The Department of Labour's Future of Work Programme


  • David Grimmond Department of Labour
  • Jonathan Guest Department of Labour



This paper introduces the recently-launched Future of Work programme, led by the Department of Labour. The programme will provide information to New Zealanders on future trends in work both globally and in New Zealand, and their implications for the workplace, the workforce and employment opportunities. The paper outlines the objectives of the programme, our major activities (including the Future of Work website and our research fond), and key research themes for the programme to investigate. We also discuss research projects we have undertaken or are contemplating. The programme's research activities fall under the following broad themes:

  • The changing economy: Technology and globalisation change what we produce and how we produce it.
  • The changing workplace: New employment relationships change the ways in which work is done.
  • The changing workforce: The ageing of the population, international migration, and growing ethnic diversity are influencing the make-up of the workforce.
  • Work-life balance: Reconciling commitments to work, family, and personal enrichment promises to be one of the most challenging issues for tomorrow's workers.
  • Skills, education and training: The possession of the right skills has becoming increasingly important to successful participation in the labour market.


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Author Biographies

David Grimmond, Department of Labour

Labour Market Policy Group

Jonathan Guest, Department of Labour

Labour Market Policy Group