys and HRMOIR

Youth and mature workers

Youth

The ABS has estimated youth (aged 15 to 24 years) comprise 20.1% of the WA working population (15 to 64 years).12 Long-term investment in youth employment and transferring of corporate knowledge and skills to the younger workforce is integral to the future of the WA workforce.

The DEOPE recognises the importance of investing in youth in public employment. This is reflected in the DEOPE's support of the Commission's traineeship programs, which are targeted at those who are 24 years of age or under and are seeking to start their career in the public sector.

12 ABS 2013, Population Estimates by Age and Sex, Regions of Western Australia 2013

Beyond traineeship programs, public authorities are encouraged to register trainees for the 'Traineeship transition to employment program' for future employment within the public sector.

Table 13 shows the representation of youth in public employment over time.13 This year has seen a slight increase in representation of youth in the public sector, local government indoor workers, general public university staff and staff in other authorities.

13 For youth, distribution (equity index) is not available because salary levels closely correlate with age and experience.

Table 13: Representation of youth, 2011 to 2015

 

Representation (%)

2011

2012

2013

2014

2015

Public sector

All staff

5.5

5.4

5.1

4.6

4.7

Local governments

Indoor workers

n/a

11.4

14.2

15.5

16.6

Outdoor workers

n/a

6.4

7.0

8.5

7.6

Public universities

Academic staff

4.1

2.4

3.3

2.9

2.9

General staff

9.6

8.0

8.3

9.6

9.8

Other authorities

All staff

6.1

5.6

6.3

6.2

6.3

Note: For 2011, the reporting date for local governments was changed from December 2011 to March 2012. This change resulted in no local government data for 2011.

Source: EEO surveys and HRMOIR

The following case study outlines a public sector program in place to support youth employment.

Case study

Department of Agriculture and Food WA - graduate program provides young people with career opportunities

The Department of Agriculture and Food WA (DAFWA) graduate program is providing a number of career opportunities for young university graduates from a range of study disciplines, including science, business, commerce and agriculture.

The program is designed to attract and retain highly talented young people who want a permanent full-time career in an interesting, exciting and diverse industry in which youth make up less than 2% of the total workforce.

DAFWA recognises the graduate program as a key workforce strategy in ensuring the promotion of the department as an employer of choice for young people looking for a career in the agricultural industry.

The program provides the successful graduates with:

  • a two-year full-time work placement in an area relating to their study discipline
  • a permanent role on successful completion of the program
  • a highly competitive salary with exciting professional development opportunities
  • the ability to contribute to a diverse range of world-leading agricultural initiatives
  • the ability to contribute to the environmental, economic and social future of WA

In 2014, eight graduates commenced with DAFWA and with the support of clear work plans that set definable goals and deliverables, have quickly become impressive role models for other young people that are about to graduate from university.

Last year, the graduate cohort undertook a tour of the South West and visited DAFWA offices in the regional centres of Northam, Narrogin, Katanning, Manjimup and Bunbury. These visits allowed each of the graduates to experience life in a regional office and prepared them for their second year placement in one of the country centres.

The majority of graduates this year have commenced their final year placement in the allocated regional centre.

DAFWA graduatesDAFWA graduates visiting Narrogin regional office

Mature workers

Mature workers are identified by the ABS as those aged 45 to 64 years.14 It is estimated in WA that 35.5% of the working age population are mature workers.15

15 ABS 2013, Population Estimates by Age and Sex, Regions of Western Australia 2013

14 ABS 2005, Mature age persons statistical profile: Community Life, Apr 2005.

The DEOPE recognises the importance of mature workers in the workforce and encourages authorities to include mature workers as part of their workforce planning framework.

Table 14 shows the representation of mature persons in public employment over time.16 Representation rates were similar to previous years with the exception of increases in local governments and a decrease for general staff in public universities.

16 For data collected by the Commission, 'mature workers' includes all employees aged 45 years and over, not just those between 45 and 64 years. For mature workers, distribution (equity index) is not available because salary levels closely correlate with age and experience.

Table 14: Representation of mature workers, 2011 to 2015

 

Representation (%)

2011

2012

2013

2014

2015

Public sector

All staff

51.9

51.9

51.9

52.5

52.4

Local governments

Indoor workers

n/a

37.2

37.5

40.5

45.3

Outdoor workers

n/a

53.3

56.2

53.4

62.6

Public universities

Academic staff

46.1

39.3

40.4

37.4

36.9

General staff

33.1

37.0

35.0

37.3

30.8

Other authorities

All staff

46.8

45.3

41.6

42.9

41.7

Note: For 2011, the reporting date for local governments was changed from December 2011 to March 2012. This change resulted in no local government data for 2011.

Source: EEO surveys and HRMOIR

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Inclusive culture

An inclusive culture welcomes people from all diversity groups into the workplace, with respect for differences and equity encouraged.

The Commission surveys the workplace views of public sector staff each year through the employee perception survey (EPS). The EPS evaluates staff perceptions of organisational issues, such as equity and diversity.

In analysing this year's EPS data, the DEOPE observed public sector entities continue to build an inclusive workplace culture. Figure 7 shows at least four out of five public sector respondents agreed their co-workers and supervisor treat employees from all diversity groups with respect, and their workplace culture is equally welcoming of all diversity groups.

Figure 7: Public sector employee views on equity and diversity in their workplace, 2015

Approximately 89% respondents agreed co-workers treat employees from all diversity<br />
groups in the workplace with equal respect. Approximately 86% respondents agreed immediate supervisor treats employees from all diversity groups in the workplace with equal respect. Approximately respondents 84% agreed workplace culture is equally welcoming<br />
of people from all diversity groups. Approximately 73% respondents agreed agency is committed to creating a diverse workforce.

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Page last updated 26 October 2015