- Title page
- Commissioner's Foreword
- A Public Service for the Future
- Executive Summary
- Staff Numbers
- People Costs
- Leadership in the State Services
- Capability and Diversity
- Future capability - An ageing workforce
- Work-place culture
- Staff engagement
- Unplanned turnover
- Turnover by department
- Turnover by occupation group
- Sick and domestic leave taken
- Case study: Understanding the drivers behind sick leave usage at Inland Revenue
- Diversity in the Public Service
- Women in the Public Service
- The unadjusted gender pay gap
- Ethnic pay gaps
- Length of service and age
- Appendix 1: FTE employees by department
- Appendix 2: Department diversity information
- Appendix 3: Tenure, annual leave, and sick leave by department
- Appendix 4: Occupations in the HR customised occupation groups
- Appendix 5: Definitions
Capability and Diversity
Future capability - An ageing workforce
New Zealand's ageing workforce is going to present a number of practical issues to the Public Service. The key question is how soon does this need to be addressed?
Based on the Department of Labour (now the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment) 2011 report5, it is projected that until 2016 an additional 52,000 people annually will be needed across the New Zealand workforce to replace increased numbers of retirees. This is additional to the 36,000 people needed to support new growth. Furthermore, from 2016 to 2021 this grows to 70,000 people to replace retirees, with an additional 30,000 for growth. The report paints a challenging picture, noting "the number of additional migrants required to resolve the ageing issue would be so huge as to be untenable".
The Public Service is placed in a slightly more precarious position compared to the wider New Zealand workforce because of its large human capital investment, and due to the age profile of the current workforce.
Figure 11 shows the age profile of the Public Service compared to the total New Zealand employed workforce, as measured by Statistics NZ's Household Labour Force Survey. It shows that the Public Service has a smaller proportion of workers in the 15-29 age range than the New Zealand workforce as a whole, which reflects the nature of the occupations within the Public Service. A high proportion of new recruits are in this age range. However, young staff members are also a high proportion of terminations. This means that that growth in the proportion of young staff in the Public Service workforce over the last year has been slow.
Figure 11: Employee age profile, 30 June 2014
Figure 12 shows the change in the Public Service and overall New Zealand workforce age profiles over time. Both workforces have seen a relative increase in older employees and a decrease in younger employees over the last 14 years. However, the Public Service has aged at a faster rate over this period, with a larger increase in the share of employees aged 50 to 64 years, and a larger decrease in the share of employees aged 25-34 years. The share of the Public Service workforce aged between 25 and 34 decreased from over one in four (26.1%) in 2000, to less than one in five in 2013 (19.8%). In 2014, this grew slightly to 20.3%.
Figure 12: Change in proportion by age group between June 2000 and 2014
Solutions for an ageing workforce need to be considered as the trend in ageing continues to progress year on year, and the implications in terms of the retention of key knowledge and specialist skills are real. On the supply side, the role of technology cannot be ignored, but this is not expected to be a complete or instant solution. Addressing demand through workforce solutions is a more attainable goal, as the following Police example shows.
The New Zealand Police provide a good example of the potential of workforce initiatives to address their changing workforce demographics. By 2019, 60 percent of all Police officers are expected to be over the age of 40, compared to 31 percent in 2000. Furthermore, 26 percent are expected to be over 50, compared to 7 percent in 2000. This is a large workforce change; especially considering that prior to 2002 police officers were expected to retire at 55.
In addressing the demographic shift, the Police implemented a range of new changes. They have established flexible employment options and promote career planning for staff who may no longer be suited for the front line. They have also acknowledged a likely rapid increase in retirees, and noted the need to plan accordingly. To overcome possible shortages in staff, the recruitment group has started targeting 18-25 year olds through initiatives such as their very popular Facebook page which has 44,000 likes, and frequently gets over 2000 likes for a wall post.
The Police are a good example of an agency that is purposively responding to changing demographics in order to be fit for purpose in the future.