Demographic Snapshot of Canada’s Federal Public Service, 2017

Preface

This snapshot provides key demographics for Canada’s federal public service and supplements the Clerk of the Privy Council’s Twenty-Fifth Annual Report to the Prime Minister on the Public Service of Canada.

In general, this snapshot compares the current workforce with that from the baseline year of 2000. The data in this snapshot is current as of March 31, 2017, unless indicated otherwise.

Part 1 covers the entire federal public service, and Part 2 focuses on executives. Part 3 provides highlights from two employee surveys.

On this page

Introduction

This document presents key demographics for Canada’s federal public service.

Canada’s federal public service consists of two population segments:

  • the core public administration
  • separate agencies

The term “core public administration” refers to approximately 70 departments and agencies for which the Treasury Board is the employer. These organizations are listed in Schedules I and IV of the Financial Administration Act.

The term “separate agencies” refers to agencies listed in Schedule V of the act. The principal separate agencies are the Canada Revenue Agency, Parks Canada, the Canadian Food Inspection Agency and the National Research Council Canada. Separate agencies conduct their own negotiations and may set their own classification system and compensation levels for their employees.

Population counts for the following separate agencies are not included because their employee information is not available in the pay system: the Canadian Security Intelligence Service, the National Capital Commission, Canada Investment and Savings and Canadian Forces Non-Public Funds.

The federal public service does not include ministers’ exempt staff, employees locally engaged outside Canada, RCMP Regular Force members, RCMP civilian force members or Canadian Armed Forces members.

Highlights

  • 262,696 active employees (211,925 in 2000)
  • represents 0.72% of the Canadian population (0.69% in 2000)
  • 58.9% of employees are in the regions; 41.1% are in the National Capital Region
  • 84.7% are indeterminate employees, 10.0% are term employees, and 5.3% are casuals and students
  • 55.1% of employees are women (52.0% in 2000)
  • 47.0% of executives are women (28.0% in 2000)
  • 70.8% of employees indicated English as their first official language (70.3% in 2000)
  • 29.2% indicated French as their first official language (29.7% in 2000)
  • average age of employees: 44.9 years (43.1 in 2000)
  • average age of executives: 50.2 years (50.0 in 2000)

Part 1: Federal public service

Relative size and spending

Between 2000 and 2017, Canada’s population grew from about 30.6 million to 36.6 million (an increase of 19.5%),Footnote1 and the federal public service increased from 211,925 to 262,696 (24.0%). The federal public service currently makes up 0.72% of the Canadian population. This is well below the proportions in the 1980s and early 1990s, which were very close to 1%, and slightly higher than 0.69% in 2000.

Between 2000 and 2017, Canada’s real gross domestic product increased by 43.2% and real federal program spending increased by 74.9% (in constant dollars). Between fiscal year 2015 to 2016 and fiscal year 2016 to 2017, real gross domestic product increased by 1.4% and federal program spending increased by 4.5%.

Government priorities have significantly influenced the size of the federal public service workforce over the years. The focus in recent years has been on streamlining activities, outsourcing services and reducing costs. As a result, the federal public service workforce decreased between 2010 and 2015, with a slight increase since 2015.

Figure 1 shows trends in the economy, the Canadian population, federal program spending and the size of the federal public service, from 2000 to 2017.

Figure 1: trends in the economy, the Canadian population, federal program spending and the size of the federal public service, from 2000 to 2017
Text version below:
Figure 1 - Text version
Year Canadian Population Indextable 1 note 1 Federal Public Service Workforce Indextable 1 note 2 Real GDP Indextable 1 note 3 (in 2007 dollars) Real Program Expenses Indextable 1 note 4 (in 2002 dollars)

Table 1 Notes

Table 1 Note 1

Based on data as of April 1 for each year.

Return to table 1 note 1 referrer

Table 1 Note 2

Based on active employees only and based on data as of March 31 for each year.

Return to table 1 note 2 referrer

Table 1 Note 3

Based on calendar year data.

Return to table 1 note 3 referrer

Table 1 Note 4

Based on fiscal year data. Program expenses include transfers and were deflated using the Consumer Price Index.

