Police recruit applications double and give NSW Government the blueprint to rebuild police numbers.

The PANSW and NSW Government collaboration to fix police recruitment is showing positive early signs.

In October 2023, the PANSW secured the historic agreement that the NSW Government would pay police recruits to train and join you on the frontline protecting the community.

Just 21 days after the announcement, the number of applications hit 143, with predictions the total applications for November 2023 would reach 200.

That’s compared to 78 applications in the same time in 2022, and 106 in October 2023, and 94 in September 2023, showing the impact of the PANSW’s strategy.

Police Association NSW President Kevin Morton said:

“We are incredibly proud to stand with the NSW Government and NSWPF to welcome these recruits into the police family.”

“The paying of recruits has now opened the door for those wanting to pursue their dream of being a Police Officer in the best Police Force in the country.”

“We’ve seen an increase in applications and now is the time. Now is the time to join and be a part of the Blue family that protects your community.”

Make policing an attractive career: both for those that want to join, and allow those who currently serve and protect our communities to continue in the job they love.

The PANSW has been working with the NSW Government and Police Force to resolve the high number of vacancies and workload pressures affecting members.

With vacancies sitting at around 1,500 and attrition numbers increasing, we well appreciate that 200 recruits is only the start and much more needs to be done. Ensuring there is a highly talented and large pool of applicants to be the next generation of police is a part of a broader solution.

Importantly, this result provides a clear blueprint for the NSW Government to address police shortages: fair pay and respect for police shown by the Government and community is the key to recruiting the police of tomorrow and crucially, retaining the police of today.

That is why the PANSW has made retention of currently serving police the focus of Award 2024.

Under the previous government, wages were supressed by a harsh public sector wages cap for more than a decade. By 2023, the once large pool of people wanting to become NSW police officers dried up, and serving police officers were leaving in large numbers, in the majority leaving medically unfit.

The key to retaining police is increased salaries and allowances, enabling faster progression through the pay scales (without taking a pay reduction if promoted), and rewarding police for training junior staff and remaining in front line duties. 

These same Award elements were a “vital part” of the NSW Government’s strategy to “restoring respect to the teaching profession” and “to rebuild the essential services people rely on”, when the Minns Government agreed an historic pay deal with NSW teachers. 

Award 2024 is the opportunity for Premier Minns, and Minister for Police Yasmin Catley, to demonstrate and implement their plan to invest in essential policing services, and rebuild NSW Police Force numbers.

Respect and fair pay is the key to retaining police 

Minister Yasmin Catley said:

“This is a Government that fundamentally cares about our police officers. They support their communities day and night and we in turn, must support them.”

“I made a commitment to address workforce shortages and that’s exactly what’s being done. This important recruitment incentive has doubled the pool.”

The PANSW will make sure the Government’s words mean something at the negotiating table when we fight for your pay and conditions as part of Award 2024.

As the best police force in the country, Police officers in NSW should also be the highest paid. Police deserve a decent pay rise in NSW; pay is a mark of respect and will go a long way to retain the hard-working men and women we have in the NSW Police Force.

Respect | Reward | Retain

Click here to read the PANSW Award 2024 Update – 21 November 2023