Over £500,000 of vouchers for training in exports and customs skills has been claimed as part of a scheme from the Institute of Export & International Trade (IOE&IT) that was designed to get more UK firms exporting.
The Exporting Starter Pack was launched in response to the decline in UK exports to the EU following Brexit. Research from the Centre for Business Prosperity at Aston University last month found that 40% of British products previously exported to the EU no longer appear in European shops.
Supporting UK trade
Marco Forgione, the director general of the IOE&IT, said he was glad to see such a high uptake on the initiative.
He told the IOE&IT Daily Update:
“Businesses that trade internationally have been proven to be more efficient, sustainable and profitable. However, the UK’s departure from the EU has undoubtedly impacted the number of UK businesses trading overseas.
“That’s why the IOE&IT, as a charity dedicated to evangelising about the benefits of trade to businesses and individuals, had to act by launching the Exporting Starter Pack.
“We’re delighted that so many businesses have participated in the scheme and we hope it will equip them with the skills and confidence needed to trade successfully.”
Under the scheme, UK businesses were invited to attend six webinars covering all key aspects of trading with the EU – the last of which took place yesterday (15 December). The training content delivered in these webinars is usually valued at around £2,500 when delivered as part of the IOE&IT’s regular training programme.
Individuals who attended all six courses can now qualify for a discount on the IOE&IT’s Level 3 Customs Practitioner Award qualification. Their time listening to the webinar will count as prior learning that towards the qualification. Those that take up the offer will also receive two years’ complimentary student membership with IOE&IT.
‘A great introduction’
Almost all (95%) delegates on the webinars said they found the webinars satisfying and informative, according to a poll question asked during the final session.
One of the delegates, Matt Rundle, a quality system manager at Imerys Minerals Ltd, said the events were “well planned and structured”.
“The events have been well planned and structured with each session covering key areas including documentation, customs procedures, Incoterms, commodity codes and more. It was a great introduction to those with a little knowledge like myself,” he said.
“The presenters were expert in their knowledge, had the ability to answer audience questions and included worked examples as part of the learning experience,” he added.
Eve Phyphers, a stock controller at Close Parent, also thought the webinars were “very useful” saying she found “being sent the recording after the webinars extremely beneficial”.
“The slides in particular, showing the various Incoterms in diagram form, will be something me and my colleagues can make use of to discuss the Incoterms we should be using in the future, something we have previously been unsure of,” she said.