Future of Work Conference: a youth perspective


As part of the Labour Party’s Future of Work Commission , created to look at future prospects, possibilities and risks for workers and employers, a conference was held in Auckland in March.

Asher and Heather from Stand Up speak at the Future of Work conference

Asher and Heather from Stand Up speak at the Future of Work conference

Auckland regional convenor Onewhero West attended on behalf of PSAY Youth, joining other unionists, businesspeople, lobbyists, academics and politicians for the two day conference.

While most speakers talked about young workers, unfortunately not that many of the speakers were themselves young. PSA national secretary Erin Polaczuk spoke to the audience about the importance of equal pay and the PSA's Worth 100% campaign, while Asher Wilson-Goldman and Heather Warren from Stand Up, the cross-union youth network, spoke about flexible work and the importance of security of income to young workers.

The conference had several speakers talking about the wonders of flexibility and how people in the future would have new jobs every year or two, rather than stable careers. The Stand Up speakers noted that this is already the case for young workers, and it isn’t something positive. Asher told the audience that “for young workers today, flexible work usually means the bosses flexibility” and that ultimately it is an issue of power.