Government, business and unions are joining together to help prepare for the rapid changes ahead to the way we work, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern announced today.
Delivering her pre-Budget address to a Business New Zealand lunch, the PM said the Government, Business New Zealand and Council of Trade Unions had agreed to work together to prepare for future challenges in the workplace.
“This Government is keen to future-proof our economy, to have both budget sustainability and environmental sustainability, to prepare people for climate change and the fact that 40 per cent of today’s jobs will not exist in a few decades.
“If we are to stay ahead of the curve, if we are to develop a robust plan that future proofs the economy, we have to work together. We can’t do this alone.
“We said at the time of the Future of Work Commission report that a key principle was collaboration with stakeholders.
“That is why I’m very pleased to announce today that we are establishing a tripartite Future Work Forum – bringing together the three key partners in the economy – the Government, Business New Zealand and the Council of Trade Unions.
“I have asked Finance Minister Grant Robertson to lead this work with Business NZ CEO Kirk Hope and CTU president Richard Wagstaff.”
The forum will examine key challenges facing the economy including technological change and the transition to a low carbon economy.
“This forum will help us shape the policies we will need so workers and businesses can be equipped to adapt to the rapidly changing nature of work.
“We know the challenge is coming, we need to be ready and together I am hoping we can work through these issues. And most importantly avoid the mistakes of the past where economic shocks damaged communities up and down New Zealand.”
The Prime Minister also outlined key objectives for Budget 2018.
“We are a positive and stable government that knows that fixing long term problems requires fresh thinking and energy.
“You will see a clear plan to build a robust, more resilient economy. You will see a strong focus on delivering economic growth, on running sustainable surpluses and reducing net debt as a proportion of GDP.
“We know we have to live within our means and we will.
“At the same time, we want to lift productivity, education, research and development, and address skill shortages. This will involve increases in both public investment as well as incentives for business.
“You will see a clear commitment to investing in the critical services we rely on and addressing areas of neglect. This Government will make targeted investments to address our social and infrastructure deficits,” she said.