The Learning Cafe

CEO Musings – The future of work

  • Posted by Luke Sumich
  • On November 21, 2019

It was fantastic to spend some time this morning with some other New Zealand businesses where Prime Minister Ardern was discussing the future of work and our people.  Whatever your political preferences are, I think we could all agree as Kiwi’s, that a focus on the holistic wellbeing of people is a good thing.

In discussing the challenges regarding the future of work, the Prime Minister made specific reference to one initiative – that being the Government’s increased investment in the workplace literacy fund.  If you’re not aware of it, it’s a fund that’s available to employers to help improve the workplace capability of frontline staff, in order to improve productivity and ensure our workforce have the skills required for the future of work.    The intention of the increased fund is to provide more opportunities for more employers, to develop the skills of their workforce without the barrier of a financial investment.    

It still requires an investment of ‘time’ from employers, which I know can be a massive challenge but with the clients we work with, it’s doable.  And valuable. 

The workplace literacy fund itself is not new – it was in play with the National government but with a lower level of funding.  According to the latest research there are still over 1 million people in our country (40% of the workforce) that this funding could help. That’s 1 million people whose workplace skills could be improved. What could that do to our productivity?  So when the Business Advisory Council findings on the Future of Work calls for Organisations to double their investment in learning and development, this funding seems like our government leading the way, seems like an opportunity served on a platter, a no brainer if you will.  But that’s from my seat.  I’m keen to understand if you see it differently – do you see other barriers?