Jobs for the Future report

Delivering on the Premier’s number one priority of creating jobs, Jobs for NSW manages a four-year $190 million fund to support the expansion and growth of NSW businesses on a competitive basis.

The Jobs for the Future report shaped our strategy and provided four long‑term priorities for job creation over the next 20 years and an agile agenda for action through to 2020.

Download the full Jobs for the Future report or read highlights in the Jobs for the Future summary brochure.

We are well placed for the future

Jobs are essential for a stable, prosperous and sustainable society. The NSW economy is delivering the jobs and income we need to invest in our families and communities. Now, while our economy and jobs growth are strong, we are preparing for the future.

That’s a future with jobs and industries we know, and those we cannot yet imagine. Preparing for that future is in our hands, as individuals and as a community.

Since 1996, average wages have risen about 20% faster than inflation. Job numbers have risen at a rate 30% faster than our working-age population, with growth across the State and all demographics. There are now 3.71 million people in paid work.

Our aspiration is simple

1 million more jobs by 2036

So how will we get there?

Our Jobs for the Future report has four clear strategies:

  • growing exports
  • open doors for entrepreneurs
  • draw on all of our people
  • skill up for the knowledge economy.

Two strategies to create more jobs, and two to prepare our people for them – on top of a strong budget and economy without which no other measures are possible.

Growing exportsImage of graph NSW industry sector share of growth

Our domestic sectors are already growing lots of jobs in NSW, and will create more with our current plans. We now want to focus on the many sectors with great potential to trade globally and create jobs locally. Having 40% of our jobs in those sectors, up from 29% now, would boost jobs, income and productivity.

These sectors are growing fastest in geographic hotspots across NSW which host 12% of jobs but drive 26% of jobs growth. We want to support those proven hotspots, and test new supportive policies. We are considering three pilot areas: the White Bay Glebe Island innovation district; one near the second airport in western Sydney; and one in regional NSW.

Open doors for entrepreneursImage of graph NSW high growth gazelles share of all firms

Over the past six years, high-growth small and medium enterprises that make up just six per cent of NSW firms created over one million new jobs, more than offsetting jobs that larger firms shed. The fastest-growing of these firms are known as ‘gazelles’.

We can do many things to drive job-creation in these smaller firms. More mentoring, networks and shared workspaces will support innovation and success. New funding sources are needed, as we currently invest less in new businesses than do other comparable countries. And government can signal support with appropriate financial incentives and less red tape.

Draw on more of our peopleImage of graph for greater participation of people in NSW

People are living longer and are looking to work longer, if in different ways. And if they retire at 65, we all lose a vast reservoir of experience and talent. The same can be said when women with children don’t have the right opportunities for paid work.

Prepare knowledge-intensive skills

With a generation growing up with a digital powerhouse in their pocket, technology will only spread faster and further. We need to learn what digital technology can do, but to be better at the things machines cannot do – the human skills of communication, problem-solving, creativity, entrepreneurial skills, team work, intercultural skills and the like.

Image of graph NSW knowledge intensive skills

We’re aiming to have at least 61% of our people ready for the knowledge-intensive jobs that demand those skills, up from 48% now. For that to happen, we need to teach both specialist and people skills at the same time, both in our schools and in our vocational education and training system.

For these two groups, there are sizeable gaps between NSW participation rates and the world’s highest. We want to halve those gaps. We also want more regional youth in work as well as a more diverse and inclusive workforce for all. So we’ll work to remove the barriers that keep people from paid work. And we’ll make NSW an ever more attractive place for people who want to work and live.