Examples of our recent workforce development projects include:
A competitive workforce is crucial to enabling an economy to develop its productivity, attract investment, and identify and implement competitiveness strategies. In almost every country, businesses and potential investors recognize the lack of needed skills and education as being a crucial weakness. Primary and secondary education, vocational-technical training, and university education too often are not directed towards providing the employment market with well-prepared and appropriately certified graduates; nor to providing their students with marketable skills and certifications. Labor codes often impose high costs and risks on business, and business frequently maintains poor organizational and incentive systems.
J.E. Austin Associates has long recognized the basic importance of workforce development. Our origins in training and education have oriented us towards these priorities. JAA’s focus on economic growth through competitive business and investment, has in particular caused us to focus on the linkage between skills providers and business, enabling them to communicate and plan together to implement curricula, teacher training, and other skills development programs that respond to a country’s true economic needs. And training and skills transfer are integral to virtually all of JAA’s work.
JAA provides training to the staff and leadership of private companies, service providers, business associations, producer groups, NGOs, public sector organizations and international organizations. We conduct executive training seminars for public and private leadership. We provide programs for value chain and cluster stakeholders and for stakeholders in local economies.
JAA has helped to establish and reform several business schools and management programs worldwide, and has helped them to develop their curricula and faculty capacities.
J.E. Austin Associates has pioneered the strategies, tools, and approaches for the 21st century approach to workforce development. These provide a comprehensive set of diagnostics that benchmark a country or an industry with regard to workforce competitiveness.
JAA seeks to enable our clients to understand and define their workforce requirements, and to engage with skills providers to collaborate in implementing programs that serve businesses’ needs. We help clients to carry out needs assessments and to develop strategies to satisfy the identified priorities. We have developed several operational tools that have proven effective in the contexts of emerging economies, such as the “10 Bridges” tool for improving the effectiveness and productivity of university-business collaboration.
Our ability to help clients appreciate the competitiveness challenges facing a country’s industries in a globalizing market place enables us to develop the collaboration that drives strategic initiatives related to government policy changes affecting education and labor markets; educational modernization and quality improvement; and industry initiatives to address their workforce challenges. We have been called upon to evaluate and guide the restructuring of national V/T training programs in several countries. For several years, JAA was a core provider in the USAID Global Workforce in Transition contract (GWIT), the major global vehicle used by USAID to develop new tools and approaches and provide technical assistance to missions.