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Comprehensive plan for future of work needed

A Massey University study showing many New Zealanders are unaware of the increasing role of automation in their workplace, highlights the need for a comprehensive plan for the future of work, says Grant Robertson, Chair of Labour’s Future of Work Commission.

“The world of work is changing faster than at any point in human history. This offers a range of challenges and opportunities, as well as uncertainties. It is clear that across all types of jobs there will be significant disruption. We need a plan to help New Zealanders face this change with confidence that there will be decent work.

“That is why the Labour Party established the Future of Work Commission last year. Since then we have engaged with thousands of New Zealanders about their hopes and fears about work for them and their children.

“While there is a lot of speculation about the jobs that could be lost, the best thing we can do for New Zealanders is to give them the skills to be as adaptable and resilient as possible. This means ensuring all New Zealanders have access to technology and that we work with businesses on how they adapt to the changes.

“The most critical element in this is education and training. That is why the first major announcement from our Future of Work Commission in January this year was the policy of three years free post-secondary school training and education.

“While we cannot say exactly what the future of work will be, we know that gaining new skills and training and re-training will be critical to our success. Lifelong learning must be a reality if we are to meet the challenges of change.

“Labour will announce further policies in the coming months before the final report of the Commission in November. This will provide the comprehensive plan that is needed in this rapidly changing world of work,” Grant Robertson says.