Return to table 1 note 4 referrer

2000 100 100 100 100
2001 101 106 105 107
2002 102 112 107 109
2003 103 115 110 115
2004 104 115 112 119
2005 105 115 116 133
2006 106 118 119 130
2007 107 120 123 137
2008 108 124 125 142
2009 110 129 126 145
2010 111 134 123 170
2011 112 133 126 163
2012 113 131 130 159
2013 114 124 133 158
2014 116 121 136 158
2015 117 121 140 159
2016 118 122 141 167
2017 120 124 143 175

Sources: Office of the Chief Human Resources Officer, Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat; Statistics Canada; Department of Finance Canada (Fiscal Reference Tables).

  1. Based on data as of April 1 for each year.
  2. Based on active employees only and based on data as of March 31 for each year.
  3. Based on calendar year data.
  4. Based on fiscal year data. Program expenses include transfers and were deflated using the Consumer Price Index.

Federal public service diversity

Gender

As shown in Figure 2, in 2017, women made up 55.1% of the federal public service, a 3.1 percentage point increase from 2000. It is also a considerable increase from 1990 (45.6%).

Figure 2: federal public service by gender, 2000 and 2017
Text version below:
Figure 2 - Text version

Gender

2000

2017

Men

48.0%

44.9%

Women

52.0%

55.1%

Source: Office of the Chief Human Resources Officer, Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat.

Notes

Population: Includes all employment tenures and does not include employees on leave without pay.

The information provided is based on data as of March 31.

First official language

As shown in Figure 3, the breakdown of federal public servants by first official language in 2017 is almost the same as it was in 2000.

Figure 3: first official language of federal public servants, 2000 and 2017
Text version below:
Figure 3 - Text version

Language

2000

2017

English

70.3%

70.8%

French

29.7%

29.2%

Source: Office of the Chief Human Resources Officer, Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat.

Notes

Population:Includes all employment tenures and active employees only (employees on leave without pay are excluded).

The information provided is based on data as of March 31.

Age of federal public servants

Figure 4 compares the breakdown of federal public servants in 2010, 2015 and 2017 by age. From 2010 to 2017, the age breakdown changed slightly, with decreases in the proportion of employees under 34 and those aged 50 to 54 and with increases in the proportion of employees aged 35 to 39 and those aged 40 to 44.

The average age of federal public servants increased slightly, from 43.9 years in 2010 to 44.9 years in 2017, but has remained unchanged since 2015.

Figure 4: federal public servants by age band, 2010, 2015 and 2017, as a percentage of public service workforce
Text version below:
Figure 4 - Text version
Age band 2010 2015 2017
Under 20 0.3% 0.2% 0.2%
20 to 24 4.2% 3.2% 3.8%
25 to 29 8.9% 6.6% 6.6%
30 to 34 11.4% 10.7% 10.2%
35 to 39 12.0% 13.7% 13.6%
40 to 44 13.2% 14.1% 14.6%
45 to 49 16.4% 14.7% 14.6%
50 to 54 16.7% 17.2% 16.1%
55 to 59 11.1% 12.2% 12.5%
60 to 64 4.4% 5.4% 5.6%
65 and over 1.3% 2.0% 2.2%

Source: Office of the Chief Human Resources Officer, Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat.

Notes

Population: Includes all employment tenures and active employees only (employees on leave without pay are excluded).

The information provided excludes employees with an unknown age and is based on data as of March 31.

Figure 5 shows the distribution of federal public servants by age for 2000, 2010 and 2017. Up until 2015, baby boomers (people born between 1946 and 1966) made up the largest group of federal public servants; however, they are being replaced by Generation Xers (people born between 1967 and 1979) and millennials (people born after 1979). Generation Xers now represents the largest group of public servants (40.6%).

Figure 5: federal public servants by age band, 2000, 2010 and 2017
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Figure 5 - Text version
Age band Age 2000 2010 2017
Under 25 Under 17 7 14 1
17 to 18 137 155 90
19 to 20 1,207 1,783 1,644
21 to 22 2,663 4,194 3,770
23 to 24 3,927 6,571 5,022
25 to 34 25 to 26 4,950 8,977 6,267
27 to 28 5,950 10,472 7,106
29 to 30 7,035 11,970 8,377
31 to 32 7,877 12,687 10,484
33 to 34 9,538 13,518 11,843
35 to 44 35 to 36 11,689 13,327 13,360
37 to 38 13,263 13,585 14,645
39 to 40 15,219 14,318 15,423
41 to 42 16,223 14,393 15,611
43 to 44 16,858 15,676 15,008
45 to 54 45 to 46 17,432 17,912 15,480
47 to 48 17,250 18,729 15,242
49 to 50 16,480 19,439 15,266
51 to 52 14,526 19,270 17,027
53 to 54 10,254 18,352 17,585
55 to 64 55 to 56 6,802 14,792 14,980
57 to 58 5,150 11,731 12,695
59 to 60 3,320 8,497 9,397
61 to 62 1,768 5,577 6,344
63 to 64 1,083 3,359 4,358
65 and over 65 to 66 575 1,665 2,500
67 to 68 342 967 1,491
69 and over 398 1,048 1,676

Source: Office of the Chief Human Resources Officer, Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat.

