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Time to invest in training - union

Time to invest in training - union

Workers might be able to use a growing labour shortage to get more money out of their bosses – but they’d rather see their employers investing in training, says the country’s largest union.

EPMU national secretary Andrew Little said that warnings to employers that they could be facing strong action in coming wage rounds highlighted the pitfalls of allowing the free market to dominate the labour market.

BNZ economist Craig Ebert is today predicting that workers’ earnings may grow as they find that a skills shortage gives them more power in wage bargaining.

Mr Little said that while workers were entitled to expect a fair return for their labour, they were also concerned about the long-term viability of their jobs and industries.

“The real cost that employers are facing is the long-term provision of workplace training and skills acquisition,” he said.

“It might be easy for us to get some short-term gain out of the current labour shortage, but what we really want is a sustainable labour market where workers can develop their skills and plan for a long and productive working life. That’s what’s good for the workforce, the economy and the country.”

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