The Institute of Export (IOE) is marking a double celebration as an unprecedented number of students embark on its internationally accredited courses – and the first students graduate from its flagship Foundation Degree in International Trade.
A total of 450 students have signed up to courses across 2013-2014 compared to 225 students the previous year. The successes of graduates completing the IOE’s suite of qualifications in international trade have been acknowledged at an annual ceremony at London’s Mansion House – the home and office of the Lord Mayor of the City of London.
Key guests and speakers included Lord Empey OBE, London Sheriff Adrian Waddingham, Ian Taylor, acting chair of the IOE and Steve Childs, national head of international foreign exchange and trade at Barclays Bank – the main sponsors of the event.
Students receiving special accolades include Dan Garnon, Export Control Manager Civil Aerospace at Rolls-Royce plc in Derby who scooped the highest overall marks in the Institute’s Diploma in International Trade and in the Diploma’s Practical Global Trading and Management of International Trade modules.
Commented Dan: “This diploma has broadened my understanding of international trade and its application to my working environment as well as trade compliance within the company. It has provided me with insights into different parts of business activity that I wouldn’t necessarily be involved with on a day-to-day basis. I now have a better understanding of other peoples’ roles and how my position impacts on them.”
Barclays Bank business advisor, Alex Spires, who achieved the highest mark as one of 25 Barclays business advisors graduating from the Certified International Trade Advisor (CITA) course commented: “Studying the CITA qualification has opened my eyes to the world of trading internationally and the opportunities this represents to helping my customers grow their businesses and find new markets, suppliers and customers. It has also brought to my attention the pitfalls and how to mitigate the associated risks. I can now discuss with more knowledge and confidence the subject of trading internationally, thereby adding value to my customer conversations.”
Rebecca Hill, who is responsible for bookings and quotations at Geest Line, which transports cargo between Europe and the Caribbean and Locunda Karam, CEO of strategic project Services Ltd based in Cape Town, South Africa, are the first graduates of the IOE’s two year Foundation Degree in Professional Practice of International Trade.
Rebecca said: “Not only has the course enabled me to achieve a sound foundation and knowledge of the industry, it has also introduced me to new networks and like-minded individuals.
“The qualification has enhanced my understanding of the industry as a whole and of Geest enormously – developing my existing knowledge base, opening up new opportunities – and gaining a valuable insight into the industry as a whole.”
IOE Director General Lesley Batchelor said that the substantial increase in enrolment highlighted the importance that businesses are placing in embedding professionalism into international trade by investing in enhancing the skills of their teams.
She said: “A big congratulations to all our graduates. Over 700 students are currently studying our courses which are internationally recognised and the number of organisations investing in enrolling their employees on them reflects the key role they play in global trading. Our qualifications equip students with the necessary skills, knowledge and expertise to work in international trade.
“We also focus on improving their knowledge of the context of international trade, ensuring they are aware of the differing cultural aspects and ways of doing business.”
IOE acting chair, Ian Taylor added: “If we benchmark the UK with our competitors in the world for ‘best practice’ it becomes obvious that an integrated policy on international trade is going to produce a lot more benefit for business than a piecemeal approach. A long-term strategy would guarantee a structured approach to international trade too – not a constant search for ‘quick fixes’.
“Culturally the UK is coming to recognise the need for joined-up policies. With strong support from government, its agencies and other organisations, the Institute is at the heart of driving professionalism in international trade.”
Grateful thanks go to the ACCA & Amber Road who generously helped with the reception and Geest Line, Norsk, Primo plc and RWA who sponsored prizes for the event.