The number of public service trainees and graduates has been slashed since the Rann Government came into office, new official figures show.
Liberal Legislative Councillor Michelle Lensink said Labor had cut traineeships in the public sector by one third, and the number of recruits in the Graduate Program by almost two thirds.
“This is despite the total number of public sector employees increasing by a staggering 3000 during the same period,” she said. “But figures show that the number of youth employees fell by 500.
“In 2002 when the Liberals were last in power, there were 614 trainees in the public sector. Disturbingly under Mike Rann, that number fell to just 423 in 2004.”
“Similarly there were 295 graduate recruits in 2002 – a figure that was more than halved to 125 in 2004.
“This has occurred despite the total number of public sector employees increasing by 3000 during the same period. But figures show that the number of youth employees fell by 500.”
Ms Lensink said the data – obtained under a Freedom if Information request – painted a disturbing picture for the future of the State’s public service. Unless action is taken, by 2010 47 per cent of public sector employees will be aged over 55.
“A forward-thinking government would increase the number of young people entering the public service, to counteract the high number of people who will retire during the next decade,” she said.
“However the Rann Government has been hell-bent on slashing the number of young public servants – a trend that will have a devastating impact on the future of the State’s public service sector. The Premier has regularly been warned about the need to address the public service’s ageing profile which threatens the loss of corporate knowledge, vigour and service levels.
“I call on the Government to immediately address the situation and increase the number of young employees in the public service,” Ms Lensink said.