2022 class of IOE and IT graduates hailed as 'leaders' of tomorrow

Tue 22 Nov 2022
Posted by: William Barns-Graham
IOE News

IOE&IT Grad ceremony

The Institute of Export & International Trade (IOE&IT) held its annual graduation ceremony in central London yesterday, with its director general Marco Forgione praising the 2022 class as the “leaders of tomorrow”.

Around 100 graduates received certificates and awards during the ceremony at Mansion House, marking their achievements studying with the IOE&IT and UK Customs Academy. Over 250 people watched online via a livestream on YouTube.

Students were congratulated during speeches by senior figures from the IOE&IT and City of London, including:

  • Marco Forgione MIEx, director general of the IOE&IT
  • Alison Gowman, Alderman of Dowgate Ward, City of London Corporation
  • Pamela Coke-Hamilton, executive director of the International Trade Centre (ITC)
  • Lord Green of Hurstpierpoint, president of the IOE&IT
  • Terry Scuoler CBE MIEx, chairman of the IOE&IT
  • Professor Sangeeta Khorana MIEx, chair of the IOE&IT academic board
  • Aimee McGill MIEx, director of the IOE&IT Academy

Leaders of tomorrow

Forgione said that the skills gained by the graduates will be essential as they face the challenges of a UK economy entering recession, a slowdown in global trade growth and the recent news that the human population has exceeded eight billion people. 

He also highlighted the importance of international trade in the history of human progress, saying it had been the “spark” behind the Renaissance and had contributed to the lifting of over a billion people from poverty.

He said:

“International trade is a unique system for the transfer of knowledge. It has an incredible power not just to generate commercial benefit, but to transform lives, communities and nations.

“You are a generation who, through your commitment and dedication to professionalising international trade, will lead not just the challenges of today, but the challenges of the future.

“I am honoured and humbled to be here as director general of the IOE&IT congratulating you on what you have achieved today, to be joining with you as we look not just to what today and tomorrow holds, but the future that you will be creating as international trade transforms and develops”.

Everyday impact

Forgione also interviewed, on stage, one of the class’s predecessors in Jenny Butler, the liner director of Cory Brothers Shipping Agency and a graduate from the 2021 cohort.

Butler said that her experience studying with the IOE&IT had been fundamental to her career success and praised IOE&IT director of strategic projects and international development Kevin Shakespeare for his support.

“Apply those little things you’ve learned at the IOE&IT to your work every day,” she advised.

IOE&IT qualifications

IOE&IT delivers a wide range of qualifications ranging from entry level to Master’s degrees, and is an awarding body regulated by Ofqual. It is also one of the bodies behind the delivery of the UK branch of the Customs Academy, which also opened EU and global branches this year.

In 2022 it has had over 2000 students across both its own and the Customs Academy’s qualifications, including over 100 learners in Africa. It currently delivers qualifications across the African continent as part of programmes delivered in partnership with the International Trade Centre.

What else was said

Lord Green of Hurstpierpoint, president of the IOE&IT:

“There isn’t a single part or sector of activity in the country where trade isn’t relevant to the health of the economy, our growth prospects and holding our head in a more difficult world.

“This is a challenging world. Exporting isn’t straight forward and risk-forward, hence the need for learning how to do it well, and the role of the IOE&IT. This is about helping people who work in business to do it well, because the country needs it.”

Terry Scuoler, chairman of the IOE&IT:

“Over the last 25 years the World Trade Organization has determined that international trade has helped take over one billion people on our planet out of abject poverty. That surely, more than any other statistic, tells us so much about the force of good that is international trade.

“Academia, education, skills, training and the process of upskilling are so important to our nation’s economy, industrial success and progress. It is critical to turning around a relatively weak productivity performance.”

Sangeeta Khorana, chair of the IOE&IT academic board:

“You should all leave with your heads held high and feeling truly accomplished for what you have achieved at the IOE&IT.

“Think about your successes in the context of the greater good, in the role you will play in building and advancing the community of international trade, of which you are all a part now.

“Be the change that you wish to see in the world.”

Aimee McGill, director of the IOE&IT Academy:

“There has never been more demand for the critical skills you have acquired by studying with the IOE&IT. UK businesses are seizing the opportunity to trade internationally.

“Look no further for proof of that than the IOE&IT jobs board where there are over 5000 vacancies in international trade.

“It’s the Academy’s mission that students come away feeling able to do their jobs, and feeling confident knowing that trading internationally is not difficult, it is achievable.”

Pamela Coke-Hamilton, executive director of the International Trade Centre (ITC):

“The training you have undergone is crucial because fundamental export skills form the basic building blocks of a country’s ability to trade. Unfortunately, in many developing and least developed countries, where we at ITC work, trade-related training has long been in short supply, and most young people do not have access to the same opportunities as all of you.

“Through ITC’s partnership with the IOE&IT, though, we are changing all of this. Today we have over 100 students enrolled in the Level 4 Diploma in International Trade in Ghana, Kenya and Nigeria, with more countries joining in the future.”