New Zealand Labour Party

OECD endorses Labour’s Future of Work approach

An OECD report released today, highlighting the need for increased support for workers who are made redundant, is a strong endorsement of the direction of Labour’s Future of Work Commission, says Labour’s Employment spokesperson Grant Robertson.

“We welcome the OECD’s report which closely aligns with the conclusions that Labour’s own Future of Work commission announced last year.

“One of the key points of Labour’s Future of Work commission was how we keep New Zealanders at work in the new economy. It’s clear that much more needs to be done to help Kiwis who’ve been made redundant remain ready for re-employment.

“The OECD states that New Zealand needs more active back-to-work strategies and more active redundancy support, both of which are key findings of the Commission.

“Our Future of Work Commission recommended a programme of retraining for workers who lose their jobs as a result of technological change as a partnership between business, government and workers.

“The report finds that 29,000 New Zealanders who’d been made redundant in the past five years still couldn’t find a job. According to Statistics New Zealand, the number of people who have been unemployed for more than six months has increased by 226 per cent on Nationals watch – from 13,400 to 43,700.

“It’s simply not acceptable that so many New Zealanders who’ve been made redundant struggle to get the support they need to re-enter the workforce. The evidence shows that the longer someone stays out of work, the harder it is for them to get back into work.

“National has a terrible record on long-term unemployment. Perhaps National’s Ministers need to reflect on their own performance instead of writing off Kiwi workers as ‘pretty-damned hopeless’ or lazy and drug-addled.

“Even the OECD is now taking notice of National’s poor performance. Labour’s Future of Work and our commitment to education, job training and our Ready to Work programme show that only a Labour-led Government is capable to lift the employment prospects for all New Zealanders,” says Grant Robertson.