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Improving productivity the key

22 June 2006

Improving productivity key to brighter economic future

Improving productivity is a key to economic transformation, and will be a primary focus of the Labour portfolio and the Department of Labour this financial year, Labour Minister Ruth Dyson told the Transport and Industrial Relations select committee select committee today.

“Productivity has been identified by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) as the basis for improvements in real incomes and welfare. This means that when productivity improves, everyone benefits,” Ruth Dyson said.

Over the past year, the Workplace Productivity Project – a joint initiative between government, business and unions – has developed a range of resources and tools to help workplaces identify and put in place the changes they need to improve their productivity, including the Workplace Productivity Kit.

"When I visited the International Labour Organisation in Geneva recently, the officials there said if they are asked for advice on how to increase workplace productivity they tell people to go to the New Zealand Department of Labour website to look at the kit."

“New Zealand has averaged about 4 per cent economic growth in recent years, through increasing our labour force participation – now we need to increase the value of work produced every hour,” Ruth Dyson said.

“Productivity is not about people working longer hours; it’s about innovating, it’s about interesting and satisfying jobs, and it’s about working together.

“The need for productivity improvements are not just a focus for government. Business and union representatives see this as an issue of national importance and a shared initiative.”

The government will continue to work closely with business and union networks, including umbrella groups Business New Zealand and the Council of Trade Unions, to further develop the Workplace Productivity Project.

ENDS

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