Learning and career development

Employees in public sector agencies are generally more positive about training and career development than they were two years ago. However, the results vary by service cluster, age and longevity of employment. They also indicate there is room for improvement, especially when it comes to career opportunities.

Overall, 65% of respondents to the People Matter survey agreed that their organisations were committed to employee development – a 6% improvement compared with the 2012 survey. Two-thirds of employees also responded positively to the statement 'I am able to access the right learning and development opportunities when I need to' (6% higher than 2012), with 72% reporting that access to such opportunities was fair.

Different service cluster views about these issues are shown in Figure 1.

Figure 1: Learning in the NSW public sector

Figure 1 is a vertical bar graph comparing employee perceptions from the nine separate clusters on three questions about learning and development. Overall sector findings are found in the text above.

The survey also found differences between employees of different ages and those who had spent more time with their organisations. Younger employees, those who had most recently joined the sector and those in the oldest age groups were more likely to be positive regarding the learning statements described previously.

When it came to career development, most respondents reported a strong desire to advance (80%) but only 54% were satisfied with the opportunities available within their organisations and only 48% said they were aware of opportunities in other agencies (see Figure 2). Despite this dissatisfaction, 70% of respondents said their managers considered their needs and aspirations when approving their development plans.

Figure 2: Employee perceptions of career development

Figure 2 is a horizontal bar graph illustrating the sectors perceptions of career development across six questions. Results to four of these questions are provided in the paragraph above figure 2. Results for questions, 'my manager considers my needs and career aspirations when approving my development plans' has increased from 62% in 2012 to 70% and 'I am satisfied with opportunities available for career development in my organisation increasing from 51% in 2012 to 54%. Additionally, 58% would like to work in another agency within the NSW Public Sector during their career while 90% believed they have the skills to work in another agency within the NSW Public Sector.

Again, there were differences according to age and duration of employment. Younger employees were more likely to seek career advancement and newer employees were more willing to work in other agencies. Younger and older employees tended to be more satisfied with their available career and development opportunities.

The Public Service Commission acknowledges the Gadigal people of the Eora Nation, the traditional custodians of the land on which our office stands.