Focusing on the education sector, there is an urgent need for compliance and quality assurance roles within the Vocational Education and Training (VET)/Registered Training Organisation (RTO) sector as external audits are approaching. There is also a need for better student attraction and engagement as universities and further education providers struggle to attract overseas students to NSW and will be focusing on student diversity in the coming months.
The current federal government recruitment freeze is creating more opportunities for contractors and as the Government Sector Employment reform in state government takes shape, an increasing number of roles will start to be released to 0007 approved suppliers. Trade and Investment is also a busy area as the NSW economy is growing rapidly in comparison to other Australian states and companies are looking to maximise this opportunity.
In the ACT the focus continues to be on hiring temporary and fixed-term contract staff for contracts typically from three to six months. The focus is on mid-level staff at the APS5 and 6 levels to undertake generalist roles in policy, research, program management and project officer functions.
In Western Australia we have seen a significant decrease in the number of permanent placements being made with state government due to the hiring freeze. As a result we are seeing departments contacting agencies for temporary/casual staff. Not-for-profit organisations have been increasing the number of Policy Officer/ Advisory roles available on twelve month contracts.
In terms of skills in demand for the April – June 2015 quarter, we’re seeing a high demand for Policy Officers with highly developed research and written capabilities. Candidates require specific experience in healthcare, grant/funding and business improvement.
Program Officers (level APS6) with experience in grants assessment are in demand due to the opening of grant funding rounds.
Economists with experience in economic modelling, forecasting, funding and quantitative analysis are also sought. Like Analysts these candidates will be highly proficient with Excel and often other statistical packages. Recently demand for Regulatory Economists has increased, especially within pricing and cost recovery.
In terms of candidate trends, an increasing number of applicants are securing positions directly with the NSW State Government as they are recruited via the talent pool from previous applications. Candidates are also more comfortable taking contracts at the moment and seeing it as a positive way of networking and creating opportunities in different sectors they would normally get an opportunity to work in.