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Tammy Kassiou explains why global worker mobilisation will help countries achieve growth through and beyond COVID



With COVID affecting communities, industries and economies across the globe, Tammy Kassiou believes the only way for countries to drive growth during and beyond the pandemic is for the world to work together to share and mobilise workers where they are needed.

Themelina Kassiou, affectionately known as Tammy Kassiou, is a global entrepreneur, respected philanthropist and founder and chairperson of multiple multinational companies.  Living in Timor-Leste and heading up the delivery of world leading training and development, employment and job mobilisation programs across multiple countries, Tammy Kassiou understands the challenges and opportunities facing industries and countries across the world as economies grapple with the difficulties of closed borders and reduced workforce numbers.

According to Tammy Kassiou, if the world is going to rebound from the pandemic, countries must start working together to forge a global strategic plan and multilateral partnerships to mobilise workers to industries and countries where they are needed.  There are also benefits for countries working together to share resources and mobilise workers as different industries peak and trough.

In a globalised world, the crises we face affect every nation to a greater or lesser extent. In addition to the pandemic, wealth disparity, resource wars, climate change and gender inequality are just a handful of the catastrophises impacting the world today.

We live highly interdependent lives with global systems of communication, trade and finance interconnected between every country. As different industries and national economies peak and trough, the reality is that enormous discrepancies that exist in levels of affluence will arise between rich and poor nations. Economic activity is consistently skewed in favour of high-income countries.

A trough refers to the stage in the business cycle where activity and prices are at their lowest before a rise. Traditionally, an economic trough is characterised by higher levels of unemployment, layoffs, declining business sales and earnings, and lower credit availability. Alternatively, a peak is the highest point of the business cycle.

Development is the growth of a country; primarily based on economic advancement. To achieve growth, countries must work together in harmony. Sharing resources and mobilising workers as different industries peak and trough has immeasurable benefits for all countries involved and especially so given that the pandemic has forced borders shut and reduced the available workforce for many countries.  Quite literally, many industries such as Australia’s horticultural industry, are on their knees because they do not have enough workers to undertake the work.  Some of the key benefits of countries working together include:

Increase the pace of development

When countries work cohesively towards a common goal, attaining the target is more often than not achieved faster, and to a higher standard, than when a country is working individually. Sharing resources and mobilising workers is required for projects that need to be completed in a short period or require a specific skillset that local workers do not acquire.

Countries can develop faster by working together and pulling resources together. Countries that do not have the financial or skilled worker capability to work towards a development plan, can source resources and borrow money from each other. Mobilising skilled workers and loaning resources will help both countries to reach their targets faster and the projects will help more people.

Advance the careers of women

According to the International Finance Corporation, nearly half of women’s productive potential globally is under-utilised, or simply unutilised completely. Their statistics indicate that 865 million women worldwide are not enabled to participate in the global economy – 93 percent of which are based in developing countries.

Investing in women’s employment is not only the right thing to do, it is also critical to the long term success of a company and nation. By tapping into a wider talent pool, enhancing productivity and improving staff retention, corporations that invest in employing women and mobilising female workers achieve a considerable competitive advantage in the market. Addressing the gender gaps in employment and the persistent barriers that women face in gaining employment, the economic outcomes are unparalleled – driving productivity, competitiveness and innovation.

Skill sharing

Without qualified and skilled workers, development projects around the world suffer. The advantage associated with having skilled workers should not be underestimated. Mobilising qualified staff to countries where joblessness and lack of skills is prominent, mutually benefits both countries involved. The home country has the opportunity to capitalise on the foreign skilled staff members to complete projects and train their local workers, while the local country of the skilled workers benefits from making jobs available to people who may be jobless. Mobilising workers between countries is crucial in international development.

Protect socio-economic rights

Sharing resources and mobilising workers as different industries peak and trough on an international level helps governments to achieve their commitment to protect the socio-economic rights of our global brothers and sisters. Access to essential goods and services is a basic human right that countries aligned to the United Nations are bound to protect and foster.

The right to food, adequate housing and education is breached every day for millions of men, women and children in developing countries. The disparity between the rights enjoyed by the wealthiest countries compared to the nations that are unable to provide these basic rights is appalling. As global citizens, it is the obligation of wealthy countries to invest in protecting the socio-economic rights of every human, which can be achieved by mobilising their qualified people to train overseas workers and sharing resources.

Addressing the climate emergency

The world we live in today is significantly resource constrained. The process of sharing resources as different industries peak and trough can play a key role in addressing the climate emergency and reducing conflict over vital resources. Managing the interests and needs of all countries involves ensuring that all nations can access resources equitably. Resources are limited, so developing a platform to share and collaborate is the most sustainable step forward.

Overcoming the challenges of a worldwide pandemic

In addition to the above issues, the pandemic has imposed increased challenges for countries already struggling to achieve growth milestones.  In Australia, due to the closing of borders, backpackers who once helped to keep vital industries afloat are no longer able to enter the country.  Farmers who once relied on temporary workers are watching their fruit drop and rot.  A global alliance of countries dedicated to worker mobilisation with comprehensive COVID safety plans in place will enable countries to refocus on driving growth and salvaging and building crippled industries.  Ultimately consumers pay the price for these issues – a price many can not afford to pay.

Currently located in Dili, Timor-Leste, Themelina Kassiou (Tammy Kassiou), leads and manages her companies across multiple countries and also provides mentoring for many emerging leaders in her industry. 

Tammy Kassiou is the founder and chairperson of Philotimo Group, a global business which overarches a number of complementary businesses that provide leadership, expertise and services across the training and job placement sector to a broad range of industries in multiple countries including: Timor-Leste, Vanuatu and Pacific Islands, Philippines, Mozambique, Singapore, Australia, New Zealand, Greece and Europe.

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