Good jobs & worker mobility – Close to home

Getting to work is a major issue throughout the country and some regions are prioritising driver licensing as a way of reducing a barrier to employment.

A woman driver in a hijab looks through an open car window.

Photo: Sara Orme

The lack of a driver’s licence can be a barrier to obtaining work within Tāmaki Makaurau, but Auckland Council and Auckland Transport are also trying to reduce reliance on private vehicles for regular commutes.

Auckland Council, within whose boundaries the Tāmaki Makaurau RSLG sits, has also adopted Te Tāruke-ā-Tāwhiri: Auckland's Climate Plan ,which seeks to reduce carbon emissions across all activity in the city. Tāmaki Makaurau is a large city with many workplaces and education establishments separated by long distances from homes. Any regional workforce development plan must address the long commute time and distances and the lack of adequate public transport between many residential, commercial and industrial areas. One practical programme that could be trialled is reducing the distance between home and work.

This would have a multitude of benefits, including reducing travel time and travel costs as well as reducing CO2 omissions. This is not a simple change as changing an employer or shifting house is a major undertaking. However, for example, many retail workers pass at least one shop of the chain that they work for between their home and work. Also, COVID-19 has seen many people working from home and a lot of these arrangements are continuing.

Workforce mobility actions

  • The RSLG supports working with stakeholders to trial an initial “Close to Home” programme to inform future actions that could be taken to address the climate, time and cost implications of long commutes for workers within Tāmaki Makaurau.