Practice preferred for Political portfolios


Australia has a doctor working as Defence Minister, a rock star working as Shadow Environment Minister and a lawyer working as Health Minister, yet 71.9% of Aussies have declared that Ministers should have direct experience in the portfolio they are looking after, according to a survey by Talent2, Australia?s leading human resources and recruitment firm.

Only 30.7% say a Minister can be successful in their portfolio if they have no experience in their field, according to the 1,987 respondents.

Working in areas foreign to Ministers, though, is a more comfortable thought for older Australians. Only 23.7% of those aged 18 to 24 years old saying this could be a successful scenario compared to 35.3% of those aged 55.

Mr John Banks, Director of Talent2, says that voters cannot understand how a Minister can make a policy decision if they have no experience in their portfolio. Similarly, more than 40% say that if their boss has done their job previously this creates a level of awareness and understanding that makes their own job much easier.

"It would make absolutely no sense for an IT professional to suddenly be promoted to the position of Chief Financial Officer within an organisation, so it remains a mystery to many Australians why there are politicians working in portfolios they do not necessarily have any professional background in."

"Part of the role of a good leader is to delegate tasks and assign jobs to the correct individuals. Basing promotions and assignments on political favour can lead to, quite simply, the wrong people working in the wrong job."

"However, a successful strategy employed by many of the top business people is to bring someone from outside their company, or from a different industry in to bring fresh eyes or fresh ideas to the role."