The Productivity Commission called for submissions on the Technological change and the future of work draft report series (the reports).
For completeness, this submission is supported by our earlier submission to the preceding Discussion Document also released by the Productivity Commission.
Key points from our submission include:
- CA ANZ supports the objectives of this inquiry and the draft reports. Disruptive technological change is creating both opportunities and risks for New Zealand workers, businesses and the economy as a whole, and the country must be well prepared for the level and volume of change that lies ahead.
- New Zealanders are generally enthusiastic technology adopters - unsurprising given the country's geographical distance from major population centres; our openness to globalisation, ideas and trends; and our awareness of the critical need to be connected with the world. Nevertheless, many New Zealanders (both workers and business owners) remain uncertain about both technology itself and about what successful adoption of that technology looks like. In our view there is a need for more Government engagement and leadership in driving the adoption of technology and in responding to the exponential changes to the world of work that lie ahead of us.
- We support the Government's desire to ensure the education and skills-training sector is fit for the future. This must include providing appropriate support for both retraining workers disrupted by technology, and implementing policy settings that enable the acquisition of adaptable skills and foster life-long learning. This policy shift is particularly crucial given that traditional '9 to 5' life-long employment is increasingly being replaced by flexible (and often remote) portfolio careers. Policy agility is critical.
- The Government must establish an appropriate policy framework to encourage business innovation. This framework must encourage collaboration between the Government, education providers, employers and workers that delivers best practice technology adoption. In our view, in the absence of the Government acting as a leader of technology adoption and a champion of agile policy responses, New Zealanders' adoption of, and openness to, technology and the new world of work will continue to lag behind the experience in comparable economies.