The Randstad Early Childhood World of Work Report 2012 supports Prime Minister Julia Gillard’s recent statement that staff retention and wages are the most concerning issues for the childhood education sector.
This is despite the fact that people employed within this industry are among the most satisfied employees in Australia.
Christine Curphey, Operations Director of Randstad’s specialist education division, summarises the Randstad World of Work Report key findings:
• The biggest concerns for early childhood employers are filling critical vacancies (62%), government legislation impacting workforce flexibility and costs (55%) and developing leadership skills for the next phase of growth (40%)
• Hiring intentions are extremely optimistic: Most early childhood education employers (82%) plan to maintain or increase headcount; 45% plan to hire more full-time staff and 31% will hire more part-time staff this year.
• Early childhood employees are happy: 54% of employees intending to stay with their current organisation for the next 12 months say good work/life balance and flexible work options are the main reason.
• A divide exists between what is expected of leaders and what they are delivering: Almost half (47%) of early childhood education employees believe the single biggest attribute of a successful leader is the ability to motivate and inspire others, yet 32% rate their own direct manager as poor or average in this area.
• Employees have high salary expectations: This year, 38% of employees expect a salary rise of up to 4%; 21% expect a 5%–10% rise, and 11% hope for more than a 10% rise.
• Organisations need to work smarter to harness knowledge and talent: 41% of all early childhood education employers surveyed believe their organisation doesn’t have effective processes to capture ideas for improvement or innovation.
• Workforce ageing will have an impact: A quarter of early childhood organisations anticipate an increase in staff turnover, and of those, 37% cite the reason being retirement. Despite this, just 56% of survey respondents agree or strongly agree the nation’s ageing workforce will have a negative impact on their organisation in the next 10 years.
• Employee retention is an escalating issue: A third of employees in this sector are intending to leave their job — citing a lack of opportunity for growth and development as the main reason. This is almost three times the number that will leave due to uncompetitive salary / remuneration.
• Employers are committed to training and development: 65% of early childhood education employers surveyed will offer leadership and career development, and 70% will offer general training and development as a benefit to retain employees.
Updated 12 June 2012