Record business attendance at export courses as move to boost region’s economy gathers pace

19 August 2013

A RECORD number of Yorkshire businesses are signing up for courses to boost their exporting and help rebalance the region’s economy, says overseas trade specialist, Chamber International.

In the first six months of 2013, 145 people from companies throughout Yorkshire – 23 more than in the whole of 2012 - have attended export courses run by Chamber International, which provides international trade support on behalf of chambers of commerce.

Of those trained so far this year, 132 have passed the British Chambers of Commerce courses with merits, one passed and 11 chose not to sit an examination.

Chamber International, Bradford, says that growing demand means that a further nine days of export training, in-house at various company premises for a total of 35 people, have already been booked with a further five courses scheduled for either Chamber International or at other venues around the region later this summer.

Greater understanding about exporting and its benefits is being stimulated by Leeds Enterprise Partnership’s (LEP) We Are International export campaign, which is being delivered by Chamber International and aims to bring £2.6bn of additional export earnings into the ten local authority areas within Leeds City Region by 2018 and create thousands of new jobs.

Chamber International head of export training, Mike Strawson, says: “Growing demand for our courses is further evidence that Leeds City Region in particular and Yorkshire as a whole is gearing up for a significant export drive. We have never been busier.                                                                                                           

“Interest is coming from businesses across the commercial spectrum, from national supermarkets and large plcs to a wide range of manufacturers and SMEs. Many which have previously been dabbling in exporting have discovered the benefits and now realize that with a flat domestic market they need to do it seriously to prosper and survive.”

Among dozens of companies which have attended export courses are: Byworth Boilers, Gardner Denver and Ogden Fibres, Bradford; Crosslee, Halifax; Abraham Moon and Straight Plc, Leeds; Viva Eyewear, Harrogate; Harvard Engineering and Parkside Flexibles, Wakefield;  Cleveland Steel  and Tubes, Thirsk; Swinton Technology, Malton and Fibrelite, Skipton

Chamber International continuously updates its ten export courses, which cover issues including: exporting principals, documentation, payment methods and security, cultural etiquette, insurance and the delivery of products, to keep pace with changing international regulations and is preparing for a further series of courses which may start this autumn.

Mike Strawson adds: “The courses enable businesses to respond more professionally to enquiries and to generate more overseas business so they can increase profitability, turnover, security and employment. In spite of recent better economic news, the UK and wider EU economy remains weak and businesses in Yorkshire, like those in the rest of the UK, need to realize their export potential, especially to faster-growing markets.”