Workforce Development for LED















John Douglas Lawson

John Lawson obtained the degrees BSc Industrial Engineering in 1982, and MSc Engineering in 1986 from the University of the Witwatersrand, and a Graduate Diploma in Engineering from the same institution. Following a partnership with a consulting firm, a venture as small business entrepreneur and general manager in a mid-sized firm, the end of Apartheid inspired a shift in focus towards development. He has been involved in various forms of economic development since. After a few years working as a consultant to the Director General of the Department of Trade and Industry, he specialised in discovering pragmatic approaches to Local Economic Development (LED). In the process, he has been privileged to work closely with some of the world leaders in LED.

His vast experience spans a multitude of industry sectors and work at all levels of government. As a pioneer in benchmarking of municipal LED practices, South Africa now leads the world with more than 120 benchmarks conducted. Data from 120 LED cases, now informs new insights into what makes LED work or fail. John’s value system drives an unwavering commitment to do what is right – to ensure that LED in South Africa succeeds.


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