Frances Fawcett discusses why training is critical and – currently – free!

Most people would agree that training is important in life to carry out tasks successfully and, in some cases, safely.

No one sensible would attempt to scale a mountain without undertaking training first. They would be putting their life in danger.

The same is true in business and training brings significant benefits as well as enabling people to carry out tasks properly. And right now, we are pleased to see that there are Government funds available that enable some of this training to be completely free – more on that later.

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No one sensible would attempt to scale a mountain without undertaking training first. They would be putting their life in danger.

Training is beneficial for organisations and employees alike. For organisations it delivers more efficiency leading to increased profitability, improves employee satisfaction and morale, and helps with accreditations valued by customers and other stakeholders. And consider this – are your people trained to meet the requirements that keep your company safe and well run?

Organisations have statutory compliance requirements to meet and must ensure their staff are trained on exactly what that means.

For individual employees, undertaking training increases their worth, improves performance and morale and makes them more valuable now and in the future.

For some years, International Trade Matters Ltd has been working with local Chambers of Commerce to build and deliver the British Chambers of Commerce international accredited training courses. The training programme has operated since 2013 and can lead to the BCC Foundation Award in International Trade. This is a nationally recognised, NVQ 2 equivalent, qualification.

Not everyone completes all the modules required for the award. There are ten modules in the programme, and each offers a credit towards the award. Six credits are needed to receive the award, but it may be that some roles only need two or three. That is completely fine and it is important that training is undertaken which is relevant to someone’s role. Imagine undertaking that mountain climbing training but not going near a mountain for a year or two. There is a reason training in topics such as safety and first aid need to be refreshed periodically – you forget knowledge if you don’t have the opportunity to put it to use.

And we are in turbulent times in the international trade arena. Not only are we managing the impact of a global pandemic, but we are also ending the transition period as we leave the EU. Things will be very different with your EU suppliers and customers from 1st January 2021.

Now is therefore a critical time to ensure your staff have the skills they need.

To support you in providing those skills, the government has extended its grant programme to provide funding for training.  In our experience, some grant programmes (from any provider) can come with criteria making them difficult to access.  This is not the case here and we applaud the government for recognising the flexibility that companies need. Grants can be used for training to support customs declarations, customs processes, and help with numerous import and export processes. That list is extensive and includes, amongst other things, licenses, goods in the UK temporarily, paperwork, trading with the EU, regulations, and more. Training does not need to lead to a formal qualification and can be carried out internally for your company, and the cost of an external trainer is covered.

We think you’ll agree that the scope is extensive and – importantly – very flexible. There are more details here, and you’re welcome to get in touch for advice and more details and examples.

Here at ITM, we have always had a very flexible approach to training because we know that every company is different. We deliver public courses in partnership with Chambers of Commerce. We have adapted these to be delivered online in response to recent changes in people’s working practices. We offer bespoke training either in-person or online that is tailored to the needs of individual companies, and even individual teams. Happily, our courses are well received by attendees. We monitor feedback after each course and continually develop the materials and the content. Imagine our delight when we reviewed the feedback at the end of 2019 and found that over three quarters of attendees gave us an overall rating of “Excellent”. 

Some of the comments were a pleasure to read as well.

“All information will be used within my role”

“Very informative”

“It was very interactive, and we looked at many practical examples”

“Game was awesome” (We use interactive exercises during in-person courses)

“Very friendly, info was easily digestible”

“Well presented, good clear examples, trainer asked to go “off-piste” and knew all of the additional topics too – excellent”

Businesses large and small are facing challenging times now. It is therefore critical that your teams can work as skilfully and effectively as possible to increase your productivity and, as is always so vital, ensure you are meeting your compliance obligations. Some would say that recent global challenges at the same time as leaving the UK gives many businesses a mountain to scale. Let us help you gain the skills to scale that mountain safely and successfully, and potentially without it costing you a penny.

Contact the team at International Trade Matters today OR click HERE to read more about Government Grants for International Trade Training

Frances has recently delivered several informative webinars on key international trade subjects.

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