About

Read the Commission's report here.

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

Over two years, the Future of Work Commission heard from New Zealanders throughout the country about the changing nature of work and how we address the change.

Our aim is to develop the vision, direction, and policies for an economic and social programme that will enable New Zealanders to confidently face the changing nature of work and have sustainable, fulfilling and well-paid employment in the coming decades.

Developing policies that tackle the changing nature of work will ensure:

  • decent jobs
  • lower unemployment
  • higher wages
  • greater security when in work or out of work
  • highly skilled, adaptable, and resilient workers. 

What we have done

The Future of Work Commission was announced by Labour Leader Andrew Little on 1 December 2014. In early 2015 we established our Commission External Reference Group, which includes business people, union leaders, academics, and community representatives. With their help, we established six workstreams.

  1. Income and Employment Security
  2. Technology and its Impact
  3. Education and Training
  4. Economic Development and Sustainability
  5. Māori
  6. Pasifika

For each workstream, two lead MPs have coordinated the work.

Our first step in the process was to survey people on their experiences with the changing nature of work. We received over three thousand responses that informed our work.

Following our initial feedback, the Commission released eight issues papers across our six workstreams to seek feedback from the public. These issues papers were supplemented by several background papers written by independent authors.

Following written submissions and meetings throughout New Zealand, the Commission released its Ten Big Ideas for further feedback.

The Ten Big Ideas document was released as part of a two-day conference on the Future of Work that the Commission hosted in Auckland. The conference featured four major international speakers: Robert Reich, Guy Standing, Jan Owen, and Göran Roos, and was followed by a Wellington seminar with keynote speaker, David Coats.

At last count, we have held well over 100 public events: engagements with businesses and workers, schools, and community groups on the work of the Commission. Thousands of New Zealanders have engaged with our work, and we are very grateful for that.

Following all of this feedback, the Commission is now putting forward its final recommendations to the Labour Party for consideration as policy. Labour has already announced some policies based on the work of the Commission.

  • A Working Futures Plan to provide three years of free post-secondary school training and education
  • A Young Entrepreneurs Programme to give 100 young New Zealanders the support to take their business ideas forward with a grant equivalent to the three years free, and the support of business mentors
  • Professionalised careers advice integrated into learning: every school resourced to have highly trained careers-advice staff and every student will develop a personalised career plan.

Our External Reference Group

The External Reference Group supported the Commission through the process of its work, providing input and reviewing drafts of papers.

The members of the Group are:

  • Michael Barnett – Chief Executive of the Auckland Regional Chamber of Commerce & Industry
  • Richard Wagstaff – NZCTU President • John Blakey – Chief Executive of Competenz
  • Dr Debbie Ryan – Director of Pacific Perspectives
  • Gail Pacheco – Associate Professor in the Economics Department at AUT, and Director of the NZ Work Research Institute
  • Sue Ryall – Centre Manager, Centre for Labour, Employment and Work (CLEW) in the School of Management, Victoria University of Wellington
  • Matthew Tukaki – Founder and CEO of EntreHub
  • Linc Gasking – Co-founder/CEO of 8i. Richard Wagstaff replaced Helen Kelly when he took over as NZCTU president, and Gail Pacheo replaced Professor Tim Bentley when she took over as Director of the NZ Work Research Institute.

Read the summary of the report here.

Read the full report here.


  • From the blog

    A plan for the future

    Everyone knows that the world of work is changing. Technology is developing at a pace faster than ever before, and many of the jobs and roles we know today simply won’t exist in a decade.

    Continue reading…