Notes

Population: Includes all employment tenures and active employees only (employees on leave without pay are excluded).

The information provided is based on data as of March 31.

Each vertical bar for each year represents two years of age, with the exception of the first and last bar. The first bar for each year includes all individuals under 25 years of age, and the last bar for each year includes all individuals 65 years of age and over. Employees whose age is unknown have been excluded.

Hiring into core public administration

Figure 6 shows indeterminate hiring in the core public administration over time. Indeterminate hiring has been on the rise since the 2012 to 2013 fiscal year. Hiring increased by 44.0%, from 7,698 in the 2015 to 2016 fiscal year, to 11,085 in the 2016 to 2017 fiscal year.

Figure 6: new indeterminate hires into core public administration (CPA) from fiscal year 2000 to 2001 to fiscal year 2016 to 2017
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Figure 6 - Text version
Fiscal year Number of new indeterminate hires into CPA Millennials (%) Non-millennials (%)
2000 to 2001 9,986 0.4% 99.6%
2001 to 2002 12,365 1.1% 98.9%
2002 to 2003 14,130 2.4% 97.6%
2003 to 2004 14,084 2.4% 97.6%
2004 to 2005 9,395 6.2% 93.8%
2005 to 2006 11,092 6.5% 93.5%
2006 to 2007 13,342 11.4% 88.6%
2007 to 2008 17,258 15.2% 84.8%
2008 to 2009 19,968 22.4% 77.6%
2009 to 2010 16,304 36.3% 63.7%
2010 to 2011 11,677 40.9% 59.1%
2011 to 2012 8,642 43.7% 56.3%
2012 to 2013 2,865 44.8% 55.2%
2013 to 2014 4,315 47.7% 52.3%
2014 to 2015 6,093 53.7% 46.3%
2015 to 2016 7,698 54.1% 45.9%
2016 to 2017 11,085 60.6% 39.4%

Source: Office of the Chief Human Resources Officer, Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat.

The hiring of new indeterminate employees who are millennials increased by 6.5 percentage points (from 54.1% in fiscal year 2015 to 2016 to 60.6% in fiscal year 2016 to 2017). During this same period, the hiring of new indeterminate employees who are baby boomers decreased from 16.4% to 12.9% and the hiring of those who are Generation Xers decreased slightly, from 29.5% to 26.6%.Footnote2

As indicated in Figure 7, more than half of new indeterminate hires in the 2016 to 2017 fiscal year were born after 1979 (64.0%), bringing the median age of new indeterminate hires to the core public administration to 33.

Figure 7: new indeterminate hires into core public administration in fiscal year 2016 to 2017, by age
Text version below:
Figure 7 - Text version
Generation Age Number of new indeterminate hires in the CPA

Table 2 Notes

Table 2 Note 1

Median age 33

Return to table 2 note * referrer

Millennials 17 4
18 28
19 13
20 35
21 88
22 284
23 440
24 498
25 567
26 578
27 564
28 528
29 511
30 458
31 443
32 399
33table 2 note * 371
34 328
35 316
36 332
Generation X 37 305
38 246
39 282
40 229
41 237
42 214
43 217
44 206
45 191
46 219
47 205
48 184
49 179
Baby boomers 50 159
51 156
52 147
53 150
54 154
55 125
56 103
57 95
58 82
59 55
60 45
61 32
62 25
63 23
64 10
65 6
66 7
67 3
68 3
69 3
70 1
Over 70 1

Source: Office of the Chief Human Resources Officer, Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat.

Retirements from federal public service

As shown in Figure 8, the retirement rate decreased slightly between the 2011 to 2012 fiscal year and the 2012 to 2013 fiscal year (from 3.2% to 2.9%), then gradually increased to 3.4% in the 2016 to 2017 fiscal year. The preliminary estimate for retirements in the 2016 to 2017 fiscal year is 8,000 (3.4%).

