Thursday, January 31, 2013

Queensland Government’s Department of Education and Training Plan

1.0 Executive summary
The strategic plan for the human resource of the firm is geared towards aligning the human resources that are available at the firm with the directions and priorities of the department. The human resource department of the Department of Education, Training and Employment has a prerogative to ensure that the department has a workforce that has the necessary skills to be able to undertake the various operations that the department is tasked with. The recruitment process which entails the selection and hiring, the training and development of the workforce, the motivation of the employees and the focus on the diversity of the workforce must be considered if the firm is to achieve the high levels of service quality that it is seeking. Different strategies that are essential to the continued growth of the firm must be developed, reviewed and implemented by the firm so that the objectives of the strategic plan can be achieved without fail.

2.0 History
The department of Education and Training is an important department of the government of Queensland. The main purpose of the Department of Education and Training is to ensure that the Queenslanders are provided with skills, knowledge and confidence that are geared towards maximizing the potential as well as increasing or contribution towards the productivity of the economy of the region. The Department of Educational and Training inaugurated its various functions following the ETRF reforms that were initiated in the educational sector in 2002 (Department of Education, Training and Employment, 2012).
The department has a number of initiatives and partnerships that they are working on so that they can be able to significantly improve the educational levels and quality in the Queensland area. They include the restoration of accountability in the government, the improvement in the delivery and planning of the kindergartens, TAFEs and schools. There is also a focus on ensuring that the staffs of the department who are located in the different locations of the states are able to be committed towards the achievement of the different goals and also leave long lasting positive experiences on the people whom they come into contact with. The employees needed to be motivated so that they can be able to offer the high quality service to the various people who visit the department (Department of Education, Training and Employment, 2012). The department is also focused on the various ways through which they can be able to ensure that all the children in Queensland are ready to start school. There is the high flyer program that has been started by the department.  Moreover, there is a focus on ensuring that the transition between early years, education, training and employment is seamless for the students and the workers.
2.1. Analysis of the Strategic Plan
The Queensland Department of Education and Training strategic is premised on a number of key objectives that are instrumental towards the increasing of the various benefits that the department has called upon to be implemented to the consumers.  The strategic plan covers a period of 5 years from 2012 to 2016 (Department of Education, Training and Employment, 2012). The main vision of the strategic plan is to ensure that the people of Queensland are offered with high quality education and training as well as bright employment futures. The strategic plan also aims to ensure that the children, all the children in Queensland, are able to access high standard and high quality education and childhood care. There are a number of facets of the objectives which the department is seeking to achieve.
First, there is a clear focus on the improvement of the infrastructure through better planning and the delivery of the improved infrastructure in the kindies, schools and the TAFEs. Secondly, the strategic plan has an objective to be able to reduce the costs associated with the livelihood in Queensland. The above would be achieved through the focus on the reduction of wastes and increasing the operational efficiency thus significantly reducing the cases of red tape. Thirdly, there is a focus on the improvement of the service delivery quality in the training, employment and the education in Queensland (Department of Education, Training and Employment, 2012). Also, there is an objective that greatly focuses on the improvement and restoration of accountability in the government. Moreover there is the economic perspective objective which focuses on equipping the people with skills, confidence and knowledge that can play an instrumental role in helping them to maximize the potential that are inherent in them as well as helping them to built and contribute towards building the economy of Queensland through an increase in the productivity.  
