Category Archives: Workforce Development

Skills for Prosperity and the 2011 Federal Budget

By | Vocational Education and Training, Workforce Development, Workforce Planning | One Comment

On the 3rd May 2011, Skills Australia launched their most significant paper to date on workforce development titled Skills for Prosperity A roadmap for Vocational Education and Training.

This paper puts forward 9 themes for the evolution of the VET sector as I have summarised below plus I’ve added in some comments (my opinion in italics):

  1. Putting learners and enterprises at the forefront of service – whilst a focus on clients isn’t new, what is different here is that the individual would hold the funding entitlement and a 100% subsidy would apply for qualifications up to Certificate III including all foundation skills courses.  As the qualification level increases the subsidy would reduce and become a co-funding arrangement with the individual.
  2. Enabling skills use and productivity in enterprises – with the introduction of an Enterprise Skills Investment Fund (managed by Skills Australia) where funding from Productivity Places Program, Critical Skills Investment Fund, Workplace English Language and Literacy, Workforce Innovation Program, Apprenticeship incentives and possibly Enterprise Connect to be tipped in to this 1 fund and enterprises will make a scaled contribution for workforce development.  The role of (redesigned) Australian Apprenticeship Centres is suggested as a single point for enterprise-linked program [what are the implications for capability and capacity, would contracts need to be readvertised or will existing services morph into workforce development advisors?]
  3. Supporting communities – better targeted and coordinated effort – joint program planning with Vocational Education and Training, employment service and community providers and a much higher profile for Regional Development Australia in regional workforce development – RDA should be in your partnership map!
  4. Aspiring to excellence – resourcing the new national VET regulator (ASQA); reform of the AQTF to mandate independent validation of an annual sample of students assessments; reduction in the number of VET practitioners working under supervision (nil under supervision by 2013); high-quality deliver of the Training and Education Training Package including a demonstrated track record, evidence of expertise, professional development of staff, external validation by an expert panel, TAE trainers/assessors holding high level quals, supervised training sessions and independent assessments for those undertaking the qualification ; a national VET workforce development strategy ($40 million over 6 years); and introduction of nationally agreed criteria (over and above the AQTF it seems – interested to know what they will be!) for RTO’s to be eligible as providers of publicly funded entitlement places.
  5. Delivering outcomes and understanding the sector’s contribution – outcomes based funding to improve the completion of qualifications (but underlying this is the assumption that clients of the VET system want whole qualifications and I wonder how RTOs will be able to manage cash flow?); incentives for RTOs  for completion of qualifications (Quality Skills Incentive) above Certificate III by low SES and disadvantaged students; AQTF indicators on learner engagement, employer satisfaction and competency completion (already in place) and full course completions (new) plus a heap more info (see Section 6, recommendation 16 in the full paper); publication on the My Skills website of RTOs assessment validation results; and new indicators for industry, education and community partnerships .
  6. Providing agile and adaptive products and services – optimising the use of digital media, ICT and the national broadband network; a national bank of foundation skills units and qualifications managed by Innovation & Business Skills Australia; and publicly funding skill sets (finally!!!  but this shouldn’t be in the format of a ‘mini qualification’ rather skill sets based upon enterprise, licencing and job role needs)
  7. Ensuring better pathways across education sectors – specialist degrees with a vocational focus; income-contingent loans for those undertaking Certificate IV+ courses; a national review of VET in schools (well overdue and I’d like to see VET in school provide a taster across a range of options rather than completely locking into 1 position).
  8. Securing prosperity through sustained and balanced investment – additional $310 million per annum accumulating, from $8,286 million in 2008 and rising to an estimated $12,000 million in 2020; co-contribution financing framework to share the costs of training with government; performance incentives for disadvantaged students ; changes to indexation mechanisms to better reflect real costs (sounds like they could use the VET Business Analysis tool we developed to cover all the inputs and outputs and the return).
  9. Creating a simpler system – working out Commonwealth, state and territory responsibilities; streamlining the apprenticeship/traineeship system; consistent nominal hours required for qualifications (for me nominal hours flies in the face of competency based training and whilst I understand the desire for national consistency I don’t see how hours will do it – we should be able to come up with a more sophisticated way of paying for training [workforce development] aside from nominal hours).

I’d suggest that providers and agencies ramp up their relationships with each other to get ready for further reform – this includes Vocational Education and Training with Employment Service (Job Services Australia and Disability Employment Service) with Adult and Community Education (ACE) and community service providers with Australian Apprenticeship Centres – and all with Regional Development Australia, Industry Skill Councils, industry and professional associations – all taking a proactive approach to educating their clients about the opportunities.

