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APS retaining valued mature age workers.

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Hon Kevin Andrews MP

Minister for Employment and Workplace Relations Minister Assisting the Prime Minister for the Public Service 30 November, 2005

Media Release


APS retaining valued mature age workers

The latest report on the Public Service shows mature age workers are staying longer in the service.

The State of the Service Report, presented to the Prime Minister reveals the number of people

aged over 45 in the public service continues to grow with workers in the 45-54 age group

increasing from 25% to 30% in the past decade.

The 55 and over age group has also grown, particularly in the past few years. As of last June, more

than 10% of all staff were aged 55 and over.

The report, prepared by the Australian Public Service Commission, shows that total APS staff numbers rose

slightly in the last year, (to the 30th of June) to 133,596. The growth was mainly among non-ongoing employees.

The biggest increases in total staff numbers were recorded by the Australian Taxation Office (up

by 1,699 or 7.8%) and the Department of Immigration and Multicultural and Indigenous Affairs

(up by 1,034 or 21.8%).

Growth in the APS has reflected increasing responsibilities and workloads.

Sixty per cent of employees believed that their productivity improved over the last 12 months. For service delivery

employees, the proportion was even higher, almost two-thirds.

The importance of flexibility in the workplace, especially in retaining older workers, is reflected

in the growth in part-time work. Eleven percent of the APS workforce were employed part-time. There is an

increasing trend towards part-time work for older employees, indicating a move towards phased retirement, and

more flexible working arrangements for older workers.

In contrast, the representation of younger employees, aged under 25 has fallen again this year

with the Report finding Agencies would benefit by considering strategies such as traineeships and

graduate recruitment to attract promising young people as the labour market tightens.

The APS is increasingly becoming a graduate workforce. Almost half of all ongoing employees and two-thirds of

new recruits now have tertiary (i.e. bachelor degree or above) qualifications.

Representation of women in the APS also continues to increase, to 55% of total staff while females in the Senior

Executive Service (SES) has risen to 33% of employees.

For further information contact:

Russ Street 0417 044 712