Graduate Export Programme Helps Firms Go Global Faster

Aug 23, 2006

Invest Northern Ireland launched an initiative today which will help local firms to take advantage of export opportunities and offer talented graduates their first taste of the business world.

Invest NI’s graduate export development programme, Exporting Excellence (E2) will enable local businesses to enter new export markets and increase export sales whilst providing talented graduates with the opportunity to develop business skills and gain employment.

Tracy Meharg, Managing Director of Innovation and Capability Development, Invest NI believes the E2 programme will bring a number of benefits to the local economy:

“Taking advantage of international business opportunities will ensure that Northern Ireland businesses enjoy rapid and sustainable growth. However for many reasons, including time, cost and lack of available skills, companies don’t fully explore export opportunities. In addition, we have a wealth of young people who are keen to enter the business world and fully utilise their skills to deliver tangible benefits to industry.”

“Invest NI’s original graduate export programme helped local firms to secure over £20 million of export sales over 5 years and has now been redeveloped as E2 to build upon this success. With global marketplaces changing rapidly, it is vital that companies have the strategies, resources and support framework in place to remain competitive.

“E2 has been designed to be more responsive and holistic. Not only will it help talented local graduates to use their energy and skills to deliver significant benefits to local industry but it will now offer wider support and advice to participating companies so they can develop a sustainable long term export strategy.”

Invest NI’s E2 programme will provide direct support to both the company and the graduate to maximise the impact and is to be delivered through a strategic partnership between Parity and Envision. E2 will train and support graduates over a nine month period whilst providing companies with up to 30 days of consultancy support to develop an export marketing strategy and management capability. Participating graduates can spend at least five months working in their target market or markets.

Ms Meharg adds: “I am certain that Invest NI’s E2 programme will play a fundamental role in helping companies and graduates take their first confident steps into new export markets.”

The Invest NI E2 programme is currently seeking applications from client companies and graduates at

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