Federal Labor has criticised Generation One, saying the Indigenous job creation program it has yielded disappointing results.
Craig Quartermaine

19 Aug 2015 - 10:19 AM  UPDATED 19 Aug 2015 - 10:56 AM

The Federal Opposition says the Generation One Indigenous job creation program hasn’t worked with poor retention rates of trainees.

Labor's Indigenous Affairs Spokesman Shayne Neumann says the program, founded by mining magnate and billionaire Andrew Forrest, "should be looked at and closely monitored."

"If they are achieving 70 percent I hope it's even better than that when they complete it," Mr Neumann said.

"But they've only got … just over 2,300 people who are currently being trained or are in employment. And they promised 5,000, so we hope they can achieve the 5,000."

A $70 million investment into VTEC training centres was seen as a major coup for maintaining permanent employment for Indigenous people. But according to Labor, only 471 of the more then 2,700 participants finished the 26-week program.

Matt O'Sullivan, GenerationOne’s Vocational Training and Employment Manager, responded that Mr Nuemann has misread the figures. 

"Unfortunately Mr Nuemann didn’t have all the facts I think at the time that he made that comment," Mr O'Sullivan said.

“Over 80 percent of people that have commenced employment are still employed"

“Over 80 percent of people that have commenced employment are still employed.

"His figure unfortunately overlooks the fact that the Indigenous figures shows that 649 people have been retained to 26 weeks, there’s a further 1,381 addition people that have commenced employment and are currently on their way to reaching 26 weeks of employment."

Mr O'Sullivan says VTEC is well on its way to achieving 70 percent retention of employment for their trainees.