From the diversity perspective, the Queensland ensures that the workforce is not developed from the large and dominant groups but is made up of people from different cultural backgrounds. The focus of the Department of Education, Training and Employment has been on the various ways through which the firm can be able to attract, hire and retain employees of high calibre (Banfield & Rebecca, 2008). The high quality employees who are retained by the firm will be able to aid in the achievement of the high quality objectives which will increase the productivity of the department. The diversity of the department is reflected in terms of the creating work environment where people that have a number of differences for instance, abilities, cultures, knowledge and experiences can be brought together. The department is committed to creating an environment where there is an equal opportunity for employment of all the people who are involved in the different undertakings in Queensland. The diversity considerations which are undertaken by the firm have embraced people who have a lot of differences for instance the people who are living with the different disabilities, women, and the linguistically and culturally diverse people, the Torres and Aboriginal Strait Islanders and the Australian South Sea Islanders (Department of Education, Training and Employment, 2012).
2.2 Swot Analysis
Department of Education, Training and Employment’s strategic plan can be analysed through the use of SWOT analysis tool so that the various internal and external factors that have an effect on it can be clearly identified. The various elements of the internal factors will be shown under the strengths and the weaknesses. The external factors that are beyond the control of the firm will be explored through the consideration of the opportunities and strengths (Ericksen & Dyer, 2005).
-The teams that are involved in the implementation of the strategic plan are effective due to the high skills and qualifications.
-The diversity of the workforce also plays an instrumental role as very high qualified employees were able to be acquired.
-The Council of Australian Governments (COAG) provided a very strong support to the activities of the department.
-There was also a high rate of support from the community especially the marginalized people who were given a new voice.
- The stakeholders and the staff also supported the various activities of the firm strongly.  
 - The department could be able to achieve high quality learning outcomes and training due to the workforce that was effective due to the high skill levels.
-The department was faced with an acute shortage of personnel in some levels. This problem was great in the Early Childhood Education (ECD). This therefore spelt doom for the achievement of the right mix of employees in the firm.
- There were limited training and learning opportunities for the people of Queensland as there was a huge gap in the international partnerships. The Partnerships which were found in the firm were only regional or national with very few initiatives and the international scene. 
- Through thee workforce development and training, the department can be able to increase the service quality.
-The department can increase the number of qualified personnel in the areas where shortages were experienced through an increase in the training.
-Through the increase in the service quality, the department will command an increased support from the government thus the department will continue to post improvement in the numeracy and literacy levels.
-The department can also make use of technological advancement for instance virtual training and learning to deliver high quality services at slightly lower costs to the Queenslanders especially to the Island communities.
-International partnerships will be used to expose the employees to the global educational, training and employment good practices thus increasing the skills and knowledge levels of the different employees of the firm.
-There will be challenges in attracting and retaining the skilled and diverse workforce which will ensure the achievement of the uninhibited service reach.
-The high demand for the Early Childhood Education teachers will present a significant problem in the endeavours of the department to attract and retain them in an ongoing process.
- The support of the government of Queensland will dwindle in case there are drops in the quality of the service for instance if the literacy and numeracy levels of the youthful Queenslanders drop; significantly.
-The limited funds occasioned by the constraints in the budgetary allocations will have an adverse impact on maintaining the high levels of motivation that are indicated in the strategic plan.
-Maintaining the support of the communities particularly the vulnerable and the disadvantaged.

