National LG workforce and skills survey now underway

A national survey to help local government address current skill shortages and identify emerging and future skills needs began this week.

Local governments are encouraged to complete the survey to enable a comprehensive analysis of the local government workforce.

The survey is part of the Local Government Workforce and Organisational Capacity Project which has been funded by The Department of Transport, Infrastructure, Regional Development and Communications.

The work will update the Local Government Workforce and Futures Skills report published by the Australian Local Government Association in 2018.

The project is being managed by a steering committee chaired by the Local Government Association of Queensland (LGAQ), with representatives from ALGA, other state and territory local government associations, LG Professionals, and The Department of Transport, Infrastructure, Regional Development and Communications.

The survey will run until 31 January next year.

SGS Economics and Planning has been contracted to assist with this work.

SGS will also hold a series of focus groups with key stakeholders nationally and in each state to establish a deeper understanding of the workforce and organisational capability of the sector.

A skills and capability issues paper published in April found councils are struggling to keep pace with the demands of increasing community expectations, the underlying trend of an expanding range of responsibilities and activities, and their important role in driving the national economic recovery from Covid-19.

It also found shortages in key skill sets that underpin successful and cost-effective project delivery, creating short-term risks to successful project execution.

The first focus group – scheduled for 13 December – was to explore the following themes:

  • Challenges to workforce attraction and retention;
  • Opportunities for skills development;
  • What a future-ready workforce means to team members;
  • How recent events, such as the COVID-19 pandemic and/or natural disaster, impacted workforce planning; and
  • Workforce and skills initiatives underway, or under consideration.

For further information, please email