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Economic diversification for just transition underway

Economic diversification for just transition underway; workforce support needed too

Thursday’s budget shows that the economic diversification needed for a just transition for workers affected by climate change is under way, and the next step is a scaled up worker adjustment package, the CTU said today.

"Climate change is bringing undeniable changes to our society, economy and to the workforce. Workers deserve a clear plan for their jobs and livelihoods," CTU secretary Sam Huggard said.

"Economic diversification is well under way with the combined weight of the Provincial Growth Fund, which has an express mandate to contribute to a just transition to a low carbon economy, and the Green Investment Fund, which recognises the increasing divestment away from fossil fuel industries by facilating alternatives."

"But a just transition is also about supporting workers through change, and not leaving to chance that there is a comprehensive plan in place to transition the workforce."

"We will work with government and employers, through initiatives like the Future of Work forum and the tripartite work MBIE will facilitate in respect of oil and gas, to significantly scale up a labour adjustment package that supports workers in transition into new decent and secure jobs."

"A transition plan needs to include job placement and career planning, retraining - in particular when this can undertaken whilst still being employed, formal recognition of prior learning, financial support to minimise income loss, and travel subsidies and relocation assistance."

"We need to respect the contribution that people working in New Zealand’s fossil-fuel industries have made to developing the goods, services and modern way of life we rely on today. How we demonstrate this respect is by ensuring workers have a full transition plan that maps the move to new secure, well-paying jobs, recognises existing skills and supports retraining, and provides financial support to protect people’s quality of life," Sam Huggard said.

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