BACKGROUND

The National Public Service Graduate Development Program (NPSGDP) is one of the long term priority programs initiated by the Government of Papua New Guinea. In March 2006, NEC in its Decision No. 53/2006 approved the Public Sector Workforce Development Program (PSWDP) previously known as Public Sector Workforce Development Initiative (PSWDI) as a key Workforce Development Program for the government of PNG. This program was designed to encompass all training and professional development activities that support the overall competence and associated effectiveness in the Public Service.
The National Public Service Graduate Development Program (NPSGDP) is a key program component under the PSWDP which was developed to enhance the capabilities of the Public Sector organizations and employees to effectively deliver the required services to the people of Papua New Guinea. This program has been implemented in partnership with PNG-IPA, PSWDP and DPM. The DPM (WODD, WD branch) is directly responsible for managing and administering the program and is being funded by PSWDP while PNG-IPA delivering the training component. This program linked strategically to Pillar 3 “Human Development, Gender, Youth and People Empowerment” of the PNG Vision 2050 and DPM Corporate Outcome 2 “High Performing, Effective and Ethical Workforce in the Public Service.”

AIMS

There are two key objectives to this program; (i) to induct and nurture potential future leaders within the National Public Service with ethical principles of conduct and values to be changed agents towards improving performance of the Public Sector workforce. (ii) To enable succession planning by recruiting the vibrant workforce in order to properly address the issue of aging workforce in the Public Service.

Success of Program Implementation

The NPSGDP was initially implemented in 2007 as a pilot project. There have been a good number of National Departments/Agencies shown their continued interest and support and actively involved in this program since its inception and acknowledge this program as a way forward for entry into the Public Service. Further, the NPSGDP has also attracted hundreds of interested graduates/applicants from various nationally recognized universities around the country through media advertisement every year. The priority is being given to all the fresh university graduates with bachelor’s degree in respective disciplines as per the NPSGDP Policy.   Every year since its inception, graduate trainees have been recruited and trained them at PNGIPA for 12 months. There are three phases to the training; Phase one - classroom training, Phase two - on the job training with respective agencies, and Phase three - classroom training. After successfully completing the program, the trainees are eligible to graduate with a certificate in Public Service Induction.

Selection and Recruitment

Briefly the selection and recruitment processes involved are very transparent and incompliance with PS General Orders. The competition is very high and only successful graduate trainees are recruited purely on merit. The interview panel and selection committee is comprised of HR representatives from each of the participating agencies, HR representative from DPM and Manager - Workforce Development Branch. We discouraged gender bias and regionalism as much as possible and uphold the integrity of the Department at the highest level.

Challenges

To effectively implementing the National Public Service Graduate Development Program and achieving its desired results on time is very challenging to me and my colleagues. It tests our patience, commitment and concentration while implementing this important Program. It has always becoming an issue to jeopardize the Graduate Development Program and demoralized the team work when the funds are not released on time by PSWDP to the service providers in consistent with the service providers’ user pay policy. This sometimes forced the trainees to put a lot of pressure to our job when their access to meals and accommodations are denied and inconsistent with GDP policy. We sometimes experienced problem with transport to move around and organize logistics for GDP or liaise with service providers/external stakeholders which also delaying the progress of the program. We have been encountering very challenging situations on the ground level while delivering this program but still managed to contain these challenges through different soft approaches with concerned stakeholders and resolved issues harmoniously. We take challenges as opportunities on learning how to be patience, committed and working under pressure while implementing the National Public Service Graduate Development Program.