3.0 Implications of the SWOT analysis on the Human Resource
The Department for Education, Training and Employment’s 2012 to 2016 strategic plan’s SWOT analysis has led to the identification of four (4) human resource implications. They include the motivation of the workforce, training and development, the recruitment of the workforce as well as the focus on ensuring an increased diversity in the workforce.
3.1. Training and development
The training and development of the workforce is an instrumental part in the implementation of the strategic plan that was developed by the Department of Education, Training and Development (Richard & Johnson, 2001). The training and development of the workforce will ensure that the employees are equipped with the right skills and knowledge so that they can be bale to effectively deliver on their mandate. There should be a proper identification, distribution and the capture of the knowledge across the workforce so that the various objectives and key obligations of the department can be effectively met.
The focus on development and training of the workforce will aid in enhancing the decision making capabilities of employees of the department; both the new and the existing employees (Tessema & Soeters, 2006). The decision making capabilities will help the department in the careful selection of the skills, confidence and knowledge that should be imparted to the Queenslanders who require training, schooling and the early childhood services. The training and development of the workforce must at all time focus on enhancing the mission of imparting the skills and knowledge (Wilson, 2009). This focus should use the different theoretical resources together with the practical knowledge that is available in the firm so that the goals can be achieved. The training and development must also focus on enhancing the skills of the workforce with regards to technology. This will significantly enhance the use of technology to deliver learning to the Early Childhood services as well as enhance the reach to the islanders who are traditionally marginalized.
3.2. Department of Education and Training Recruitment
The selection and hiring of the workforce must be undertaken in a proper manner, taking consideration of the qualifications, knowledge and skill levels of the employees, if a training and educational service of high quality is to be achieved by the department. The staff that offer the training and the educational staff must be of high quality; a feat that can only be achieved if the department recruits employees who have very high skills (Storey, 2007). Through the proper selection that leads to high quality staff, the objective of the provision of the Queenslanders with knowledge, skills and confidence towards improving the productivity will be achieved by the strategic plan.  
The main challenge that has been noted under the SWOT analysis is how to achieve a mix between the skills, knowledge and competencies and the need for diversity and inclusivity especially with regards to the disadvantage and vulnerable Islanders.  Apart form the challenges posed by achieving the proper mix, there are also problems that are associated with the proper ‘locationing’ of the workforce for enhanced efficiency (Bae, Chen, Wan, Lawler & Walumba, 2003). The recruitment strategies of the department must consider the factors below:
ü  Alignment of the recruitment process with the missions of the department;
ü  Recruiting from all geographical areas so that diversity of the workforce can be achieved;
ü  Proper balance between the staff acceptability and attractiveness in the areas where they would serve;
ü  Incorporation of flexible work arrangement to ensure proper work-family balance;
ü  Provision of attractive packages to the workforce so that highly skilled and diverse workforce can be achieved;
3.3. Workforce motivation
When the employees of the department are highly motivated, they will greatly focus on the achievement of the objectives. On the contrary, when the workforce is not motivated, they will not focus on the successful achievement of the objectives. The above statements clearly indicate the role that motivation plays in a firm (Delery and Doty, 1996; Cinar, Bektas & Aslan, 2011).  High motivational levels can be achieved through the use of attractive packages and remuneration, flexible work arrangements and supportive work environments. The above factors will lead to high competitiveness of the staff as well as ensure a high level of motivation amongst them (Larcker & Tayan, 2012).
3.4. Diversity in the workforce
The focus of the department will be on ensuring that the recruitment process leads to the diversification of the workforce to include the disadvantaged and indigenous segments of the society. However, qualifications such as skills and knowledge levels should not be compromised. When the workforce is diverse, representative of all the members of the society, the societal acceptance of the work of the department will greatly be improved. The acceptance will also increase as the people will be of the view that there is lack of discrimination at the department (Delery and Doty, 1996).
4.0 HR Policy Statements
The SWOT analysis clearly showed the main HR implications as being the recruitment and the training and development of the workforce. The two main elements are instrumental as without them, the firm cannot be able to achieve the goals of high quality workforce that helps to inculcate high quality skills, knowledge and experience to the young Queenslanders (Budhwar & Aryee, 2008).  The two polices are discussed below:
4.1 Policy statement on Training and development
Banfield & Rebecca (2008) argued that training and development significantly enhance the knowledge and skills of the workforce so that the performance can be increased.  Therefore, the department must be committed towards equipping and proving the workforce with knowledge and skills that will ensure high quality ECD. The department must focus on a number of factors if the objectives of training and development are to be achieved:
ü  Continuous teacher training and development to improve their quality;
ü  Equipping teachers with up-to-date information and skills especially on ECD;
ü  Provision of support skills to the teachers throughout Queensland;
ü  Diversifying the knowledge areas of the teachers so that the student learning outcomes can be improved.
4.2. Policy statement on recruitment
The focus of the policy is to attract employees of high quality skills and knowledge. The workforce must be flexible towards meeting the challenges and ensuring high success is achieved (Richard & Johnson, 2001). The staff must also focus on improving the image of the department in the eyes of the government as well as the community through the focus on quality (Storey, 2007). Internal workforce promotion will be encouraged as a means of motivating the workforce (Wilson, 2009).
5.0 Strategic human resource plan
5.1. Background
The department must focus on the recruitment as well as the training and development of the workforce if high levels of success are to be achieved in the firm. The two will ensure that the objectives are met by ensuring a strong human resource (Tessema & Soeters, 2006).
5.1.1   Recruitment, Training and development plan
Recruitment Plan
Strategic Alignment
High quality, committed and diverse workforce
Recruitment of workforce with the rights skills and knowledge.
Rigorous recruitment process should be used
To help the department acquire employees with right skills and knowledge sets;
To ensure that the employees are competent
To attract and retain the most competent employees
Employee competitiveness in terms of skills and knowledge will be used.
To guard against discrimination;
Strategic Training and Development Plan
Strategic Alignment
To improve the skills of existing employees
Proper identification of employees who can be assigned new roles

