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The Evolution of Skills in Government

Faced with rising expectations for improved service delivery and outcomes from citizens, government agencies are under pressure to raise customer service standards to previously unheard-of levels.

Coupled with an increased demand for improved soft skills and a broad need digital upskilling, the next decade will see the government workforce reshaped like never before. New training techniques will be needed to ensure agencies can retrain existing staff with the new skills they need using techniques such as eLearning, job-pairing and micro-credential programs in addition to formal training processes.

The Evolution of Skills in Government: Thought Leadership Report offers a pragmatic exploration of workforce transformation. While change is inevitable, it is how organisations respond to these changes that determines future success.


"Building the capacity of government to listen, to learn, they're the behaviors we need more of."

Adam Beck - Executive Director, Smart Cities Council


Current state

The shift to digital service delivery requires staff to become more digitally literate, to help them better work with new processes and to create a platform for the delivery of further skills programs using eLearning

Greater emphasis on improving citizens’ experience of government services means additional training is required in customer service and soft skills such as storytelling, listening with empathy and collaboration

More advanced digital skill sets are required in areas such as data analytics and cyber security

Future skills

The adoption of citizen-centric service models will require more staff to be trained in customer service, human-centred design, and agile development processes, to ensure service delivery improvements meet citizens’ expectations

Additional training will be needed to build skills in specialist digital areas such as data gathering, analysis and governance, and in artificial intelligence systems and blockchain, as the basis for future service design and delivery

Cross skilling of staff will be required in numerous roles, such as ensuring technical staff have skills in communication, collaboration and customer service, to assist them when collaborating with other teams and agencies


Train workers in multidisciplinary skillsets, such as combining customer service skills with service design and development skills

Increase staff capabilities in soft skills such as collaboration, system thinking and problem-solving skills, to better operate with complex interconnected environments

Establish continuous skills development as a normal part of the work environment, to enable staff to keep up with both changing customer requirements and new technical service capabilities