IOE and IT opens new office to support Northern Ireland businesses in trading internationally

Fri 4 Mar 2022
IOE News

Marco Forgione, IOE&IT director general (third from left) opening the Institute’s NI office with (4th from right) Ken Webb, SERC principal and chief executive

The Institute of Export & International Trade (IOE&IT) has opened its new office in Northern Ireland, building on its existing presence in the region and continuing the Institute’s rapid expansion to support businesses and facilitate trade.

The new NI office is located in Bangor, in partnership with South Eastern Regional College (SERC), providing vital training and support for companies to ensure they are able to trade effectively, sustainably and competitively.

Marco Forgione, director general of the IOE&IT said: “This is a landmark day for the IOE&IT and our members. We are delighted to be partnering with SERC and delivering the highest quality education and training.

'Unique position'

“Northern Ireland is in a unique position, in remaining part of UK customs territory as well as the EU’s customs union and single market. The IOE&IT has been working with businesses over the past two years to ensure NI is in a position to take advantage of these trading relationships.”

He continued: “We have always had a strong presence in Northern Ireland, with our chief examiner and Academy director based in the region. We are so proud to have a physical office that can further expand our footprint to support businesses, our members and students.”

Student demand

Aimee Maltman MIEx (Grad) and director of the IOE&IT Academy said: “We are delighted to be partnering with SERC and with North West Regional College (NWRC) to deliver a suite of education.

“We have had upwards of 140 students so far, proving that the demand is there for education around international trade.”

The new NI office is “an important next step to the work we will be doing in Northern Ireland, and we have plans to expand our offering to include more qualifications to enable those learners to progress their careers and encourage new people to enter international trade.

“As a graduate of the IOE&IT myself, I know how vital the education we offer is to help businesses and individuals navigate the international trade landscape.”

Ken Webb, principal and chief executive of SERC commented: “The Economic Recovery Action Plan for Northern Ireland prioritises working with businesses to help them adapt to new trading conditions, and ensuring SMEs are supported and guided to fully benefit from opportunities for cross-border growth.

“SERC and the IOE&IT have already been working together to fulfil these aims. Since 2021 we have provided many courses from level 2 to level 4, and we are looking forward to building on this firm foundation, to continue to deliver results for employers and the wider economy of Northern Ireland.”

Also pictured above are (from far left): Kelly Rawles, IOE&IT chief operating officer, Kevin Shakespeare, IOE&IT director of international and special projects, (4th left) Elaine Flynn, SERC head of business services, Vera McWilliam, IOE&IT Fellow Member, William Greer, SERC chief training & contracts officer and (far right) Aimee Maltman, IOE&IT director of academy

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About the Institute of Export & International Trade

The Institute was established over 85 years ago to support UK businesses in growing their international markets and trade. The Institute is the leading association of exporters and importers. We provide education and training to professionalise the UK’s international traders. 

As a partner with UK government, we deliver national and international programmes, acting as evangelists for the UK and establishing UK processes and standards globally. 

The Institute co-partners in running the online Customs Academy, the world’s first e-training platform dedicated to customs skills.


IOE&IT press contact:

Thomas Lane
Public relations manager