It Doesn’t Happen Overnight

 A company made a significant investment in an existing operating facility in an undeveloped region. The facility was being operated by ex-pats and foreigners with some low-level positions held by local workers. 

A strategic decision was made to transition toward operation with local workers. This decision was motivated by strong economic, political, and social arguments, but in the end, management knew it was a responsible thing to do. The challenge was that the local workers didn’t have the practical skills or educational competencies to function in any but the lowest level jobs. The gap in capabilities and skills would require a significant effort to enable local workers to assume operational responsibility.

To bridge this gap, the company developed a multi-year training plan that would give local workers academic and technical background, practical skills, and supervised hands-on experience that would qualify them to be assigned in operating positions throughout the plant.

The first graduates have completed the training program and have been placed in operating positions in the plant. Staffing will require an ongoing investment, but this effort has allowed the company to meet its goals of operating with local workers. More importantly, the company has demonstrated responsibility and believes this was important in maintaining license to operate in the region.