Assistant Minister for Defence - ADF launches enhanced workforce model

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The Hon Stuart Robert MP

Assistant Minister for Defence

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26 November 2013

Assistant Minister for Defence, Stuart Robert MP joined Acting Chief of the Defence Force, Air Marshal Mark Binskin AO at HMAS Harman in Canberra today to launch a major Australian Defence Force (ADF) workforce reform – Suakin.

Suakin intends to introduce a range of full-time, part-time and casual employment categories that will offer ADF members more options and more employment flexibility as their circumstances change.

Suakin aims to improve the ADF’s ability to respond to current and future workforce challenges, as well as changes in the security environment and the economy, by giving it a more flexible workforce structure,” Mr Robert said.

Suakin draws on a considerable amount of research and consultation with both Permanent and Reserve ADF members. What they have told us is that there is considerable capacity and willingness among Reservists to contribute more than they do now, while the Permanent ADF workforce aspires to greater career flexibility.

“The focus of Suakin is on retaining a trained, experienced and highly skilled workforce, which is the key to sustainable, affordable and deployable people capability. The outcome will be a better engaged ADF workforce – an excellent outcome for the nation.”

Air Marshal Binskin said the ADF currently provides access to flexible arrangements through single-service initiatives, and the aim of Suakin is to build on that.

“Under Suakin, the ADF intends to move towards a more enduring, whole-of-ADF solution, with an agile and flexible people management system built into the organisation’s structure,” Air Marshal Binskin said.

Suakin has options to achieve this through flexible career pathways, matching remuneration and benefits with capability delivered, enhanced workplace flexibility, simplified processes and helping to build an organisational culture that is more accepting of flexibility.”

Like the development and introduction of a major piece of equipment, Suakin’s design and implementation will take time. The ADF expects to have the framework for the service model in place in 2014, but anticipates it will take a number of years for it to reach a fully mature operating state.

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