Thousands of jobs are expected to be created for younger South Australians, as part of an overhaul aimed at improving flexibility in the public service.
Flexibility for the Future is an initiative of the South Australian government designed to give existing public sector workers the opportunity to voluntarily switch to part-time employment. It encourages the reduction in Full Time Employment (FTE), as a means to create opportunities for more employment in the public sector and the government wants to give these opportunities for younger workers aged 17-30 to fill the available positions.
The move is expected to increase jobs for South Australians, without an increase in costs to taxpayers. As a voluntary program the take-up will be subject to the level of interest among existing public servants, with an emphasis on re-investing into trainee and graduate positions, but job-sharing and other part-time arrangements will also be considered where appropriate.
“These changes are all about creating jobs for young South Australians while modernising our public service. The great thing about Flexibility for the Future is it will lead to an increase in jobs at no net cost to the taxpayer”, stated Premier Jay Weatherill.
The changes will be attractive to some older workers who are looking to switch to part-time work to ease their workload but want to remain in the workforce, rather than retire. The program also provides the flexibility many families are looking for in the modern workplace, ensuring the public sector can be a model employer.
There are about 85,000 full-time equivalent (FTE) positions in the South Australian public service and an overall headcount of 104,000 people. The average South Australian public servant is 45-years-old.
South Australia has recorded 17 consecutive months of jobs growth and the unemployment rate has fallen from 8 per cent to 6.4 per cent.