From two countries to six and now expanding to twenty, after undertaking the Women in Global Business (WIGB) program in 2013, Wendy Perry, Head Workforce Planner from Workforce BluePrint is excited for what 2016 will bring.

Wendy Perry (far right) with colleagues from the Defence Teaming Centre and members of a delegation from India.

Wendy Perry (far right) with colleagues from the Defence Teaming Centre and members of a delegation from India.

“When I began the WIGB mentoring in 2013 our international experience included just two countries – Bhutan and Maldives.  Through the regular catch ups, hearing from an experienced exporter in a different industry, I was encouraged to research a number of markets and hone in on a couple.

Building connections with partners here in Australia identified overseas opportunities and focussing on our online profile was the key to hosting visiting delegations, speaking at conferences and even developing a workforce plan for a country.”

In 2015, team members travelled to the USA, Singapore, Philippines and Malaysia also hosting delegations from Bhutan, Indonesia and Mongolia.  Some of these visits were as a result of meeting representatives at Australian conferences and supporting Australia Awards Fellowships.

Workforce BluePrint managed a number of components of the professional development and visitation program for the group from Bhutan.  Meeting them in Canberra the program explored the Australian policy framework and governance context.  In Adelaide they were introduced to a number of different organisations and industry sectors to understand workforce development strategies in action.

A visit to Sunraysia where stakeholders are collaborating on a regional workforce action plan was a highlight for the group as well as everyone that they met.  With the final part of the program in Melbourne focussing on economic development and entrepreneurship, presentations and reflection at a final colloquium in Brisbane.

The visit to the USA included San Francisco with numerous meetings including a personal tour of Google, Austrade and expat Australian entrepreneurs designed by NVI Flinders.  Whilst in Austin, Texas the team had what they describe as one of the best experiences of their life, participating in SXSW Interactive seeing the latest in technology, thinking and entrepreneurship.

This year, visits are already booked in for New Zealand, the USA, Malaysia and Fiji with partnerships being negotiated in Africa, Europe and Asia.

“It is fantastic to be based in Australia and being offered amazing opportunities to work with other countries solving their workforce problems.  Speaking at events like the World TVET conference, being recognised as an international thought leader, has given us connections all over the world.”

Workforce BluePrint’s new Workforce Architects Program is inviting participants from East Asia and the Pacific, Eastern and Western Africa, Europe, North America, Southern Africa and South Asia.  Keen to learn more about the recently negotiated Free Trade Agreements, team members are continuing to learn as much as they can about doing business overseas and deepening relationships with Australian partners.

“More small and medium enterprises must consider international opportunities, particularly in areas that Australia is known for, as we get a great response from international markets.  Looking back I can see how the WIGB program laid the foundation for changing our thinking and what we thought was possible.  Thank you for facilitating a valuable mentoring experience.”

Wendy Perry, Head Workforce Planner, Workforce BluePrint and past participant in the WIGB program.

January 2016

PS. Hear Wendy’s story at the upcoming Unley Business Breakfast with Eastside BEC on 16.2.16 with further details available here.

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