Monday, January 23, 2017

Future of work - labour party (NZ) final report

As signalled at last year's NZ Vocational Education and Training research forum and through posts last year - changing nature of work and through the presentations at the tertiary education symposium - the Labour Party in NZ (currently in opposition as the National Party is governing) has had a 'think-tank' on 'the future of work'.

The full report is now available, with the contentious 'universal basic income' given a small bit of space. The BBC provides a global viewpoint on the UBI and there will no doubt be more debate on this issue into the future.

Back to the report. The main rationale of the report is the forecasted changing nature of work, In particular, how technology will change the demographics, objectives, content of work. In NZ, prediction is for 45% of current jobs to be shifted by technology in the next 10 - 15 years through 'computerisation' aka as automation, globalisation and collaboration. The main risk to NZ is growing inequality between people who have the 'right' skills to shift with the times and people who are unable to re-train, up-skill etc. to move into the 'new economy'.

The recommendations are tempered by the Labour Party's 'social responsibility' mandate and it will be interesting to find out the National party stance on the issue. This year being election year in NZ, there will be opportunity to gauge each party's vision and strategy for the future of work.

There are 19 recommendations on education and training including important initiatives at the school level to improve careers advise at the secondary school level, introduce 3 years of free post-school education and training and create gateways back into education for older Nzers.

Security of work and income garners 19 recommendation including the support of 'self-employment, investigation of alternative income support models and providing training and support for workers who lose their jobs due to technological change.

There are recommendations specific to equity for Maori and Pasifika as NZ demographics indicate increase in population to come from this sector.

Specific recommendations are proposed for working with the impacts and opportunities for technology and balancing economic development with sustainability.

Many recommendations have been brewing for sometime through the public sector in NZ. As both National and Labour are basically centrist - National is centre right (slightly) and Labour is centre left (more pronounced), I would think that many of the initiatives in this report, will, at some time in the new future, become policy. Which ones will depend on the party governing after the elections later this year.

1 comment:

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