Reimagining Learning and Development in the Public Sector
APS Academy lead a virtual conference on the impact of COVID-19 on learning and development.
On 11 November 2021 Diane Hickman, Director of Craft Development and Frameworks, APS Academy, led the virtual Public Sector Network conference on the impact of COVID-19 on learning and development.
While changes have already been occurring in learning and development, the pandemic accelerated these changes. Some examples include the increased use of digital technology and new skillsets such as co-design and community engagement capabilities.
Keynote presenters at the event were Matti Clements, Director People Development & Wellbeing, Australian Institute of Sport (ACT); Dominic Johnson, Senior Account Executive, Vimeo Australia Pty Ltd; Shannon Pigram, Head of Culture & Capability, ESTA (VIC); Martine St-Louis, Director, Learning and Professional Development, Justice Canada.
A live panel discussed the key topic of the conference - Reimagining Learning and Development in the Public Sector. Panellists included Sarah Ryan, Manager, Culture and Capability, Legal Aid QLD; Chelsea Cook, Director, People and Organisational Development, IP Australia (ACT); Ruchica Kapoor, People and Culture Business Partner, Department of Transport (WA).
Attendees from local, state and federal governments in Australia and New Zealand witnessed the many and varied opinions from across the sector on what the future of learning and development holds for the APS workforce. An assessment of the old three stage model of ‘education-work-retirement’ no longer applies, being replaced by a multi-staged ‘life of jobs’ model, which incorporates a blend of full-time work, freelancing, contracting and part-time work. Reference was made to the Australian Public Service Commission’s (APSC’s) July 2021 release of the APS Learning and Development Strategy which provides the latest blueprint for the approach being taken to develop capability.
Today’s workforce is working longer and the world continues to change in rapid and complex ways. This creates a need for new skills and adaptability. In the post-COVID era, organisations need smart, curious people who are willing to learn and meet challenges to will help transform their organisations. ‘Learning agility’ is therefore a critical capability. Formal learning through workshops and eLearning is no longer enough. What is needed is a higher level of responsiveness and adaptation to meet the challenge of constant change.
The APSC’s Strategy highlighted the focus shift on a broader range of learning methods that the APS can use to build capability continuously, including learning through work, people, resources and courses. This model brings an extended focus to learning, beyond formal training and development, which occurs most frequently in and through work and by connecting with other people and resources to support performance on the job. The Strategy also clearly defines roles and responsibilities for learning in the Australian Public Service to ensure our people and leaders take up their responsibility for learning, and to ensure a more efficient and collaborative system-wide approach to building capability is created.
Led by the APS Academy, the Australian Public Service is adopting this continuous learning model to enable the Australian Public Service workforce build the critical capabilities needed to do their best work today, and the ability to learn and adapt at the speed to change.