By Marcus Leach
Equipping staff with the skills and knowledge to meet the demands of global markets has taken on an unprecedented importance for UK companies as they seek to export their way out of recession.
The Institute of Export (IOE) is urging British businesses to match the level of commitment to international trade, training and education made by their European and worldwide counterparts.
With the latest government figures highlighting that German exports are more than double the value of the UK’s, which are starting to flatten out, the IOE is urging exporters to train and develop their employees to enable them to manage efficiently the day-to-day challenges of generating a profit internationally.
Designed with this goal in mind, the institute has launched a two-year Foundation Degree, in professional practice of international trade. The course offers a practical vocational approach to all aspects of trading internationally, helping even those with some experience to be both efficient and profitable.
“In a rapidly changing global economy, it’s vital for businesses to understand the full cost implications of all sales decisions made from how to get paid and how much that will cost to collect the money, to the legal exposure of the company when setting up an agent," Lesley Batchelor, Director General of the IOE said.
"Also implications of selling services and how to price effectively using the company brand to ensure that we’re not just selling on a weak pound. With the whole world looking at exporting to trade itself out of this recession we must be sure we know how to be better than the others at finding that unique differentiation that will make the sale — relying on price is not an option.
“Our pioneering new Foundation Degree prepares graduates for real-life situations, and includes the legal aspects of trading internationally and ways of mitigating risks. The programme also addresses market research, marketing in new cultures, logistics and compliance issues. It is the only qualification which enables students to harness prior applied learning, gained in employment, to underpin the formal recognition of their skills and knowledge.”
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