As a result of Budget 2012 decisions, many employees who had planned to retire during the 2012 to 2013 and 2013 to 2014 fiscal years left the federal public service in those years by accepting one of the government’s work force adjustment measures or career transition measures (for executives).

Figure 8: historical and projected retirement rates for the federal public service, fiscal year 2011 to 2012 to fiscal year 2020 to 2021
Text version below:
Figure 8 - Text version
Type of rate Fiscal year Retirement rate
Historical 2011 to 2012 3.2%
2012 to 2013 2.9%
2013 to 2014 3.1%
2014 to 2015 3.2%
2015 to 2016 3.6%
2016 to 2017 3.4%
Estimated 2017 to 2018 3.3%
Projected 2018 to 2019 3.2%
2019 to 2020 3.3%
2020 to 2021 3.4%
2021 to 2022 3.4%

Source: Office of the Chief Human Resources Officer, Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat.

Notes

Population: Indeterminate federal public servants, including employees who retire while on leave without pay.

Retirement eligibility: Employees are eligible to retire once they have reached the appropriate combination of age and years of pensionable service.

Projected retirement rates assume a stable population for the projected period. If the overall population increases or decreases in the future, the rate will be affected.

Years of experience in federal public service

Figure 9 shows the distribution of indeterminate federal public servants by years of experience. Between 2016 and 2017, employees with 0 to 4 years of experience represented the largest increase (from 10.4% to 11.9%) while employees with 25 years or more of experience represented the largest decrease (from 16.8% to 13.6%).

As of March 2017, the proportions of employees with 5 to 14 years and 25 years or more of years of service were estimated to be 49.3% and 13.6%, respectively. The proportion of employees with 0 to 4 years of experience was estimated to be 11.9%, and those with 15 to 24 years of service was 25.2%.

Figure 9: percentage of indeterminate federal public servants by years of experience, from 2000 to 2017 and for 2028 (projected)
Text version below:
Figure 9 - Text version
Year 0 to 4 years 5 to 14 years 15 to 24 years 25 years or more
2000 13.1% 35.3% 34.1% 17.5%
2001 16.8% 32.5% 31.9% 18.8%
2002 21.4% 30.1% 29.0% 19.5%
2003 23.8% 29.1% 27.4% 19.8%
2004 23.7% 29.2% 27.1% 20.0%
2005 21.5% 30.6% 27.8% 20.0%
2006 19.7% 32.1% 27.4% 20.7%
2007 18.0% 35.0% 26.0% 21.0%
2008 18.8% 36.0% 24.8% 20.4%
2009 22.1% 35.7% 23.1% 19.2%
2010 24.0% 36.3% 21.3% 18.4%
2011 23.7% 38.4% 20.3% 17.6%
2012 21.7% 41.2% 20.2% 17.0%
2013 17.2% 45.3% 21.0% 16.6%
2014 13.2% 48.7% 21.6% 16.4%
2015 11.0% 49.4% 22.9% 16.7%
2016 10.4% 48.2% 24.6% 16.8%
2017 11.9% 49.3% 25.2% 13.6%
2018 14.1% 42.1% 27.4% 13.5%
2028 17.2% 33.1% 31.1% 15.8%

Figure 9 also shows the percentage of indeterminate federal public servants by years of experience for 2017:

0 to 4 years 5 to 14 years 15 to 24 years 25 years or more
11.9% 49.3% 25.2% 13.6%

Source: Office of the Chief Human Resources Officer, Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat.

Notes

Population: Indeterminate federal public servants, including employees on leave without pay.

The projected distribution is based on the assumption of a stable population over the projected period. If the overall population increases or decreases in the future, the rate will be affected.

Knowledge-intensive workforce in core public administration

In 1990, the workforce was composed mainly of clerical and operational workers. Since then, employees undertaking more knowledge-intensive work comprise an ever-increasing share of employees in the core public administration. The cadre of knowledge workers is highly skilled, with significant expertise gained through a combination of education, training and experience. The transformation in work has been in response to an increasingly demanding environment, new challenges and technological advances since 2000.

As shown in Figure 10, the five largest knowledge-intensive occupational groups in the core public administration increased since 2000. These groups are Administrative Services (AS), Program Administration (PM), Computer Systems (CS), Economics and Social Science Services (EC) and Executive (EX). In 2017, these occupational groups represented 42.6% of the core public administration workforce; in 2000, they represented only 31.8%.

