The Future of Work is changing...Future of Work

The nature and experience of work is changing rapidly. Digital technology is causing changes to work not seen since the industrial revolution. A study has shown 46% of New Zealand jobs are at risk of automation in the next two decades. Those entering the workforce today are likely to have several different careers and many more different jobs in their lifetimes compared to previous generations. Businesses need new models of organisation, processes and different skills from their workers in an increasingly globalised environment.

At the same time many workers have increasingly insecure and precarious work experiences due to casualisation, zero-hour contracts and other exploitative practices. On the flipside of this, many more people are self-employed by choice, with a younger generation of workers desiring to be their own boss or work in more flexible contracting arrangements.

It is essential that as a country we acknowledge, prepare for and adjust to these changes.  We need to understand the drivers of change, the challenges and opportunities, and what policy programme needs to be adopted so we can face the future with confidence.

What we do

The Future of Work Commission is undertaking a two-year programme to develop a comprehensive understanding of the changing nature and experience of work, and its impact on the economy to develop the policy responses required to meet the challenges and grasp the opportunities presented by those changes.

We are currently consulting on a series of issues papers with feedback due by the end of February 2016. These papers are focused on:

You can submit on the papers on their individual pages or to the Commission overall here.

The Commission is also consulting on background papers which can be found here.

On 23 and 24 of March 2016 the Commission will be hosting a conference on the Future of Work in Auckland.

Outcome of the Commission

The vision, direction and policies for an economic and social programme to enable New Zealanders to confidently face the changing nature of work and have sustainable, fulfilling and well paid employment in the coming decades.


Develop policies which tackle the changing nature of work to ensure:

•           Decent jobs

•           Lower unemployment

•           Higher wages

•           Greater security when in work and when out of work

•           High skilled, adaptable and resilient workers

To submit to the Commission, click here, or to take the Future of Work survey, click here.

  • From the blog

    Ideas from our Future of Work Conference

    The Future of Work Commission’s recent conference on the issues facing New Zealand from the changing nature of work. raised a wide range of issues to address and opportunities to grasp. A summary of the key ideas and solutions from that conference are below.


    In my opening address to the conference I pointed out the McKinsey’s study that suggests we are experiencing technological change at a rate thirty times that of the industrial revolution.  I also launched our Ten Big Ideas document which represents a snapshot of our consultation in the first year of the Future of Work Commission’s programme (see below.)

    Continue reading…