Department of Communities, Disability Services and Seniors

Industry confidence survey

Community services industry confidence

Industry growth and change

Queensland’s community services industry is experiencing a period of rapid growth and transformational change.

Forecasts for the period 2015–25 show that annual average jobs growth for the industry is expected to be 3.8 per cent annually — which is more than double the Queensland and national growth rates — and that the industry will almost double its contribution to the state’s economy from around $3.5 billion to $6.3 billion, annually. (Deloitte Access Economics 2016, Forecasting the future: community services in Queensland 2025)

This growth is occurring against a backdrop of major changes, ranging from the growth of market-based approaches to service delivery, the impact of new technologies, and diversification of the industry’s funding base to specific service system reforms. These changes require new ways of doing business, new approaches to designing, financing and providing services, and a strong workforce with the diverse range of job roles and skill sets to drive and deliver innovations.

Industry Confidence Survey

In light of this fast-changing environment — and work that is underway across the industry and government to support proactive responses to change — the former Department of Communities, Child Safety and Disability Services undertook an Industry Confidence Survey in May 2017.

The survey aimed to obtain a measure of industry confidence, particularly in relation to service outcomes, workforce capacity and overall capability and sustainability.

Survey results will provide baseline data for future work in these areas, including the implementation of Partnering for the future: advancing Queensland’s community services industry 2017–25, which is guiding joint work by industry members and the Queensland Government to ensure the industry is well positioned to meet the state’s current and future needs.

Method

The survey is similar in concept to the Sensis Business Index survey of small and medium businesses.

Survey participants were asked to indicate their confidence in their organisations capacity to:

  • improve outcomes for individuals and families
  • improve outcomes for communities
  • attract and retain sufficient workers and volunteers to meet demands.

They were also asked to indicate their confidence about the ability of the industry, as a whole, to become a stronger, more capable and sustainable industry.

Organisation confidence

Self-assessed organisation confidence, particularly in relation to improving outcomes for individuals, families and the community are high.

“How confident are you that your organisation will be able to……”Feel ConfidentFeel WorriedNet Results
…improve outcomes for individuals and families 89% - 5% = +84
…improve outcomes for communities 82% - 6% = +76
…be able to attract and retain sufficient number of paid employees & volunteers to meet demand 71% - 13% = +58

Comparatively, the overall result is above small and medium business confidence of +46 points at the same time period (Sensis Business Index, March 2017 release).

Confidence in the broader Community Services Industry

Participants were also asked to rate their level of confidence in the overall community services industry. The overall results are lower than those for organisational self-assessment across the three common scales. The highest score (+62) again relates to the delivery of outcomes for individuals and families.

“How confident are you that your organisation will be able to……”Feel ConfidentFeel WorriedNet Result
…improve outcomes for individuals and families 73% - 11% = +62
…improve outcomes for communities 69% - 10% = +59
…be able to attract and retain sufficient number of paid employees & volunteers to meet demand 51% - 21% = +30

An additional question was asked in relation to the confidence in the industry.

“How confident are you that your organisation will be able to……”Feel ConfidentFeel WorriedNet Result
…become a stronger, more capable and sustainable industry 54% - 19% = +35

The net result of +35 is closest in level to that reported on attracting and retaining employees and volunteers (+30). Both results are lower than the Sensis Business Index comparison of confidence of +46.

Analysis of organisation and industry confidence

Respondents have a positive view of the future at both organisation and industry perspectives.

The levels of confidence in improving outcomes for individuals and families (+84 and +62) and improving outcomes for communities (+76 and +59) are noticeably higher than for attracting and retaining a sufficient number of employees and volunteers to meet demand (+58 and +30).

The overall confidence in the broader industry becoming stronger, more capable and sustainable (+35) is similar to the projected confidence in the broader industry capability to attract and retain employees and volunteers to meet demands (+30).

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