Boost for employee skills and training

Doubling the time spent on employee training and reskilling will help both the staff and the organisations they work for prepare for the rapidly changing future of work.

That’s the aim of the Aotearoa New Zealand Skills Pledge launched today by the Prime Minister and her Business Advisory Council (BAC). It commits signatories to doubling investment in re-skilling and training hours by 2025, and to report annually on progress.

“A key pillar of this Coalition Government’s economic plan is to reform skills and trade training to address long-term labour shortages and productivity gaps in the economy, to make sure we are prepared for ongoing automation and the future of work,” Prime Minster Jacinda Ardern said.

“We are doing what we can to support business to train and retrain staff through programmes like Mana in Mahi and our Fees Free policy for post-secondary education.

“But achieving this is not possible in isolation so I am extremely grateful for the time and expertise of the BAC members. By working together we can build a productive, sustainable economy that works for everyone and is fit for the 21st Century,” she said.

Most BAC companies have agreed to sign the pledge as have some of the country’s largest employers including Fonterra, Foodstuffs, Bunnings and Auckland International Airport.

The Prime Minister has also asked State Services Commission to see which Government departments are best placed to sign up.

“The report is unique in that you can see automation’s impacts from a task, job, sector and region perspective which is invaluable knowledge for policy makers and businesses,” BAC chair Air New Zealand chief executive Christopher Luxon said.

The Pledge is the first recommendation from the A Future that Works: Harnessing Automation for a More Productive and Skilled New Zealand report, also released today, developed by BAC and consulting firm McKinsey & Company.

Many of the other recommendations are relevant to Government work already under way.

Organisations can sign up to the Aotearoa New Zealand Skills Pledge and download the BAC report at www.pmbac.co.nz.