Technology critical to the Future of Work

Is it time for coding to be taught in all our schools to prepare Kiwi kids for the Future of Work? Do we need to create digital apprenticeships? Would digital hubs help lure employers to our regions?

Future of Work Commission chair Grant Robertson says these are some of the important questions posed in Labour’s Future of Work Commission’s first discussion paper released today.

“The Future of Work Commission was established late last year to examine how New Zealand can seize on the opportunities created by the changing nature of work and maximise our potential as a smart, green and prosperous nation.

“This two-year project aims to make sure Kiwis can face the future with confidence and have sustainable, fulfilling and well-paid employment in the coming decades.

“Over the next few weeks we will be releasing a series of discussion papers looking at issues including security of work and income, education and training, economic development and sustainability and the Māori and Pasifika workforces.

The Technology discussion paper looks at how technology is impacting on work and how New Zealand can use innovation to create decent jobs with high wages.

“This is an exciting time of real change in our society but also a time of insecurity for those who may see their job disappear or conditions of work radically change. A recent Australian report estimated up to 40 per cent of the workforce is at risk of being replaced by technology in the next 10-15 years.

“This Technology workstream is led by MPs Clare Curran and David Cunliffe and offers an invaluable insight into ideas as to how New Zealand can embrace changing technology, and ensure everyone has access to the opportunities it brings.

Clare Curran says whether you’re starting school, going for your first job, running a business or facing redundancy, everyone is affected. “We need new skills, new business models and new ways of approaching work. Government has a crucial role to play in this but we must get it right.”

David Cunliffe says there are huge opportunities for small geographically distant countries like New Zealand where technology has reduced the tyranny of distance. “We must create a truly ‘smart economy’ rather than being wedded to a commodity driven one. But we must ensure everyone has an opportunity to participate in and benefit from this new world.”

The full issue paper can be found here.


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