300,000 British teenagers are now afforded the opportunity to select exporting as their Duke of Edinburgh’s Award skill following a pioneering competition. Those who take up the opportunity will receive education, training and mentoring on international trade every year.

Trade Finance Global spoke to Dave Maisey, CEO of ICC Solutions.

Tell us a bit about the competition

dave maisey

We wanted to ignite a passion for export in young people, and inspire them with the confidence that they can embrace opportunities to do business within the global marketplace. These young people could be the international traders of tomorrow, ensuring Britain thrives as a powerful global trading nation. The preparation and research undertaken by the finalists was extremely comprehensive, resulting in highly informative exhibition displays combined with enthralling presentations. Every young person who participated should be congratulated. There was an air of excitement and anticipation, with nervous young people ready to do their very best for their school and themselves. They all displayed marvellous attributes, including maturity and teamwork in addition to their recently acquired exporting skills. It was obvious each participant relished the opportunity.

Participating Pupil:

“Participating in the Exporting Excellence Project was a very enjoyable experience and I achieved something I never thought was possible. It has enhanced my knowledge of international trade and I am now considering a future career in exporting.”

Participating Pupil:

“The Exporting Excellence Project has enabled me to reach beyond my potential. Exporting was something that I previously had very little knowledge about, but I’ve learned a great deal about it and it’s now something I’m really interested in.”

Why is exporting so important for the UK, and why is educating young people through DofE important?

In these days of uncertainty with Brexit, it is vitally important to convey a strong and positive message that Britain is fully open for international trade, and equipped to further excel as a powerful global trading nation. The amount of positive and sincere feedback that the Exporting Excellence initiative has generated is testament to the vision and passion that ICC Solutions and the DofE have about giving young people the opportunity to further develop their personal attributes and qualities… Ordinary young people achieving extra ordinary things! The DofE provides a marvellous framework to equip young people for life and work, and inspires them to achieve great things.

Tell us a bit more about the competition

Designed to excite future international traders, the Exporting Excellence competition was devised by Warrington-based global payment industry specialist, ICC Solutions, in partnership with The Duke of Edinburgh’s Award (DofE) North of England team, to mark the 60th anniversary of the DofE.

It challenged schools to think creatively and choose a product or service to export to a country that is involved in the DofE programme.

After being supported by an ICC Solutions export champion, six finalists pitched their ideas to a high-profile judging panel comprising Lesley Batchelor OBE, director general of The Institute of Export & International Trade, and fellow judges from ICC Solutions, the Department for International Trade and the DofE.

The Laurence Jackson School in Guisborough, Teesside scooped the winning proposal to export life-saving equipment to Uganda, accompanied by trainers to demonstrate its use. The team received £2,500 to develop The Duke of Edinburgh’s Award programme within the school.

Following the competition, the DofE pledged to recognise exporting as part of the Skills Section of the DofE Award – giving 300,000 young people in Britain the opportunity to be educated, trained and mentored on exporting every year, if the young people chose this skill.

Lesley Batchelor added: “We were very excited to be involved in this fantastic competition between such enthusiastic young teams. The news that the world’s leading youth achievement award will now cover overseas commerce is something to be celebrated.

“It is vital that tomorrow’s talent is made aware of the importance of export activity and the many fulfilling careers that it provides. With the DofE preparing so many young people for life and work every year in the UK, we expect many more applications for our wide range of professional export qualifications and training courses.”

Who are ICC Solutions and what are your core objectives?

ICC Solutions is a global leader in the supply of Chip & PIN test tools, exporting to over 60 countries. We aspire to deliver excellence to our clients, providing the most innovative and efficient solutions and services. As a three time Queen’s Awards for Enterprise winner (two in International Trade and one in Innovation), and with our CEO being a Trustee Director at the IOE&IT, ICC Solutions is committed to inspiring others to embrace the opportunities offered by international trade.

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