The 2011 Federal budget, released 1 week after the Skills Australia paper, leaves little evidence that they aren’t the most important agency in workforce development [now becoming synonymous with the term VET but covers a heap more than training and assessment] and demonstrates that our political leaders are listening to what Skills Australia has recommended.  Parts of the budget papers and facts sheets are reflections of whole components of the Skills Australia paper with small tweaks or slight word and title changes.  For example (extract from A new partnership with industry):

The Building Australia’s Future Workforce package provides a $3.02 billion investment over six years for a new approach to deliver the skilled workers the economy needs and ensure more Australians have the opportunity to share in the nation’s prosperity. This is on top of new funding of more than $2 billion over the next four years for Australia’s university sector.

The package has four components:

  • Putting industry at the heart of the training system      
  • Skills to support increased participation
  • Modernising apprenticeships                                           
  • Reforming the national training system

A National Workforce and Productivity Agency will be established from 1 July 2012 to administer a new industry driven National Workforce Development Fund. The independent Agency will be an expansion of the role and functions of Skills Australia, through high level industry and union leadership and collaboration. It will be recognised as an authority on workforce development policy and advice and will direct skills funding to industry needs.

The Agency will engage directly with industry on workforce development issues and address sectoral and regional industry needs as well as

  • administer the new National Workforce Development Fund
  • conduct skills and workforce research, including into the quality of jobs and future working life in Australia
  • drive engagement between industry, training providers and government on workforce development, apprenticeships and VET reform
  • develop and monitor sectoral skills and workforce development plans in conjunction with Industry Skills Councils and industry
  • provide independent advice on sectoral and regional skills needs to support workforce planning and productivity, including in small business
  • promote workforce productivity by leading initiatives for the improvement of productivity, management innovation and skills utilisation within Australian workplaces

Skills Australia will be transitioned into the new Agency through 2011-12, with the Agency beginning operation from 1 July 2012.

Through the National Workforce Development Fund (the Fund) the Government will provide $558 million over four years to support training and workforce development in areas of current and future skills need. Government funding will be supplemented by a co-contribution from industry with government contributing at higher levels for small businesses.

Under the Fund, enterprises will identify their current and future business and workforce development needs. The enterprise would then apply for funding to support the training of existing workers and new workers in the area of need. Both the Government and the employer will provide funding to support this training. Large enterprises will contribute 66 per cent of the cost of training, medium enterprises 50 per cent and small enterprises 33 per cent.

Industry Skills Councils will play a key role in assisting enterprises to identify their training needs, facilitate the selection of a training provider to meet these needs and in monitoring the implementation of successful proposals.

Under the Fund businesses, national professional associations and industry bodies will be eligible to apply for funding. This will ensure that training is driven by the workforce development and business needs of enterprises. Employers will be able to purchase the training they need in the format that suits their business to deliver valuable qualifications to their employees.

Enterprises will be eligible to apply for funding if they operate in a high priority sector or if the occupations in which they are seeking to train their workforce are in local or national demand.  The priority sectors to be targeted in 2011-12 will be construction and aged care in addition to the sectors currently targeted under the CSIF.

The Fund will incorporate funding from the Critical Skills Investment Fund (CSIF).

Employers and workers will also benefit from a new partnership with peak employer and union organisations through the Productivity Education and Training Fund. These key bodies will be supported to ensure that the productivity benefits that can be achieved through the Fair Work framework are well understood. The Fund will support union enterprise representatives and employers to use the enterprise bargaining process to introduce productivity improvements in the workplace.

A series of fact sheets covers:

  • A new partnership with industry
  • Apprenticeship reform
  • Better futures for jobless families
  • Future arrangements for DES purchasing
  • Future arrangements for Job Service Australia
  • Greater participation in Higher Education
  • Helping indigenous Australians
  • Investing in our young people
  • Investing in regional productivity and participation
  • Opportunities for people with disability
  • Place-based initiatives
  • Reform of the National Training System
  • Skills to promote increased participation
  • Strengthening job seeker compliance
  • Support small business to drive economic growth
  • Very long term unemployed people

We’ve already seen the new tender for Local Employment Coordinators [and Jobs Expos]

A total of $45.2 million will be allocated to the extension of this measure. This will include access to a flexible funding pool of $20 million over two years. The measure will take effect from 1 July 2011 and run until 30 June 2013.

