NSW public sector jobs go bush

 

NSW public servants will be able to live and work anywhere in the state in a COVID-driven public sector overhaul designed to increase senior employment opportunities in the bush.

Tapping into a post-COVID world, where employees have proven they don't need to be tethered to a CBD desk to work, a suite of NSW public sector jobs will be advertised for employment in "any location" with others marked as "regional location preferred".

The plan is a a deal struck by Deputy Premier John Barilaro and signed of by NSW cabinet in order to boost regional economies and job opportunities in the bush.

Under the plan, the government will also commit to increasing the proportion of regional staff at high level public service jobs by 2023 with a focus on bringing more senior positions to the bush.

Under the arrangements, employees could be based at regional hubs in larger towns such as Dubbo, Coffs Harbour, Armidale and Queanbeyan, or could use Government office space at agencies in smaller towns.

 

 

Deputy Director, Regional Development, North Coast, Department of Regional NSW Jillian Fryer walks her dog Frank on the beach in Port Macquarie. Pic Nathan Edwards
Deputy Director, Regional Development, North Coast, Department of Regional NSW Jillian Fryer walks her dog Frank on the beach in Port Macquarie. Pic Nathan Edwards

 

They would also have the chance to work in other remote locations such as on the road, at home, or a combination of all options with the key focus being flexibility.

The plan differs from more traditional efforts at workforce decentralisation, which usually shifts entire agencies.

In this case, the NSW government will consider every individual job across any agency on its merits for remote working as vacancies become available.

Mr Barilaro said the idea came to him during the pandemic.

"Off the back of COVID, it's clear people can work from home and remotely and productivity can remain high and people can be happy. Many people are looking to relocate to the regions and the key is we want good jobs available to people in regional and rural NSW."

Mr Barilaro said currently 40 per cent of the public service lives in regional or rural NSW - but most of those positions are frontline. Just 26 per cent of those positions are higher level managerial style jobs, he said.

The new regime will focus on building more top-of-ladder positions in the bush.

"This will ensure that decision makers live in rural and regional NSW and that's important," Mr Barilaro said.

Jillian Fryer, Deputy Director of Regional Development North Coast, relocated from Sydney to Port Macquarie in 2017 to work regionally for the public service and has since received a promotion.

"It's important to have the opportunity for people to develop skills in the regions without feeling like they can't receive the best jobs," Ms Fryer said.

"Working regionally you can actually see first hand the difference you're making to the community."

 

Originally published as NSW public sector jobs go bush


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