Public sector leaders are using the SOPSIV report to shape our future workforce.

The State of the Public Sector in Victoria (SOPSIV) report changed this year to include information about employee perceptions and experiences in addition to standard facts and figures about the structure and composition of the public sector.

SOPSIV now contains comparative data, findings from the People Matter Survey, the public sector’s employee opinion survey, and case studies of good practice. These additions are providing richer insights about key workforce issues such as leadership, diversity, professional development, bullying and sexual harassment.

At a recent Future Workforce event hosted by the Victorian Leadership Academy, VPSC Commissioner Paul Grimes commented:

I see the next few years as an exciting period in which we have an opportunity to shape our future workforce. We want a workforce that is agile and able to accept new ways of working, capable and skilled to deliver on a growing range of public services, and diverse and inclusive to reflect the community it serves.

 SOPSIV data analysis reveals the workforce challenges to be met and the progress that has been made.

There has been significant progress in the areas of flexible work and gender pay gap: 46% of employees are now making use of flexible work arrangements and the gender pay gap has almost halved over five years (down to 3.3% in the public service).

VPSC Deputy Commissioner Elizabeth Langdon spoke about the challenge of change, citing three external drivers: technological, environmental and socio-economic. She then spoke about a leader’s role to facilitate internal change, supporting staff to work effectively in a constant state of flux.

Drawing on People Matter Survey results, SOPSIV reported that a quarter of public sector employees report high to severe levels of work-related stress. This is most pronounced in staff with management responsibilities. We need to improve in this area.

Worksafe collaborated with Secretaries, Trades Hall, Victoria Police and unions to develop a Mental Health and Wellbeing Charter in 2016. Since then, departments and agencies have developed a range of plans to promote mental health.

This year’s SOPSIV highlights several case studies of good practice. One of these is Victoria Police’s bush adventure therapy as a preventative initiative to promote mental health, under its Road to Wellness project. This is just one example of great practice among public sector organisations, aimed at stimulating discourse about possible responses to the evidence uncovered in SOPSIV.

Read more case studies in the 2017-18 SOPSIV.

Contact Natasha Thompson, Executive Director, People and Analytics by phone (03) 7004 7224 or email

Beyond the Data – Future Workforce