My advice, get your organisation and your own workforce ready now, review your strategic directions, consider how the changes will impact on you, develop or update your workforce plan and I have 3 final words to say to you [Kimmy – Kath n Kim reference – sorry] – “communication, partnerships and relationships”!

For upcoming national tenders keep an eye on www.tenders.gov.au, for further reform DEEWR website and Skills Australia website, and let me know if you are planning on attending the Putting skills at the heart of the economy conference in July 2011 in Melbourne.

Wendy Perry, Head Workforce Planner, Workforce BluePrint and Managing Director, Wendy Perry and Associates Pty Ltd

Workforce Development Plan

By | Workforce Development, Workforce Planning | No Comments

So what is workforce development?

It is an umbrella term for implementing strategies that help you bridge the gap between your current workforce and your target (future) workforce.  Workforce development strategies address the gaps that you find when you undertake workforce planning and training needs analysis where the output is a workforce plan.  The strategies could be about attraction, recruitment, retention, career progression, succession planning, job design, skills and competencies, values and behaviours, KPI’s and performance.

Generally when you write a workforce plan you cover the same time frame as the organisation’s strategic plan which could be 1, 3, 5, 10 or 20 years depending on your industry and budget cycles.  The steps are reflected in the document itself starting with 1. Context and environment, 2. Current workforce profile, 3. Future workforce profile including forecasting demand and supply, 4. Gap analysis, priorities, implementation, 5. Review, monitor, evaluate.

Review your workforce plan regularly – about every 6 months or if there has been a major workforce change or refocus of the business.  The workforce plan is a dynamic document resulting in a prioritised action plan identifying who will do what and by when – it’s not uncommon for organisations to have numerous updated versions of their workforce plan over the timeframe for which it has been designed.

As job roles change and you implement workforce development strategies, the framework that measures your workforce capability also needs to change to reflect the organisation’s structure and focus.  You may want to build a capability framework to help you measure your workforce capability and capacity.  Revisiting your demand and supply forecasting is important to see if you are on track.

The process is facilitated transparently, involving people from across your organisation to help identify strengths, development needs and issues.  Communication, consultation and education is critical so you know what to do and what you are aiming for using a practical, straight forward approach – don’t over complicate it!

CEDA Skills and Workforce Development Forum

By | Vocational Education and Training, Workforce Development, Workforce Planning | No Comments

The CEDA Skills and Workforce Development Forum held on 14 April 2011 in Adelaide focussed on the link between skills, innovation and productivity.

Opened by the Hon Jack Snelling MP, Minister for Employment, Training and Further Education an interesting line up of speakers provided these main messages (as interpreted by Workforce BluePrint):

– Malclom Jackman, CEO Elders Ltd – move towards a high performing organisation, Go 2 client = client focussed sales, recruitment from the widest possible talent pool, challenges in managing a widespread, remote workforce

– Professor Sue Richardson, Principal Research Fellow, NILS, Flinders University – skills depth which is difficult to shift and skills breadth which is more easily transferable, stock of Human Capital = inflows/outflows, depreciation of skills

– Adrian Smith, Chair, SA Training & Skills Commission, Managing Director SYDAC – SA needs a wise investment in skills = evidence based, higher level, qualifications and skills

– Guy Roberts, Managing Director, Penrice Soda Products – moving beyond “stay in business training”, current competencies – target competencies, competency based job descriptions, graduated career ladder; value for money to adding value to creating value; change management – over educate and over communicate

– Chris Wood, Manager Corporate Human Resources and Organisational Development, Santos – huge people challenge with 80 000+ people needed by 2020, 6 years to develop employee to “autonomy”

– Tom Karmel, Managing Director, NCVER – SA against Australia has an over representation of Certificate I’s and II’s, we need higher levels of general education, shortages are about churn they aren’t structural = need for retention stratagies

A whole range of workforce development and planning gaps and issues were raised and I’d like to ask:

What is the number 1 priority for skills and workforce development in South Australia?  What about for your organisation?  What strategies could be implemented to address these issues and gaps?

For those people working on the Skills for All implementation I’d suggest we to:

– undertake a training needs analysis beyond what is on an RTO’s scope and that matches competencies with job roles and organisation capability

– make RPL opt out of not opt in to i.e. all clients/learners undertake an up front RPL process unless they choose not to

– skills development is about foundation, multi-literacies  and transferable skills (breadth) as well as industry and job specific skills (depth)

Overall, South Australia needs an evidence based approach to determining workforce demand for jobs and skills over the short and longer term (for enterprises, industries and regions) – this is the number 1 priority for me.