Figure 10: five largest occupational groups in core public administration (CPA) in select years from 2000 to 2017, as percentage of CPA
Text version below:
Figure 10 - Text version
Occupational group 2000 2005 2010 2015 2017
AS 9.9% 12.2% 13.8% 14.5% 14.4%
PM 9.7% 12.8% 11.3% 10.8% 11.8%
CS 5.5% 6.6% 6.4% 7.0% 6.8%
EC 4.4% 5.3% 5.9% 6.6% 7.1%
EX 2.2% 2.4% 2.5% 2.5% 2.6%

Source: Office of the Chief Human Resources Officer, Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat.

Notes

Population: Includes all employment tenures and active employees only (employees on leave without pay are excluded), based on effective employment classification (acting appointments are included).

The information provided is based on data as of March 31.

To provide an accurate picture of the growth and share of occupations historically, the analysis excludes the Canada Revenue Agency (and all 15 of its predecessors) and the Canada Border Services Agency. The Canada Revenue Agency was a part of the core public administration until 1999, when it became a separate agency. The Canada Border Services Agency was created in 2003 and is part of the core public administration; most of its employees were transferred from the Canada Revenue Agency.

On June 22, 2009, the Economics, Sociology and Statistics (ES) and the Social Science Support (SI) occupational groups were combined to form the Economics and Social Science Services (EC) occupational group.

Part 2: Executives

This section provides demographic information about the federal public service Executive group.

Typically, assistant deputy ministers (classified as EX 04 and EX 05) fulfill senior leadership functions, providing strategic direction and oversight, while directors, executive directors and directors general (classified from EX 01 to EX 03) fulfill executive functions and are responsible for managing employees.

Population size of Executive group

As of March 31, 2017, there were 6,480 executives in the federal public service. About half of them (51.0%) were EX 01s, and only 6.2% were EX 04s and EX 05s.

Between 2000 and 2017, the federal public service executive workforce grew by 56.1% because of an overall increase in knowledge-based occupational groups, an increase in the number of director-level positions classified as EX positions, and because deputy heads had control of the size of the Executive group. During the same period, the overall federal public service grew by 24.0%. From 2016 to 2017, the number of executives increased by 1.0%. In 2017, executives made up 2.5% of the entire federal public service, up from 2.3% in 2007, and 2.0% in 2000.

Executive diversity

First official language of executives

As shown in Figure 11, between 2000 and 2017, the proportion of executives in the federal public service who indicated that French is their first official language increased from 26.2% to 32.0%. In the overall federal public service, 70.8% of employees have English as their first official language and 29.2%, French.

Figure 11: federal public service executives by first official language, 2000 and 2017
Text version below:
Figure 11 - Text version
Language 2000 2017
English 73.8% 68.0%
French 26.2% 32.0%

Source: Office of the Chief Human Resources Officer, Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat.

Notes

Population: Includes all federal public service executives, specifically, core public administration executives and their equivalents in separate agencies (such as Executive group (EX) and Management group (MG) classifications) in all tenures (indeterminate, term and casual). It does not include executives on leave without pay or those whose data on first official language is missing.

The information provided is based on data as of March 31.

Age of executives in federal public service

Figure 12 shows the age breakdown of federal public service executives for 2010, 2015 and 2017. The proportion of executives under 50 years of age remained relatively constant between 2010 and 2017 at approximately 46% to 47%. The proportion of executives over 50 decreased slightly from 53.3% in 2010 to 52.9% in 2017.

The average age of executives in the federal public service remained relatively unchanged between 2010 and 2017, at approximately 50 years of age.

Figure 12: federal public service executive population distribution by age band, 2010, 2015 and 2017
Text version below:
Figure 12 - Text version
Year Age band
25 to 29 30 to 34 35 to 39 40 to 44 45 to 49 50 to 54 55 to 59 60 to 64 65 and over
2010 0.0% 1.4% 7.4% 15.6% 22.4% 28.0% 18.4% 5.8% 1.0%
2015 0.0% 0.8% 6.9% 15.6% 22.8% 27.7% 19.2% 5.8% 1.2%
2017 0.0% 0.7% 7.0% 16.3% 23.0% 27.6% 18.5% 5.5% 1.3%

Source: Office of the Chief Human Resources Officer, Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat.

Notes

Population: Includes all federal public service executives, specifically, core public administration executives and their equivalents in separate agencies (such as Executive group (EX) and Management group (MG) classifications) in all tenures (indeterminate, term and casual). It does not include executives on leave without pay.

The information provided is based on data as of March 31.

