Our director general, Lesley Batchelor OBE, recently joined the judges of a pioneering export competition for young people in the north of England, called the Exporting Excellence Awards.
It challenged schools to think creatively and choose a product or service to export to a country that is also part of the DofE programme.
After support from both a DofE Operations Officer and an ICC Solutions Export Champion, six finalists did battle at the Peace Centre, Warrington, Cheshire. Here, they used their new-found export knowledge to pitch their ideas to Lesley Batchelor and her fellow judges, who included representatives from the Department for International Trade, ICC Solutions and the DofE.
Following a highly impressive series of presentations, the panel chose its winner - the export of life-saving equipment to Uganda, accompanied by trainers to demonstrate its use. This was the brainchild of The Laurence Jackson School from Guisborough, Teesside, which was presented with £2,500 for the development of DofE within the school.
Dave Maisey, Chief Executive of ICC Solutions, said: “The objective of this competition was to make young people aware of the opportunities and excitement of international trade, whilst highlighting some of the considerations that need to be applied to be a successful exporter.”
Following the prize presentation, the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award team announced that exporting would now be included as part of the Skills Section of the DofE Award on a national basis. This means that young people throughout Britain will now have the opportunity for focussed education, training and mentoring on exporting.
It is intended to ignite a passion for export in the young people who could be future international traders – ensuring Britain thrives as a powerful global trading nation.
Lesley Batchelor added: “We were very excited to be involved in this fantastic competition between such enthusiastic young teams. The news that the world’s leading youth achievement award will now cover overseas commerce is something to be celebrated.
“It is vital that tomorrow’s talent is made aware of the importance of export activity and the many fulfilling careers that it provides. With the DofE preparing 300,000 young people for life and work every year in the UK, we expect many more applications for our wide range of professional export qualifications and training courses.”
To find out more about the DofE Charity and how it enables young people to succeed, please visit www.DofE.org.