PS. A statewide skills stock-take would be great too!

Evidence based approach to workforce and client demand

By | Vocational Education and Training, Workforce Development, Workforce Planning, Workforce Projects | No Comments

Increasingly you are being asked to provide evidence of demand for jobs and skills that are linked to your contracts, funding and proposals as well as your programs and services, and that reach specific outcomes and targets.

So how do you,

  1. Make sense of the data on business and industry (I), major projects and regional trends?
  2. Analyse demographics (D) information?
  3. Know who you should partner (P) with?
  4. Examine your client (C) profile?

AND

Marry all 4 areas to identify opportunities for new products and services, develop engagement and support strategies, and provide crucial evidence demonstrating how you can meet demand now and into the future?

Workforce BluePrint has developed a methodology and a process to help you quickly and simply understand the industry (I), demographics (D), partners (P) and your client (C) profile resulting in engagement (E), and support (S) strategies, this is what is looks like:

Workforce Demand

A skills profile (SP) that details foundation skills, transferable skills and industry specific skills plus a competitor analysis (CA) are options you may want to include.

Methodology

–        Action research and collection of data for the specified regions, Local Government Areas (LGA’s) or Employment Service Areas (ESA’s)from a range of national, state/territory, local, major projects, regional and industry sources covering industry workforce demand and social demographics

–        Analysis of your client profile for the location/s

–        Comparison of industry workforce demand profile and social demographics with your client profile

–        Identification of themes in the data and validation of analysis with team members working across the specific locations to value add with local intelligence

–        Partnership map development with local team members

–        Option of skills profile and/or competitor analysis

–        Development of an action plan with priorities, engagement and support strategies and validation by team members

–        Documentation of the whole process so it is repeatable and can be used across your organisation and at other locations/regions.

Outputs per region or location may include:

–        Industry and business workforce profile

–        Social demographics

–        Partnership map

–        Client profile

–        Skills profile

–        Competitor analysis

–        Report and action plan

Get the evidence you need for your business case, tender submission, funding allocations, new program or workforce plan.

Send an email to wendy@workforceblueprint.com.au with the various components that you are interested in – I, D, P, C, SP and/or CA.

Skills for All and Opportunities for You

By | Vocational Education and Training, Workforce Development | No Comments

Skills for All, the Strategic Direction for Vocational Education and Training in South Australia 2011-2014 has been published and was great weekend reading with the pink highlighter pen out!

What does Skills for All offer?

  • extra $194 million over the next 6 years for an additional 100 000 places
  • transition to a National VET Regulator in 2011
  • income contingent loans and concession fees for low income earners
  • Skills in the Workplace initiative to upskill employees in support of their workforce development – sharing the costs with government where more than 200 employees – at least 50%; 100-199 employees at least 25%; less than 100 employees at least 10%
  • independent and endorsed workforce development advisors
  • subsidies – full for Cert I and II; 80% for Cert III and IV; 70% for Dip and Adv Dip; up to 100% for priority qualifications, critical skills and specialised occupations
  • designated skills set training once/year based upon advice from industry
  • move towards fully contestable training market
  • from 1.7.11 the Office of TAFE SA will be formed
  • training information portal
  • plain language document on provider services and outcomes for students, awareness of opportunities to feedback concerns or complaints from students and regular info campaigns
  • $6.4 million in additional funding for foundation skills and Adult and Community Education (ACE)
  • reduction in VET cost per hour closer to the national VET average
  • Skills for All providers will receive subsidies for delivery in rural locations that reflect additional costs with thin markets
  • targeted professional development initiatives that address contemporary education and training and workforce development practice
  • nominated capability building initiatives to ensure good practice for providers
  • a new Employer Recognition Program initially recognising employers of apprentices and expanding over time for employers who are committed to developing the skills of their workforce
  • employers co-investment with Government in integrate workforce development plans, encourage industry uptake of workforce development, industry investment and skill development for new and emerging industries and technologies
  • workforce development support including toolkits, workshops and resources

So here’s some ideas on what to consider now so you are ready for the roll out:

  • training providers must demonstrate the demand for skills and jobs, links to industry and funding required – this means taking an evidence based approach and analysing workforce, industry and regional demand
  • registration and qualification requirements as a Skills for All training provider – this is additional to the minimum AQTF standards and you’ll need to be on the look out for when DFEEST releases the requirements
  • increased focus on recognition of prior learning and identifying student learning needs – think about RPL as opt out of not op in and who you can tap into for learner support
  • at enrolment students and their provider will develop a customised training plan – do you already have this in place or will you need to develop a template and tools?
  • the subsidy price will be paid monthly to qualified providers based upon module completions – how will your cash flow work and what systems will you need to put in place for reporting?
  • one website will have information about Skills for All providers – how will you keep this up to date and what about your own website, maybe time for review and some advice?
  • DFEEST will provide information to students – how could you maximise this promotional opportunity and do you need to rethink your marketing strategy?
  • ACE partners – who do you know?  who can you work with? do/can/will you deliver foundation skills?
  • VET costing – do you know all the inputs, all the outputs and the return on the investment?
  • Delivery in rural locations – get familiar with the Accessibility Remoteness Index of Australia (ARIA) to determine regional loadings and classify your target markets based upon industries, student cohorts and regions – locality, SLA and postcode are important data sets here
  • need to better engage and support SME’s – facilitate a workforce development style conversation and identify all their needs
  • employer recognition – what about the commitment of your own organisation to workforce development?  are you leading the way?
  • focus on workforce development – this is moving beyond training and assessment and workforce skills development towards a workforce planning approach

What’s next – have a look at the key implementation milestones with the Skills in the Workplace program due for August 2011 with most activities kicking off publicly from June 2011 through until 2012-13.

Make sure you subscribe for further updates and what you are looking forward to?

How to build a Competency Framework

By | Workforce Development | No Comments

First of all why do you want to build one?

Often it’s because people ask for training and development that may not be directly related to their job role, it may be dealt with ad hoc and often training needs aren’t aggregated at an organisational, project or team level.

Another reason could be that you are looking for an evidence based approach to assessing skill level and performance, you may be recruiting, looking at career progression or you may want to demonstrate your workforce capability for a tender, proposal, project or industry awards.

Whatever the reason, I suggest you start with the end in mind – what are you wanting as the out and outcomes and then work your way back.

Secondly, who needs to be involved to validate and who needs to be briefed and kept up to date with the framework as it develops.  Communication and consultation is absolutely critical so work out who are your audiences, what do you need to say, when and how often, and what communication methods will you use including existing communication channels.  Utilising a group of people representing their job roles, especially if they are well networked in their area is a good way to go.  Help them to know the purpose of the framework, what it will be used for and their knowledge, experience and understanding of the job roles in the framework to validate the competency and skills profiles.

Thirdly, think about the structure which needs to mirror the organisation or client (could be internal or external like a project) you are working with.  I like the structure of core competencies i.e. everybody needs these, functional competencies including leadership i.e. some people need different functions, and job specific competencies i.e. skills that make 1 job role different to another.  Draw a diagram of the competency framework and have the map to relevant skills sitting behind it.

Fourthly, what can we use the framework for?  Training and development needs analysis,performance management, competency based job descriptions and recruitment, career and succession planning, evidence against industry standards and for tenders, proposals, marketing and promotions.

A final word on who needs a framework – well it’s up to you!  I have developed a framework for a 1 person business up to a government department with 43 000 people because they had very real business reasons to build one in the first place.

Recognition

By | Human Resource Management, Workforce Development, Workforce Planning | One Comment

Yesterday I attended a CEDA luncheon with Hugh Mackay on his new book What makes us tick: The ten desires that drive us.

Hugh covered the ten desires including:

The desire to be taken seriously

The desire for ‘my place’

The desire for something to believe in

The desire to connect

The desire to be useful

The desire to belong

The desire for more

The desire for control

The desire for something to happen

The desire for love

Mackay asserts that the desire to be taken seriously is the most important one, “Not seriously as in ‘Oh what a serious person!’ but seriously as in ‘Please recognise and acknowledge me as an individual.’ (p.2)

So how does this apply to workforce management?  Well I’d suggest this desire relates to every aspect of working effectively with people – recognising their achievements, skills, performance, career aspirations, leadership, issues, ideas, work load, work-life balance and the importance of engaging people in decision making, problem solving and change implementation.  A good reminder really of the need to practice recognising people every day.

