Victoria’s public sector delivers a wider range of services and supports that matter to the Victorian community. Our 354,800 strong public sector workforce represents around 10% of the total Victorian workforce. It spans departments and public sector agencies to support delivery of health, education, transport, justice, emergency services and more.   

Our workforce is responding to a range of challenges:

  • Workforce shortages are apparent across healthcare, early childhood education, schools, social services and public infrastructure. There is a growing list of hard-to-fill roles that require dedicated focus.
  • The COVID-19 pandemic and climate related emergency events such as flood and fire have placed pressure on the public sector workforce and changed the way we work. Capacity to mobilise a strong surge workforce, retention of workforces at risk of burnout and a competitive employment market, all pose issues.
  • Victoria is experiencing a tight fiscal environment and budget constraints. This will likely result in a future reduction of the size and scope of the public sector. At the same time, community expectations for service delivery are unlikely to diminish.
  • Public trust in government institutions is also in decline. In 2023, trust in government across Australia was eight points down on the previous year, based on the Edelman Trust Barometer.


The Commission sees an opportunity to strategically support public sector agencies.

The Commission can:

  • lead from the centre implementing whole-of-Victorian government workforce initiatives to attract, retain, deploy and support a diverse, inclusive and high-performing workforce
  • use our data, insights and research to support evidence-based policies, programs and initiatives
  • maintain trust in the institutions of government, by supporting public sector agencies to meet their integrity obligations and prevent integrity breaches from arising in the first place
  • support more strategic workforce management, including developing surge and mobility operating models to meet current and future needs
  • convene public sector working groups to tackle emerging workforce, governance, service delivery and public sector administration challenges
  • provide a range of centralised support, resources and guidance that can be adapted across the sector.