Let’s talk for a moment about the future.
Why do we need to be future ready? What does that even mean? Why is it so important to start planning ahead?
As a starting point, Auckland’s relatively youthful and highly skilled population is forecast to increase from its current 1.65m, to almost 2.5 million residents by 2048. The working age population will increase by over 65 per cent (to 1.96m people) over this period.
This population growth will result from a natural increase in Auckland’s Pasifika and Māori populations, which are concentrated in south and west Auckland, and from continued immigration in response to skills shortages and inward investment opportunities.
Auckland’s people will continue to be its greatest asset. Continuing to develop and invest in Auckland’s future workforce is a clear priority for inclusive economic prosperity. The city needs to prepare for a high technology-uptake future to ensure productivity.
Productivity leads to prosperity
Every four per cent productivity increase from technology adoption can deliver an additional $2.7bn in regional GDP, and for every new tech role, four new roles will be created in the city. All Auckland businesses and industries will need to adopt technology and will require more tech-savvy skills and workforces as they seek to gain the productivity benefits possible with technology.
Strong employment growth is forecast in technology-led sectors such as financial services, security payments, data and analytics, and in digital creative and design. While these and other export sectors have traditionally adopted new technology more quickly, Auckland can also derive productivity benefits from technology adoption in the domestic sectors forecast to experience the largest employment growth – namely construction, education and health.
Auckland’s future prosperity will be determined by the speed and extent to which businesses and workers prepare for and adapt to emerging technologies. A failure to respond to these opportunities and to ensure that workers have the skills that they need will have negative impacts on productivity and inclusion.
The extent to which Auckland is prepared for and able to manage the forecast growth and technological change will be measured in terms of its ability to sustain inclusive economic prosperity, and a high-quality natural environment, while responding to the infrastructure needs of the growing city.