Workforce Development funding

By | Vocational Education and Training, Workforce Development, Workforce Projects | One Comment

So where to look for funding opportunities to support your workforce development project or training of your staff?  Here’s a couple of sites and links you might find useful with programs funded by the Australian Government:

Critical Skills Investment Fund

Workforce Innovation Program

Clean Sustainable Skills Package

Teaching and Learning Capital Fund

Workplace English Language and Literacy Program

Productivity Places Program

Industry Training Strategies Program

Jobs Fund

Innovation Fund

Applications for Training Grants

Family Centred Employment Project

Social Enterprise Development and Investment Fund

IBSA supporting Workforce Development

Ausindustry Programs and Grants

Enterprise Connect Services and Grants

Grantslink

Post your links of funds and grants you know of and look out for a new blog post with state and territory specific funding information soon.

99 Ways to Retain Good Staff

By | Human Resource Management, Workforce Development | One Comment

At a recent Enterprise Connect workforce re-engineering network meeting, participants took on the challenge of coming up with 99 ways to retain good staff.  Here’s the results – we got to 63 so what else would you add?

  1. Rubber chicken award – recognition of a job well done
  2. Clear career pathways
  3. Exchange programs – across the organisation, outside and back again
  4. Defined expectations from the team member and manager
  5. Understanding of the psychological contract and unwritten agreements
  6. Two-way, meaningful communication
  7. Performance – defining good and poor performance
  8. Input into decision making
  9. Empathy and understanding for issues outside of work
  10. Team discussions, meetings and planning
  11. Democratic workplace and included
  12. Birthday leave – leave day for your birthday
  13. Flexibility with work commitments – early/late start
  14. Professional development
  15. Events, dinners and industry functions – BBQ’s, Melbourne Cup, lunches, Christmas
  16. Conferences and travelling
  17. Boss willing to work alongside staff
  18. Nice work environment
  19. Positive atmosphere
  20. Health and well being programs, flu shots, checks
  21. Free drinks machine, tea, coffee and biscuits
  22. Years of service awards
  23. Bring your partners along to special events
  24. Gifts, thank you, pressies and awards
  25. Transport provide for special occasions
  26. Know your staff well – personal interests, partner and kids names
  27. Balance in the team – experience, knowledge, skills, generations
  28. Find out what people want to be known for
  29. What do people say and think about you?
  30. Accommodation and housing
  31. Project based opportunities
  32. Exciting work
  33. Clear about future directions
  34. Access to the boss
  35. Multi skilling
  36. Find out what work people want to do
  37. Share management duties such as chairing meetings
  38. Activities to support charities and volunteer
  39. Public acknowledgement
  40. Massages, mini breaks
  41. Listening
  42. Photos, video of career history
  43. Wellness programs
  44. Work sports teams and leagues
  45. Manage the poor performers
  46. Toolbox chats
  47. Social and environmental responsibility initiatives
  48. Competency based recruitment and selection
  49. Match ethos and values
  50. Attitude over aptitude
  51. Set goals and review regularly
  52. Build your own training centre – pride and joy to conduct own training
  53. Ask why do you stay?
  54. Immaculate facility
  55. Social club and activities
  56. Demonstrate good management in the tough times with clear communication
  57. Internal mentors
  58. Mid-career opportunities – networking of similar cohort across the organisation
  59. Higher education opportunities – complete a Masters degree as a group
  60. Phased retirement
  61. Surprises – nice ones
  62. Exercise program – Pilates as a group
  63. Gym program to support physical requirements of the job

Temporary Work as a Retention Strategy

By | Workforce Development | One Comment

It might seem counter intuitive?  More temporary work is being offered as short-term contracts ranging in length from a few months to around 18 months as a retention strategy for some employees.  The contractor and project-based temporary workforce is responding to employer needs for staff who have specific skills and knowledge.  Employees can also develop expertise in a set of skills, be involved in particular projects or work for key employers to boost their resume and career.  A temporary contract is particularly popular in defence and mining industries and for major infrastructure projects in civil construction and rail.  The trend seems more towards a pool or group of people working together around a project and a specific contract rather than temping doing general kind of work.  These opportunities are very much around project-based expertise.  People tend of want that flexibility as well because it gives them experience in different areas.  Project management gives them different skills sets.  Temporary work allows employers to match their workforce to the projects that have on the go at any moment and ramp up projects quickly.  Some staff are juggling multiple projects or jobs and gaining work through word of mouth in their personal or professional networks, rather than being employed by a temping agency.  Temporary contracts also allow workers to have extended mini breaks between jobs which means they work hard and have limited work life balance during the life of the contract.  But it allows them extra time off between projects.  There are extra benefits rather than pay and employers are using temporary work as a retention strategy.

As interviewed by Cara Jenkin, CareerOne Editor and published in The Advertiser, CareerOne section on 30.10.10 p. 3