Some of New Zealand's biggest companies have promised to double the amount of time and money they spend on re-skilling and training by 2025.

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has also tasked the State Services Commission with looking into which Government departments can do the same.

The move is the first recommendation from a new report which looks at how to make New Zealand's workforce more skilled and productive.

The Prime Minister's Business Advisory Council (BAC), which is made up of large New Zealand companies such as Fonterra, Foodstuffs, Bunnings and Auckland International Airport, has given the plan its seal of approval.


Ardern said re-skilling and training will be critical for employees as they prepare for the "rapidly changing future of work".

"A key pillar of this Coalition Government's economic plan is to reform skills and trade training to address long-term labour shortages and productivity gaps in the economy, to make sure we are prepared for ongoing automation and the future of work," she said.

Although she said the Government had already launched some initiatives to bolster the training of employees, Ardern said the private sector needed to get involved too.

She added that today's move would make sure New Zealand's workforce was "fit for the 21st century".

The membership of Ardern's BAC was announced in December last year.

The group advises the Government in a bid to help it produce a "productive, sustainable and inclusive economy that improves the wellbeing of New Zealanders", says Ardern.