This action plan is part of the Workforce Diversification and Inclusion Strategy for WA Public Sector Employment 2020–2025.
The twin goals of the strategy are to increase the representation of people from different backgrounds at all levels across our sector, and to ensure all staff in the sector experience a sense of belonging and inclusion in the work environment.
Like this action plan that focuses on Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, there are also action plans for women, youth, culturally and linguistically diverse people, people with disability and people of diverse sexualities and genders.
Aspirational target for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people
This action plan aims to increase the representation of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in the public sector to 3.7% and support inclusive work environments.
Current representation in public sector employment is at 2.7% and has been at this level for some time. In recent years, it was at its highest in 2013 at 3.0%.
The target of 3.7% is based on representation in the Western Australian working age population and is derived from two key data sets – the most recent Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) Census in 2016 and ABS population projections.
It is clear that representation in the public sector is not increasing in line with these projections. Concerted effort is needed to revitalise and improve this trend. It will take time to see an increase as actions are implemented and employment outcomes improve.
Workforce diversity targets, including the target for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, will be reviewed in line with the data reforms and new Census data.
Key actions to achieve the target
Increasing the representation of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people employed in the sector requires sustained effort, a different way of doing things and stronger accountability.
All agencies are responsible for working towards the aspirational target. Actions taken also require collaboration with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, whose ideas and participation are essential in making our sector as inclusive as possible.
Actions for the Public Sector Commission are described in this plan, together with a suite of actions for agencies to implement.
Most value can be gained by considering actions across the four improvement areas, rather than actions in just one or two areas.
As agencies have differing needs and contexts, they should adopt those actions appropriate to their circumstances in ways best suited to their needs.
These four areas are:
1. Educate and empower
A knowledge and capability uplift is a priority consideration in workforce planning for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.
2. Attract and develop
Recruitment and development practices proactively identify and support the talent of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.
3. Lead and build
There is deliberate leadership to build organisation cultures where all people are treated fairly and respectfully.
4. Account and celebrate
Responsibility is taken for improving the representation and inclusion of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in public sector employment.
Actions for agencies and the Commission are listed in full in the PDF below.