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Preparing for a future ready Auckland

The best minds on the future of work are set to come together with Auckland employers, industry, education providers and youth, for a lively and interactive day at the Future Ready Summit 2019.

Held every two years, the Future Ready Summit examines current and future workforce trends, so Auckland businesses and people can become future ready in the face of technological disruption, changing skills needs and new ways of working.

Hosted by renowned futurist Dave Wild, who believes the best way to predict the future is to be the ones creating it, this year’s summit is fully subscribed.

Nearly 300 people are registered to gain practical advice from the insights and experiences of leading experts, case studies and panel discussions.

The stellar line-up of speakers includes Sarah Hindle, General Manager, Tech Futures Lab and expert on how to develop human potential in the digital economy; Justin Durocher, Robotics Process Lead and Continuous Improvement Analyst at Auckland Council, who will share learnings from the organisation’s automation journey; and Nick Mackeson-Smith, Learning Enablement Lead at Spark New Zealand, who proposes training is dead and that to succeed in the future of work era we must embrace life-long learning.

Along with providing a place for businesses, industry and education providers to connect and share learnings, this year’s summit involves Auckland’s youth, creating a conversation between employers and the workforce of tomorrow, and empowering the next generation of leaders.

Auckland’s future workforce will be represented by young people, who will share their workplace stories and vision for the future of work.

Pam Ford, General Manager of Economic Development at Auckland Tourism, Events and Economic Development (ATEED), which developed and will host the Future Ready Summit, says the future of work is a hot topic around the world but it needs to be examined and planned for at a local level.

“Auckland’s workforce is ageing, with longer life expectancy and better health care creating opportunities for older people to engage in work.

“At the same time, Auckland’s rapidly growing population is young and diverse, with nearly 40 per cent born overseas and young Māori and Pacific people representing over a third of Aucklanders aged under 24 years.

“This mix is unique to Auckland, so when considering how to best prepare a city for the future, it’s not a case of applying a one-size-fits-all approach.”

This year’s summit will offer additional insights with the release of research findings on Auckland’s future skills needs and an associated insight paper, Future Ready Auckland: Driving economic development through technology and transformation.

“As Auckland’s economic development agency, ATEED’s goal is to ensure quality jobs for all Aucklanders,” says Pam Ford.

“When our initial work estimated that more than 270,000 jobs in Auckland will be changed by automation, we set out to better understand the region’s future skills needs and how technology will change workforce skills and requirements,” says Pam Ford.

The research revealed that while Auckland’s employers and industry are enthusiastic about the opportunities that emerging technologies create, many are not adopting available technology due to insufficient capability to scope, procure and implement new technology; limited understanding from organisational leaders and governance; and budget constraints associated with the scale of investment required.

Pam Ford says, “The research findings are somewhat concerning because it’s vital Auckland businesses understand the future is happening now.

“The benefit of the Future Ready Summit is that it provides a forum to foster connections between those already preparing their workplaces and workforces for the future and those that are just starting out and seeking guidance on their future ready journey.”

While the summit and research are specific to Auckland, Pam Ford says understanding the region’s future readiness has wider benefits.

“As New Zealand’s largest city, both in terms of population and size of the economy, Auckland’s economic performance has a significant impact on the economic success of the nation.

“Our region’s future prosperity, and ultimately New Zealand’s, will be determined by how Auckland prepares for and adapts to technological transformation and workforce changes.”

The Future Ready Summit will take place from 8:00am to 4:45pm on Wednesday, 26 June 2019 at the Vodafone Events Centre Manukau, Auckland. Additional information on summit, programme and speakers can be found at futurereadysummit.co.nz.

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