The Institute of Export & International Trade is urging the government to extend its grant for customs training beyond its scheduled end in January 2021.
The call comes after Minister Michael Gove’s endorsement yesterday (Thursday, 27 February) in parliament of estimates that ‘up to 50,000 customs people’ are needed for a Canada-style trade deal with the EU.
Marco Forgione, Director General, Institute of Export & International Trade, said:
“We welcome Minister Michael Gove’s acceptance of the huge scale of customs staff recruitment and training needed to get Britain ready for Brexit.
“While the ‘50,000 staff’ figure referenced in parliament yesterday is a start in quantifying the size of customs expertise requirements, we believe the actual number will be many multiples of that going forward into 2021 and beyond.
“The Institute of Export & International Trade, as the UK’s premier international trade training body, is already providing such expertise through our HMRC- and Department of Trade & Industry-supported Customs Academy and Open to Export schemes.
“To meet the escalating customs staff needs, we call on the government to extend its £16m customs training budget beyond its scheduled end in January 2021 and into the following year.
“We also urge better coordination between government and business to facilitate recruitment and training that produces a best-in-class cadre of customs staff to ensure economic prosperity post-Brexit.
"At the same time, British businesses should not feel daunted by the scale of customs recruitment and training needs. The Institute of Export & International Trade is primed willing and ready to help with its world-leading training and education programme.”