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Children As Future Workers To Launch PeoplePower

A group of small children (aged 6 -9) of many different shapes, sizes, abilities and ethnic backgrounds will be dressed as the future workforce to launch PeoplePower – Successful diversity at work.

The project is designed to get employers thinking about the changing workforce - and that they need to look at employing a wider variety of people if they are to stay ahead of skill shortages and remain competitive.

With skill shortages biting, unemployment at record lows and major changes to the workforce meaning that good people are getting ever harder to attract and keep, no business can afford to be complacent about their recruitment. To stay competitive, they need to think about better using talent pools they may have overlooked in the past. PeoplePower, a booklet and web-based resource, features case studies from New Zealand businesses that have found the benefits of employing a diverse workforce. “Employing a wider range of people – older workers, different ethnic groups, migrants, long term unemployed people for example – is good for the bottom line”, says Secretary of Labour James Buwalda.

“That came through very clearly again and again from the companies we talked to. Widening your talent pool tends to make your business more competitive and successful.”

Quite apart from the hard-nosed business benefits, diversity is more fun. Employers who do embrace diversity find this is reflected in a more colourful, lively and enjoyable workplace, he says.

Almost 60 businesses were interviewed for the project, and their case studies will be available on the website of the EEO Trust, a partner in the PeoplePower project. The Department of Labour has coordinated the information in the booklet, but essentially this is about businesses being able to learn from other successful businesses, Dr Buwalda says.

What: Launch of PeoplePower – Successful Diversity at Work Booklet and Website. Photo opportunity with children dressed as workforce of the future. When and where: August 26 11.30am, West Lounge, Westpac Stadium, Wellington. Who: speakers will be the Hon Paul Swain, Minister of Labour; Michael Barnett, Chair of the EEO Trust, and Rod Giles, CE of Contract Warehousing, Auckland.

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