Nations need a vision to inspire their workforce

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This blog post is the article written by Nigel Austin from The Advertiser published on 18 January 2014 page 79 in the business section for the Silent Achiever’s story.

See the full article and photo here.

Wendy Perry has developed such a great business niche and reputation that she advises countries such as the Maldives and Bhutan about workforce planning and development as well as state and federal government departments, and industry groups.

She was fearful about leaving a senior policy role with the Education Department to start Wendy Perry and Associates at the age of 29 in January 2003.

But she was confident in the future because she had recognised the emerging field of workforce planning and development building on her expertise in Vocational Education and Training (VET).

Boldly deciding to go out on her own she started working for her first client in a project leadership role on the National VET workforce development program with organisations from around Australia.

WPerry NBN

Since then she has built Wendy Perry and Associates and the Workforce BluePrint brand into one of the leading companies of its type in Australia helping countries, industries and regions to plan and develop their workforces.

In the Kingdom of Bhutan, her company advised on a National Human Resource Development Roadmap for the Permanent Secretary and Director of the Ministry of Labour and Human Resources and they are continuing to support Bhutan with this initiative from Australia.

For the island nation of the Maldives in the Indian Ocean, Wendy Perry and Associates advised on how to implement a National Apprenticeship Framework, strengthen industry and institute linkages, and undertake detailed workforce planning.

Mrs Perry said she would like to see Australia undergo similar national workforce planning by developing a vision of what is needed for the workforce in the future.

“We don’t have a vision for what we want for a future Australian workforce or a national workforce plan and this is critical to our success.  How do we know what we should focus on with workforce development strategies and training programs if we don’t know where we are headed and what the destination looks like” she said. “I’d like to build a vision for Australia’s future workforce that is inspirational and a system that is aligned to that vision so we achieve it.”

Ms Perry said Australia is going through a transition period in terms of job roles and believes this year will be a watershed year.  The internet is massively changing the way we work through increasing digital capability and improved productivity.

“It can help small business catch up with big business as we see technology impacting on and shaping every job,” she said.

But the conundrum facing Australia is that expectations are rising on all sides: productivity and output needs to increase, costs need to be managed effectively, capability needs to increase steeply and worker expectations are rising as people seek a better work-life balance, Ms Perry said.

She believes the focus in the future will be about improving productivity that is a combination of capability, capacity and contribution by employees.

“The nature of all jobs is broadening in relation to skills,” she said. “If you’re a plumber, you need to be able to undertake administration tasks, order and stock take parts, use technology, deal with customers and have significant product knowledge.”

She names growth industries or sectors experiencing market adjustment as those more interested in taking action to manage their workforce such as agriculture, community services and health, defence, food, local government, manufacturing, mining and resources, and small business.

Some of Wendy Perry and Associates clients include the Australian Workforce Productivity Agency, the Department of Industry, the Agrifood Skills Council, the Department of Further Education, Employment, Science and Technology, the Defence Teaming Centre, Registered Training Organisations and TAFE Institutes, and numerous local government associations and councils such as the Lockyer Valley Regional Council.

Key members of the family business include husband Scott Perry as Product Development Manager, their 18-year-old daughter Jessica who manages client engagement, and Mrs Perry’s sister-in-law Meredith Baker who handles the finances and carbon offset accounting.

Written by Nigel Austin, 18 January 2014.

Thanks to Nigel Austin from @thetiser for a great story on page 79, Family Business Australia for suggesting us, our clients, partners and team!  Comments from our clients, family and friends included:

  • Jean Baker Well done darling great article and picture xx
  • Andrea Bryant It’s a great write up Wendy. Congratulations x
  • John Wright Great article this morning Wendy. Former Sturt PS student does good!!
  • Melanie Worrall Congrats!
  • Jodie Prosser Congrats team Perry! Great inspiration to us all…
  • Paul Moyle Good work team workforce
  • Jacqueline Verrall There’s my very clever friend!
  • Emily Carey Fantastic, well deserved!!
  • Sonya Weiser Congrats on the article featuring your company in today’s business section of the ‘Tiser!
  • Shelley Dunstone Great article in the Advertiser this weekend, Wendy! Congratulations!
  • Darlene Voss Congrats Perry family
  • Nina McMahon Looking pretty fly there Perrys!
  • Derek Finch Good article Wendy.
  • Ruth Jurevicius Great article Wendy Perry congratulations!
  • Milind Jadhav Good on you mate!
  • Kemal ‘Kim’ Sedick Well done Wendy!!
  • Wendy Perry See page 79 in the business section titled ‘nations need a vision to inspire their workforce’
  •  Kemal ‘Kim’ Sedick is there an on-line link for those of us in faraway places?
  •  Sharon Coffey well done Wendy
  • Kemal ‘Kim’ Sedick Great article Wendy. Look forward to a chat one day


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