Could focusing on skills and development stop educators from ‘job hopping’?
The Sector > Workforce > Leadership > Could focusing on skills and development stop educators from ‘job hopping’?

Could focusing on skills and development stop educators from ‘job hopping’?

by Freya Lucas

June 28, 2022

It’s no secret that the early childhood education and care (ECEC) sector is one of many employment vectors struggling with staff attraction and retention in a post COVID-19 landscape. 


Widespread reports of staff shortages show that educators and other ECEC professionals are not afraid to “vote with their feet” and move on from positions where their needs as employees are not being met. 


As a whole employment network, Australia is experiencing one of the tightest labour markets in the world, with ECEC particularly impacted. In the 12 months leading up to February this year, 1.3 million Australians changed their job (roughly one in ten workers), the highest rate of movement since 2012. 


Health care and social assistance experienced the biggest move, however in ECEC it’s clear that things are no longer what they once were. 


In the face of these challenges, leaders and HR teams across the sector are being met with an environment where talent is in high demand and limited supply, forcing them to rethink their approaches to recruitment, retention and workforce skills training and development. 


A recent KPMG survey found that talent acquisition, retention, and re/upskilling is at the front of mind for many leaders, with 50 per cent believing this will be the core priority for years to come. 


With surging demand anticipated on the back of the recent announcements by NSW and Victoria, it is clear that “something has to give” in order to create a different reality moving forward. 


Skills formation and development are key focus areas in a wide-ranging public inquiry currently underway into Australia’s productivity performance by the Productivity Commission.


With unemployment at a record low, meeting the existing and upcoming demand for ECEC will mean that the capacity of existing educators will need to be expanded, and the capabilities of those new to the sector will need to be boosted quickly. 


Services are encouraged to consider what they offer their teams in the way of training and development, and how this is connected to the employees career goals and professional trajectory. 


In a tight market, training and development could be a lynch pin in retaining high calibre staff. 

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