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BUSINESS FOCUS: Back to school to develop new skills – and pick up some tips at the same time!

By Colin Marr

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School pupils have had the chance to learn about international trade – many of their ideas impressing the experts.
School pupils have had the chance to learn about international trade – many of their ideas impressing the experts.

Last week was back to school for me – and I loved it.

We do a load of different things at Inverness Chamber of Commerce and last week two of our most important teams combined.

Our international team help businesses across the Highlands who want to export or import. They can offer advice, training and crucial documentation for Certificates of Origin and customs. It’s a full service that can guide companies from first thoughts through to international trading.

They also organise trade missions to help businesses find trading partners in other countries.

Last week our international team combined with our Developing The Young Workforce (DYW) Team went to Fortrose Academy where we worked with four teams of brilliant students.

We outlined how trade missions work and then set the four teams off to choose a country, research trading conditions, work out the best trading sectors for the Highlands and design a programme of events within a budget.

A couple of days later we returned and heard four fantastic presentations. The ultimate winner had chosen a trade mission to The Netherlands, but all the teams had done a superb job. We are currently planning trade missions to Canada and Ireland and will definitely be stealing a few ideas. The students will also get the opportunity to visit two Highland businesses to find out how they make their international trade decisions in real life.

Colin Marr.
Colin Marr.

Later in the week was Millburn Academy for a DYW employer morning. We had 34 companies who heard about the work undertaken by DYW and Millburn to make sure all their pupils have the best opportunity to find the right job for them. We heard some inspiring stories from teachers of how pupils and employers have worked together.

Following this the teachers had the chance to go round the employers’ stands and really understand their businesses and what sort of staff they are looking for.

I was at school a long time ago but it’s fair to say that none of this happened then.

This is vital work to help every pupil find a great job and every employer find the workforce they need for the future.

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