The long-term outlook for New Zealand highlights two urgent challenges that need to be addressed: the growing digital skills gap in the workforce and the increasing impacts of natural disasters, which are becoming more frequent and severe. By tackling these challenges, New Zealand can enhance its future preparedness, reduce its vulnerability to economic and environmental shocks, and ultimately strengthen its ability to bounce back if and when the occasion arises.
Addressing the digital skills gap is crucial, as currently 40% of New Zealand’s workforce requires upskilling to effectively utilize modern productivity tools. Moreover, 60% of businesses have missed out on new revenue opportunities due to a shortage of digital talent. Our research reveals that digital technologies have the potential to improve productivity in the country by over $8.4 billion in Gross Domestic Product (GDP) in 2030.
Scaled solutions are required when combatting natural disaster impacts. New Zealand sees an average of $790 million in damages caused by environmental catastrophes each year. Through the strategic use of digital technologies to support disaster preparedness, resilience, and response, our research indicates that property damages in the range of $1.3 billion to $9.8 billion in 2030 could be prevented.
Google is contributing to addressing these societal challenges, both within New Zealand and globally. Through its tools and initiatives, Google is bridging the digital skills gap and aiding in disaster response efforts. For instance, initiatives like the Google Career Certificates provide upskilling opportunities for citizens, while tools such as the Google Flood Hub enable governments to better anticipate and respond to natural disasters.
Additionally, Google tools help foster economic resilience in New Zealand. In 2022, Google supported $16.5 billion in economic benefits for businesses and households in the country. Of this, $10.9 billion was derived by local companies, while the remaining $5.6 billion accrued to New Zealand households. Furthermore, Google’s tools supported more than 39,600 jobs in the local economy.
Please read the full report to find out more.