Entrepreneur: Kate Jackson
AFTER 16 years in Thailand, British-born Kate Jackson is reinventing the education and training industry with her passion to help and develop others.
Based on the principles of adult learning for the long-life learning sector, Kate founded her company Andragogy to offer tailor made communications training in business English, customer service, as well as leadership communication and presentation coaching for businesses of all shapes and sizes with learners ranging from C-suite executives to low-level staff. “We teach all types of employees and across all departments within an organisation. From presidents and vice-presidents to the bellboys of hotels and the illiterate workers.”
But Kate wasn’t always passionate when it came to teaching. After high school, she originally dismissed the idea of further education and instead came to Thailand to work as a volunteer. It was among the rural areas of the country where Kate was inspired to build a career in non-formal education and developed a passion to help and inspire others.
“I have a wonderful team of five part-time trainers, who I also train personally, and together we go in and perform the required training for our clients.”
‘Andragogy’ is the Greek word for the art and science of teaching adults, the principles of which include autonomy, relevance and timeliness; factors that Kate incorporates into every program. “Every client is different and has different needs. We first meet with the client and perform a needs analysis to establish what training is needed, who the learners will be, what are their brand values, and external and internal communication objectives. From there we develop our tailor made programmes. These can range from one-day workshops to one-year training programmes.
Being based in Bangkok has also given Kate the opportunity to train learners of various nationalities, but predominantly teaches Thais. “Learners from Thailand and South East Asia often require a lot more hand holding and support in order to develop confidence and the opportunity to practice and master new skills such as customer service, complaints handling and offering alternatives, as is the culture that learners are often to shy to try new skills straight away.
“Yet this is embedded in our training, that we do use a confidence first approach. It is my passion to develop skills within the Thai workforce that provide them with a place in the global market.
“I founded Andragogy on the precepts that staff and individual development has a direct relation on community and business development. Andragogy was founded on the need to support Thai staff, to fill the communication and skills gaps that formal Thai education leaves behind.”
By linking her professional and personal passions Kate has caught the attention of several international companies and has worked for the likes of KPMG Thailand, Pfizer and Centara Hotels & Resorts before gaining clients such as Colgate Palmolive, Jaymart, Srichand, David Yurman, Tesco Credit Card Services, and Airbus Asia-Pacific.