To ensure competent employees are promoted
To enhance the motivational levels;

To enhance workforce competitiveness
Retain highly skilled employees
To enhance technological adoption by the workforce
To advance the efficiency of the workforce through technology adoption
5.1.2 Assumptions
The assumptions for the recruitment, training and development of the department include:
ü  The majority of the workforce will retire during the period of the strategic plan;
ü  The department has a specialised HR section;
ü  The people in the specialised HR section have skills and knowledge which will allow them to recruit highly skilled workforce (Wilson, 2009).
ü  The recruitment procedure is flexible thus can be adapted to suit the requirement of the strategic plan.
5.1.3 Contingency plan  
Strategies for mitigating the risk 
The absence of a specialized HR to hire the employees;
-Use external recruitment agencies
Inability to maintain a highly motivated workforce 
-Use confidential surveys to determine areas of dissatisfaction
-prompt address of the areas of dissatisfaction.  

5.1.4 Ethical considerations
·         Elimination of discrimination especially of the Islanders and the Aboriginals;
·         Proper observation of the regulatory and legislative recruitment requirements;
·         Focus on privacy and confidentiality of information regarding the applicants; (Storey, 2007).
6.0 Recommendations and conclusions
The department should ensure that employee retention is emphasized through the focus on the motivation of the employees in terns of the benefits and career progression.
Secondly, an open recruitment and training program should be used so that the goal of diversity in the department can be achieved. The potential for a variety of highly skilled people will play an important role in the department.
7.0. References
Bae, J., Chen, S., Wan, T.W.D., Lawler, J.J., & Walumba, F.O. (2003), ‘Human Resource Strategy and Firm Performance in Pacific Rim Countries,’ International Journal of Human Resource Management, 14, 8, 1308– 1332
Banfield, P. & Rebecca, K. (2008), Introduction to Human Resource Management, Oxford: Oxford University Press 
Budhwar, P. & Aryee, S. (2008), Strategic Human Resource Management: Building Research through practice. London. CIPD
Cinar, O., Bektas, C. & Aslan, I. (2011), “A Motivation Study On The Effectiveness Of Intrinsic And Extrinsic Factors”, Economics & Management, 16690-695
Delery, J. and Doty, H. (1996), 'Modes of theorizing in SHRM', Academy of Management Journal, 39(4), 802–835 
Department of Education and Training (2012), Strategic Plan 2012-2016, retrieved on July 31 2012 from
Ericksen, J., & Dyer, L. (2005), ‘Toward a Strategic Human Resource Management Model of High Reliability Organizational Performance,’ International Journal of Human Resource Management, 16, 907– 928
Larcker, D. F., & Tayan, B. (2012), Does your CEO compensation plan provide the right incentives? Mckinsey Quarterly, (2), 20-25
Richard, O.C., &Johnson, N.B. (2001), ‘Strategic Human Resource Management Effectiveness and Firm Performance,’ International Journal of Human Resource Management, 12, 2, 299– 310
Storey, J. (2007), Human Resource Management: A Critical Text, Mason, OH: Thompson.   
Tessema, M.T., and Soeters, J.L. (2006), ‘Challenges and Prospects of HRM in Developing Countries: Testing the HRP-performance Link in Eritrean Civil Service,’ International Journal of Human Resource Management, 17, 1, 86 – 105
Wilson, J. (2009), Human Resource Development: Learning and Training for individuals and organizations, London, UK: Kogan Page