Labour is expected to outline a package of support to retrain workers who lose their jobs because of changing technology at its party conference today.

Labour's finance spokesman Grant Robertson is set to make announcement as he releases the final report of the"'Future of Work" project at the conference in Auckland.

It is expected to relate to provide funding to retrain every worker who loses a job due to changing technology.

It will be in addition to Labour's previously announced policy of three years free tertiary education for school leavers and those who have not previously done a tertiary level course. That was estimated to cost $265 million in its first year, rising to $1.2 billion a year once fully implemented.


Robertson would not confirm details of the new proposal but said it was clear workers had to be supported through change.

"It's clear with the level of disruption being caused by technological change we need to make sure that workers whose jobs are either fundamentally changed or lost are supported to retrain."

It is likely Labour will also expect business to contribute to any such scheme.

The party has also shelved any immediate prospect of forging ahead with a controversial proposal for a universal living allowance.

That was put up as a proposal earlier in the Future of Work, but Robertson confirmed Labour would not go ahead with it - yet.

He said Labour would watch how pilots of the universal living allowance worked out in Finland and the Netherlands "but we are not proposing the UBI be part of policy at this election".

"Future of Work" was a two year project led by Robertson which included business, unions and other professional sectors. It looked at the impact technology was having on the workforce as well as changes such as the increase in self-employment and contractors.

It will set out a raft of recommendations - from big to small - such as providing drivers' licensing training to secondary school students.


Labour leader Andrew Little will deliver his keynote speech tomorrow and is also expected to announce a jobs policy.

Vast tracts of the party's conference are again being held behind closed doors, including debate on policy remits which had been open to media until the controversy that surrounded the party's vote to change its leadership election rules until 2012.

That year was dominated by former leader David Cunliffe's refusal to rule out mounting a leadership challenge against David Shearer under a new rule allowing only 40 per cent of caucus to pass a no-confidence motion following an election.