This is the second part of a feature on the importance of education and professionalism in international trade. If you haven’t already, read the first part on ‘Why we need to start taking exporting seriously’.
Meeting the need for export education
The Institute of Export and International Trade are best placed to satisfy the demand for professional export upskilling and they specialise in helping people learn how to make exporting profitable and sustainable. Their wide range of professional qualifications and training courses – ranging from Masters degrees to one off courses – could be a lifesaver for many SMEs who could otherwise bear the brunt of the UK’s changing trade relationships with the world.
Many businesses of all sizes have already seen the benefit of having an IOE&IT trained export specialist in their team. Terry Ferguson, one former student, told us:
I found the knowledge that I gained was of immediate use when a company asked me about how they should handle their currency transactions, to enable them to make a competitive bid for a European Contract. I was able to provide some insight as to their options, and they were both grateful for the advice and surprised at the level of specific knowledge available from my organisation.
While even for a company starting out, like the niche fashion company set up by former student Vineeta Manchanda, the skills learnt in an IOE&IT course proved invaluable from the off:
I had reached the point where I wanted to bring to life one of my secret dreams – to develop an online niche fashion company. I explored various options and settled upon the IOE course as it would allow me to apply the academic theories of international trade to my business plan in the final Practical Global Trading module. The other modules allowed me to bring my answers to life by researching case studies on how the international logistics strategies have impacted a company’s ability to internationalise and researching how foreign companies can target China’s huge online market place.
The course has provided me with a helpful appreciation of how the multiple facets of an international business link, as well as an initial roadmap for my business. Also, I can now bore for Britain on Zara’s supply chain!
The mechanics of international trade have long turned the cogs of the world economy and the reality is that British businesses will now need to become much more aware of how these cogs operate in order to embrace the opportunities exporting undoubtedly provides.
The career opportunities provided by specialising in international trade
Of course the flipside to all this is that for individuals thinking about how to make themselves attractive to dynamic and international businesses, having demonstrable exporting skills is definitely a good thing. Degrees and qualifications in international trade will undoubtedly open doors for many people as companies look more and more for people who can cater to these increasingly important business needs.
26-year-old Nikolaos Tsitlaidis can certainly vouch for this.
The MSc was a great grounding for the job I secured on graduation. I’m a logistical coordinator for pan-European shipping line, Samksip, dealing mostly with containers. The programme provided an overview of every aspect of international trade, how multinational logistics companies work – and the transport choices available to them.
Specifically, it helped me focus on my interest, by becoming familiar with import and export documentation as well as customs clearance for containers, which are both integral parts of my job.
Kate Willers also told us:
Studying with the Institute of Export and International Trade has been valuable in increasing my knowledge and understanding of the complexities of international trade. Modules cover all important aspects of trading internationally and cover key facts in detail while putting them into context using real-life examples. These are qualifications that employers recognise and value and obtaining these qualifications has greatly assisted my career.
With qualifications in international logistics, insurance broking, compliance, marketing strategy and many more aspects of international trade, the IOE&IT is well worth considering for individuals looking to improve their attractiveness to a whole array of businesses and to add a real international element to their CVs.
Promoting professionalism in international trade
The growing role of the Institute and the importance of promoting professionalism in exporting is becoming increasingly vital to the balance of trade. In particular, there is a real need for SMEs to invest in training to ensure they are capable of meeting the changing demands on their operations is becoming a key element to the success of the UK.
Open to Export – backed by the Institute – continues to provide information about some of the complexities involved in exporting, but for companies to take the next steps towards become fully-fledged exporters, more comprehensive training and education could ultimately be an extremely profitable venture in the long run.