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The Best Australian Workplaces of 2019
November 7, 2019
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Great Place to Work Australia is a global research and consulting firm focusing on employee engagement, organisational alignment and the effect it can have on high-performance workplace cultures.

Each year they release a much-anticipated publication, 50 Best Places to Work 2019. The report is based on research conducted by surveys and evaluation of a company’s policies and procedures. A key finding of the report is that the hiring process plays an important role in retention rates of employees — almost 80% of organisations consider employee retention to be their biggest challenge. Artificial intelligence is assisting in the acquisition of skilled workers in most organisations. It can analyse, predict and filter what the organisation needs from each employee.

The report is sectioned into three different categories based on size: 1,000 or more employees, 100 to 999 employees, and 100 or fewer employees.

1,000+ employees

IT giant Salesforce took the top spot — an impressive accomplishment in addition to powering the world’s number one CRM and empowering companies to connect with their customers in a whole new way. Salesforce believes that honouring their 1,473 employees is key to leading an organisation — every presentation begins with a ‘thank you’ slide in recognition of their peers’ hard work and efforts.

Second place goes to Cisco Systems Australia, who develop tech equipment for consumers and other businesses. Cisco takes pride in a culture that promotes and encourages personal and professional development. Global hospitality chain Hilton nabbed third place due to a priority on team recognition and occasional shout-outs from the president and CEO, guests and team members.

100–999 employees

Healthcare manufacturer Stryker ranked first as best place to work in the middle-sized category. The organisation installs different development programs for their employees, such as the Women Without Limits program and the Emerging Leaders Program for employees who show potential. Graphic design website Canva placed second after finishing first in 2018. Upon hiring new employees, Canva introduces an ice-breaker activity in the style of a treasure hunt, in which they’re given clues to look for locations and staff members.

Fewer than 100 employees

Finishing first was Avenue Dental, an Australian company that aims to ‘positively transform dentistry’. Their 65 employees say that the organisation reinforces positive values and recognises and rewards staff who perform well. Employees recognise each other’s efforts during weekly meetings by reading out positive feedback given by their patients or co-workers.

Below is a summary of the top 10 in each category from the report 50 Best Places to work 2019:

RankOver 1,000 EmployeesBetween 100 and 999 employeesFewer than 100 employees
1SalesforceStrykerAvenue Dental
2Cisco Systems AustraliaCanvaLogMeIn Australia
3HiltonIntuit AustraliaInsentra
4MECCA BrandsOMD AustraliaAmicus
5MARS AustraliaAbbVieCobild
6REA GroupAdobeSC Johnson & Son
7SAP AustraliaEnvatoVersa
8Service NSWOptiverAltis Consulting
9AtlassianNous GroupBeaumont People
10Campbell Arnott’sRichard Crookes ConstructionsMorgan McKinley
Research into Further Education Subcontracting Launched
November 7, 2019
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Ofsted is launching a new research project to look at the subcontracting landscape within further education #FE

Subcontracting remains a popular option for FE providers. Last academic year, subcontracting accounted for around £650 million in government funding on adult learning and apprenticeship provision and also fully or partially funded courses for over 25,000 students aged 16 to 19 at hundreds of subcontractors.

Most FE providers were judged as good or outstanding at their last inspection. Since February 2018, we have increased our focus on the management and quality of subcontracted provision during inspections, and this increased focus continues in our new education inspection framework (EIF).

A subcontractor’s offering cannot be disentangled from the contract agreed with the main provider. Therefore, we place responsibility for learners’ experiences on the main provider and do not directly inspect standalone subcontractors. This research will explore the relationship between the main provider’s contracting arrangements and the quality of provision offered by subcontractors.

The aims of our new research are to learn more about the subcontracting landscape and the impact that a contract between a main provider and subcontractor can have on the learning experience. The research will also inform how we inspect main providers that choose to use subcontracted provision.

This autumn, we will carry out pre-arranged visits to a variety of subcontractors that have contracts with FE providers we’ve recently inspected. At the same time, we will examine our previous inspection reports for references to subcontracting, and hold focus groups with inspectors about the process of evaluating subcontracted learning.

Visits are not inspections and will not result in a written report for the subcontractor.

Ofsted Deputy Director, Further Education and Skills, Paul Joyce, said:

We made a commitment to increase our focus on subcontracting, which remains a major part of the FE landscape. I hope this research will give us more insight into the experience learners get at a provider, which in turn will help us refine this part of our inspection work.

We will work with subcontractors who take part in the research to make sure we do not place an additional burden on staff. All visits will be carried out purely for research purposes and will not double up as inspections. This research is part of our commitment to be a force for improvement in the sectors we inspect, and to make sure that everything we do is supported by evidence.