Training the Next Generation of International Trade Managers

Thu 9 Aug 2018
Posted by: William Barns-Graham

international trade managers

In collaboration with the University of Plymouth, the Institute this summer launched a new Level 5 Foundation Degree in International Trade to help export professionals reach a higher standard and gain further skills and knowledge in international trade. The new degree sits between a full university degree and the other Level 5 diplomas provided by the Institute. As such, we believe it’s a perfect course for international trade professionals looking to take a step up into a management position within their organisation or elsewhere.

The course also provides businesses looking to advance their efforts in international trade with a way of upskilling their internal export functions. With enrolments in January, May and September, the course is also available through the apprenticeship levy as part of the Chartered Manager Degree Apprenticeship, meaning it could be done for very little money at all. Indeed, otherwise priced at just £5,500 a year, the Foundation Degree already provides excellent value.

Why hire a consultant when you can train your own staff?

The reason it provides excellent value is that students qualifying with the Institute are usually encouraged to apply their learnings to their own business situation, with each module being accompanied by a 3000-4000 word written assessment that requires them to address their business or industry. As such, they can work with their Specialist Tutor and the wealth of resources provided by the Institute - through its online learning campus, online library, and regular webinars and tutorials - to identify ways in which their business can enhance and strengthen its export strategies and functions.

When you consider that many businesses will usually assess and reshape departments and internal functions through expensive and shorter-term external consultancies, the £5,500 price tag to bring a greater level of advice and knowledge in-house is comparatively cheap. The course covers all the myriad aspects of international trade, each of which can cost a fortune to hire external support to address. These include: Logistics, Exports, Export Sales, Imports, Supply Chain, Trade Finance, Customer Service, Trade Compliance and Customs.

Would you hire an untrained Head of Legal?

With Brexit looming and businesses in the UK looking to branch out to new markets around the world, roles like ‘Head of Export’, ‘International Sales Manager’, or ‘Supply Chain Manager’ are only going to become more important - reflecting organisational structures that are common to businesses throughout the world. But with global trade running on a broad spectrum of ever-changing regulations, processes, and cultures, businesses need to ensure that the people they have running their international trade functions are well-trained and fully skilled.

By way of a comparison, would you hire an General Counsel to head up your in-house legal team who lacks any legal qualifications? The answer is of course no.

While international trade professionals will draw on different sets of skills, it is nonetheless fundamentally true that they should be relying on a deep understanding of the intricacies and variables involved in international trade. The required level of understanding can only be gained by proper learning and training.

This is especially true of any international trade management position, which will not only rely on an understanding of the particular processes that may affect your business at any one moment in time, but also on an ability to understand how the myriad aspects of trade interrelate and to anticipate how constant change throughout global trade can affect your business’ export strategy.

It is this level of strategic knowledge, allied to a full understanding of the technical details of trade, that our new Foundation Degree has been designed to cater for.

So if you’re a business looking to cut costs on external support and train up your in-house trade capabilities, or if you’re an individual looking to take your next step into a management position, please do get in touch.

To register your interest in the Foundation Degree please call 01733 404400 or email

To discuss our qualifications:
Call +44 (0)1733 404400