Like the rest of the world, New Zealand relies on many natural resources which are limited or sensitive. Within the Workforce 2020 programme, we are considering how long term changes in natural resources will impact New Zealands labour market in 2020 and beyond.
Oil and water are examples of natural resources on which we rely. The depletion of cheap oil resources and the expansion of renewable sources of energy, presents future challenges and opportunities for our workforce and industry.
Similarly, the supply and management of water resources in New Zealand will have the same impacts. Even though New Zealand has plenty of water, demand is increasing, and occasional droughts or inadequate supply of clean water puts pressure on certain industries and regions. A more careful approach to managing our water resources could bring new opportunities both from an employment and a skills perspective.
Another significant resource pressure?is climate change. New Zealands long-term economic viability is linked to a changing climate. In addition to reducing greenhouse gas emissions, responding to climate change also includes adapting to rising sea levels, changing rainfall and temperature patterns, and variable growing seasons.
From a labour market perspective, efforts to mitigate and adapt to climate change are likely to impact on the level and type of employment and skills. Climate change will drive sectoral shifts, technological change and new migration patterns, which will bring both challenges and opportunities to New Zealands workforce and workplaces.
Workforce 2020 explores resource pressure issues from a labour market perspective. We are developing an evidence base about the future skills needs within New Zealand. This is important because productivity gains and economic opportunities will only be realised by having a workforce with the right mix of skills to support new business trends.
For more information on climate change, check these websites:
- New Zealand’s climate change solutions website
- Ministry for the Environment web pages on climate change
For links between climate change and the labour market, check these recent international reports:
- Green jobs: towards sustainable work in a low carbon world [PDF, 209 Pages, 2.18MB, External Link]
- Eco-industry: its size, employment, perspectives and barriers to growth in an enlarged EU
- Growing the Green Collar Economy: skills and labour challenges in reducing our greenhouse emissions and national environmental footprint