This document explores the future of work in New Zealand using the Human Capability Framework as a base. It has been produced to inform public debate on future trends affecting the labour market, and to stimulate informed policy discussion.
The project highlights the following significant trends:
- The years to 2010 will involve similar influences to the last ten years with globalisation, technology, demographic, social, workplace and workforce trends continuing. This decade will, however, provide New Zealand with an opportunity to build a strong base for the years 2010 onwards, a period in which demographic changes are likely to be even more pronounced in New Zealand.
- There are widely divergent forecasts about the future of work. Some predict that work in its current form will disappear, others predict a change in its nature consistent with communication and technological change. In the absence of major global events, change will occur over time rather than as a radical change.
- Globalisation has changed the face of New Zealand, and will continue to do so impacting on most areas of life.
- New Zealand has become increasingly integrated into the world economy, and domestic growth (both social and economic) increasingly depends on social and economic growth elsewhere.
- There is increasing risk that there will be pockets of New Zealanders who, for many reasons, are unable to directly share in the wealth generated in the labour market. Inequality may increase.
- Maintaining competitiveness, and economic growth, while reducing social exclusion;
- Increasing education and skill levels and participation in work, especially for those not currently participating;
- Continually adapting and moving with changes in resources and types of work;
- Making sure we have the policies in central government, local government, and in the private sector that allow an efficient and equitable labour market; and
- Reducing inequality in labour market outcomes.