A government-funded jobs program has hit back at media reports of poor performance, despite claims the $190 million in funding has generated just 413 jobs.
The Daily Telegraph published the explosive claims about the well-funded Jobs for NSW program, an initiative of the NSW government.
At that price, each job delivered would have cost just over $460,000 to create. That compares to the current annual minimum wage of $36,134.80 (pre-tax).
However, in a statement issued by the NSW Department of Industry, Jobs for NSW CEO Geoff White and chair David Thodey hit back at the claims, which they labelled as “misleading” and not indicative of the longer term growth target.
“Our investments through Jobs for NSW were never intended to be short-term sugar hits – they will take a few years to realise fully their job creation targets,” Mr Thodey, the former Telstra CEO, said.
“Instead of using the $190 million to hand over cash in the form of one-off grants, the board and team at Jobs for NSW have developed innovative products, services and investments that support start-ups and companies to create jobs over the long term.”
Among these investments, Mr Thodey noted, are the Sydney Startup Hub – billed as Australia’s largest single start-up location, loan products for growing businesses, new industry precincts and the creation of a direct equity investment scheme.
According to the statement, the NSW government set a target for the creation of 150,000 new jobs by 2019, with the Bureau of Statistics reporting the addition of 246,000 jobs were added to the state’s economy between April 2015 and January 2018.
However, many of these jobs are likely to have come from the residential property construction boom which gripped Sydney and the state over that time.
Analysis revealed earlier this year found the property sector had become NSW’s biggest employer, generating more than half of the state’s total tax revenue.
Jobs for NSW is forecast to directly create, or support the creation, of less than 20,000 jobs by the 2022 financial year.
From the $190 million funding, that equates to more than $9,500 for every job created – still roughly three months’ salary at minimum wage level.