The ABS uses workforce planning to anticipate and respond appropriately to both internal and external changes to the ABS organisational environment. The ABS takes a strategic approach to workforce development, positioning human resource development to encompass a range of HR functions – such as talent management, succession planning, employee engagement, organisational and cultural change. These are in addition to the more traditional workforce development functions such as training and development, career development, leadership development, graduate programs and technical and other training.
The ABS has also initiated development and implementation of operational workforce plans that focus on identifying and planning to address the specific operational workforce requirements of each part of the business. These plans act as a control mechanism to address systemic statistical risks related to human resources across the ABS. The operational plans acknowledge the unique requirements and challenges facing the workforce across the ABS to compile and report key economic and social indicators in support of national decision making and to inform policy development.
A number of ABS staff have been displaced since 2016 and have been assigned to a Busines Centre within the ABS where they are supported with development opportunities, priority access to suitable temporary and ongoing vacancies and deployed to funded and unfunded work to maintain their skills and continue to contribute meaningfully. The ABS has worked hard to secure placement (permanent or temporary, inside the ABS and across the Australian Public Service (APS)) for all displaced staff. In February 2018, the Australian Statistician made the difficult decision to invoke the Managing Excess Staffing provisions of the ABS Enterprise Agreement 2016 for displaced staff in the ABS Business Centre. Of the 96 employees declared potentially excess to requirements, as of 30 June 2018, 23 remained temporarily in the Business Centre, with others having been placed in ongoing roles or choosing to leave the ABS. The ABS would like to acknowledge the many agencies across the APS, state and territory governments and in the private sector, who engaged with us to support the placement and assistance to displaced staff.