Figure 13 shows that between 2000 and 2017, the average age of junior executives at the EX 01 to EX 03 levels in the federal public service remained stable at approximately 50 years of age. The average age of senior executives at the EX 04 to EX 05 levels has also remained stable at around 54 years of age since 2005.

Figure 13: average age of junior and senior executives, select years, 2000 to 2017
Text version below:
Figure 13 - Text version
Level 2000 2005 2010 2015 2017
EX 01 to EX 03 49.8 50.6 49.9 50.1 50.0
EX 04 and EX 05 52.5 53.9 53.5 53.7 53.8

Source: Office of the Chief Human Resources Officer, Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat.

Notes

Population: Includes all federal public service executives, specifically, core public administration executives and their equivalents in separate agencies (such as Executive group (EX) and Management group (MG) classifications) in all tenures (indeterminate, term and casual). The population does not include executives on leave without pay.

The information provided is based on data as of March 31.

The average age in 2017 for the various employees in the executive groups of the federal public service described in Part 2 of this document is as follows:

  • Executives: 50.2 years
  • EX 01 to EX 03: 50.0 years
  • EX 04 and EX 05: 53.8 years

Part 3: Highlights from employee surveys

2017 Public Service Employee Survey

The Public Service Employee Survey (PSES) has been conducted every 3 years since 1999 to measure federal public service employees’ opinions on various aspects of their workplace. The survey results allow individual departments and agencies to benchmark and track the state of people management practices in their organization and to develop and refine action plans to address issues.

A total of 174,544 employees in 86 federal departments and agencies responded to the 2017 Public Service Employee Survey, for a response rate of 61.3%.

The 2017 results showed that there have been improvements since 2014 in many areas. The areas with the greatest improvements are career development, empowerment, organizational performance, senior management, and employee engagement.

However, survey results were less positive than in 2014 for some questions about ethics in the workplace. Employees were also less likely than in 2014 to indicate that their organization implements activities and practices that support a diverse workplace.

The 2017 results for harassment and discrimination were similar to those of 2014.

Over two-thirds of employees indicated that their pay or other compensation had been affected by issues with the Phoenix pay system.

More than half of employees would describe their workplace as being psychologically healthy, and 1 in 5 employees indicated that, overall, their work-related stress is high or very high.

Pay or other compensation-related issues were the top cause of stress at work, with approximately 1 in 3 employees indicating that they cause them stress to a large or very large extent. Other causes of stress at work included not having enough employees to do the work, a heavy workload, competing or constantly changing priorities, and unreasonable deadlines.

For more information, please consult the results of the 2017 Public Service Employee Survey.

2017 Student Exit Survey

The Student Exit Survey was developed to inform recruitment and onboarding strategies, contribute to improvements to the student application process and lead to enhancements of student work assignments. The survey was conducted between August 9 and September 15, 2017, and included questions related to different stages of the student work term, such as the application process, onboarding, the workplace and the quality of work.

Seventy-six organizations participated in the survey, yielding 5,315 completed surveys. More than half of survey respondents (57%) reported that summer 2017 was their first student work term. A similar proportion (58%) indicated that they were hired through FSWEP (the Federal Student Work Experience Program).

Overall, the results of the Student Exit Survey were quite positive:

  • Nine out of ten students (92%) agreed that overall, they had a positive work experience
  • Almost all students reported that they were treated as part of the team (93%) or that they attended regular team meetings (87%)
  • Three out of four students (77%) indicated that work assigned to them was interesting
  • Almost three-quarters of the respondent group felt that their job was a good fit with their interests (74%) or with their skills or field of study (72%)
  • The majority of students (82%) felt that they had gained an understanding of how government works
  • Three out of four students (77%) indicated that they would seek a career in the federal public service, and 83% would recommend a public service career to other students

However, students were less positive about certain aspects of their work or work conditions:

  • Almost one in four students (23%) believed that they were given too little work
  • Almost one in four students (23%) felt they weren’t given a clear work plan
  • Almost two-thirds of the respondent group (63%) were impacted by pay issues related to Phoenix, and 50% of the impacted students were satisfied with the support they received from their department or agency to help resolve their pay issues

The survey asked students to provide suggestions to improve the student work experience. The following four recommendations were the most frequently cited:

  • Provide and commit to a clear work plan
  • Give sufficient work
  • Give interesting work
  • Provide regular feedback

© Her Majesty the Queen in Right of Canada, represented by the President of the Treasury Board, 2018,
ISSN: 2561-6838

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