For the first time in over two years, the Institute of Export & International Trade (IOE&IT) celebrated the successes of its graduates at a ceremony in London yesterday (4 October).
The event, hosted at Mansion House, saw the two most recent classes of graduates (2019/20 and 2020/21) celebrate the qualifications they had completed with the IOE&IT.
It was the first such ceremony that the IOE&IT has been able to host since 2019 due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
Over the past two years, over 1,500 individuals have completed qualifications with the IOE&IT and 160 of those graduates attended yesterday’s ceremony, including several prize winners.
The classes of 2019-21 were the most diverse to have graduated from the IOE&IT, with 34 countries across the world represented, covering all continents.
Many of the graduates studied with the IOE&IT while working in full-time positions for businesses from a wide range of industries, including government, pharma, banking, food, tech and life sciences.
Marco Forgione, director general of the IOE&IT, hosted the event and paid tribute to the hard work of all the graduates.
“This ceremony is a real testament to the skills and resilience of all those who have graduated here today,” he said.
“It has been an unprecedented time for our learners due to the Covid-19 pandemic, but all of them have shown real determination to not only adapt to the challenging circumstances, but to thrive in doing so,” he added.
Skills to succeed
IOE&IT Academy director Kevin Shakespeare also praised the graduates for qualifying from their courses during the “unprecedented circumstances” of the pandemic.
He said the graduates now have the skills to help their businesses trade internationally.
“The future of British trade is in good hands with the amazing graduates of 2019/20 and 2020/21 and we look forward to following their careers from here on in,” he said.
In addition to Forgione and Shakespeare, the graduates heard speeches from Alderman & Sheriff Nicholas Lyons (Lord Mayor Locum Tenens), IOE&IT president Lord Green of Hurstpierpoint, IOE&IT chairman Terry Scuoler CBE MIEx, and chair of the IOE&IT academic board, Professor Sangeeta Khorana MIEx.
The ceremony was the first public event to be hosted by the IOE&IT since the lifting of social distancing rules following the pandemic.
Since the last graduation in 2019, the UK has also completed its departure from the EU, entering businesses into a new era of altered trading conditions.
Forgione and Shakespeare both highlighted the challenges that traders now face because of this but said that international trade has never been so important to the UK economy.
“International trade now accounts for over half of UK GDP, so arming individuals with the necessary skillset to undertake this is essential to the continued growth and success of our nation,” said Forgione.
“Businesses that trade internationally are more profitable, more entrepreneurial, and better equipped to managing changes in the market,” he added.