Learning in Australian local government: A roadmap for improving education and training

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Journal Article
Commonwealth Journal of Local Governance, 2015, December 2015 (18), pp. 108 - 126
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Faced with a context of national and state reform agendas as well as resource scarcity, Australian local government has pressing workforce development issues. This level of government is small in scale, geographically dispersed and subject to variations in state jurisdiction. These factors represent structural constraints to identifying and advocating a national approach for addressing workforce needs such as the provision of tailored education and professional development. This paper documents a sector consultation process exploring education and professional development for local government which aimed to identify needs on both supply and demand sides. The research found that aspirations for education and professional development tailored to the needs of local government aim to support the development of better local governance and leadership, and to address critical skills shortage issues. This may provide empirical grounds for promoting, planning, implementing and evaluating capacity-building initiatives in this third tier of government in the Australian federation.
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