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Casual and contractor employment predicted to rise

21 November 2017

Casual and contractor employment predicted to rise

A substantial proportion of New Zealand business leaders expect casual and contractor employment to increase over the next ten years.

A new report, The Future of Talent, from Chartered Accountants Australia and New Zealand (CA ANZ), reveals employers are considering different ways in which workers might be employed across their lifetime.

Over 400 New Zealand business leaders took part in a survey answering questions on the skills needed for their business’ future success, skill shortages, how to attract and retain staff and the role of education.

Asked what they thought might happen to the traditional linear career path for their organisation within the next ten years, 40 percent said they believe there would be an increase in casual/contractor employment.

“This doesn’t mean the end of the traditional full-time job, it’s about how business are looking to find different ways to utilise workers across their lifetime,” said Geraldine Magarey, Leader of Policy and Thought Leadership at CA ANZ.

“There is also a need to ensure vulnerable workers are protected from unscrupulous employers.

“It’s a great sign for older workers who would prefer part-time retirement, students with study commitments and new parents who don’t yet want to go back to a full-time job.

“The challenge is to strike the right balance with employment regulation, to allow the widest variety of working patterns, including casual, contracting, part-time and project-based or seasonal work.

“Flexibility must still provide decent work and remuneration.”

The Future of Talent paper, launched in New Zealand tonight (21 Nov), also asked business leaders to identify the attributes they see as very important for the future.

Communication skills ranked first with 90 percent of the vote; problem solving ranked second, while adaptability and agility ranked third.
Magarey said the results showed that despite advancements in technology, business leaders see human skills as being more important than ever.

“Communication skills, collaboration and problem-solving are essential human skills, which are extremely difficult to replicate with technology.”

“It’s clear that business leaders believe a human touch is crucial as we increasingly see technological advancements influence the workplace.

“These attributes which rely on well-developed emotional intelligence are needed to make sense of global megatrends and navigate through rapidly changing times.”

The paper surveyed leaders from all sectors including agriculture, manufacturing, construction, hospitality, logistics, IT, professional services, accounting, finance and healthcare.

The top ten skills ranked by businesses leaders as very important for the future:
• Communication Skills
• Problem Solving
• Adaptability and Agility
• Collaboration
• Build Relationships Quickly
• Resilience
• Creativity and Innovation
• Make Good Decisions with Incomplete Information
• Leadership
• Displaying Empathy

“At the heart of every future workplace is the need to be agile and adaptable. That’s not only crucial for workers – but it’s crucial for workplaces too,” Magarey said.

“Businesses need to be flexible in relation to hours, locations and where employees can work. These initiatives help to increase the talent pool and the employees they can attract.

“As our paper outlines, most businesses have the skills they need for the operations now. But from their responses, it’s clear they are not confident about the future.”

The paper can be read here


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