Employment and Learning Minister Dr Stephen Farry and Enterprise, Trade and Investment Minister Arlene Foster have welcomed the launch of the new Graduate Export Sales and Marketing Academy.
The Academy aims to provide graduates with the skills and experience required to take up exciting new exporting opportunities in both the sales and marketing arenas.
The Minister said: “This joint venture between my Department and Invest NI is an exciting new area of development which has been identified by employers. Selling products and services into export markets is essential for the development of Northern Ireland’s economy.
“The Graduate Export Sales and Marketing Academy is another excellent example of government interventions to improve the skills of unemployed graduates, whilst providing our employers with highly skilled staff to meet the needs of their business. On completion of the Academy the successful participants will receive accredited qualifications recognised by industry and work experience in preparation for new exciting job opportunities in the workplace.”
Targeting HND, degree or equivalent graduates from any discipline, the Academy will offer an intensive eight week training programme, followed by a nine month temporary work contract with an employer and a potential offer of employment.
Congratulating the participating companies, Enterprise, Trade and Investment Minister Arlene Foster said: “Invest Northern Ireland works hard to increase our export base and has a full range of measures to help companies increase their sales abroad, not least through a comprehensive programme of trade missions and exhibitions. Increasing the export sales and marketing skills of our young people is an essential part of ensuring that local companies continue to take advantage of the significant opportunities that exist in international markets.”
The skills requirements have been identified by indigenous companies wishing to expand on their export markets. Companies wishing to take part in the Academy have been through an Invest NI application process and have an approved project for the graduate to work on during their nine months contract.
This Academy is been designed and delivered by Belfast Metropolitan College (BMC) with support from the Department for Employment and Learning and Invest NI under the Assured Skills programme.
Nine employers are involved in the programme including Ciga Healthcare, Core Systems, Edge Innovate, Environmental Product and Services, Environmental Street Furniture, Mallaghan Engineering, RA Irwin, The Creativity Hub and Williams Industrial Services.
The findings of a Sales and Marketing Research Project, commissioned by Invest Northern Ireland, can be found here.