EDEXCEL, the leading UK examinations company which has set papers taken by Northern Ireland students, is among businesses and staff around the world benefiting from the high quality training packages and assessment services offered by a local training firm set up just a few years ago.

Edutrain International, an Invest Northern Ireland backed company, counts among its customers several major public and private sector organisations including EDEXCEL and many of the UK’s biggest councils.

Edutrain, through an associated company, also has customers in Malaysia including Affin Bank, MCIS Insurance, NEC Semiconductors and Staedtler and is currently developing further business in South East Asia.

The company provides tailored on-the-job programmes of occupational training, assessment and verification, leading to the award of nationally recognised vocational qualifications.

Managing Director, Richard McClelland, is a Chartered Civil Engineer with extensive experience of industrial training and development, and is a fully qualified trainer, assessor and verifier.

He explains: “We identified a gap in the market for training and assessment related to NVQs for operatives and managers in specific niche areas such as waste management, quarrying, civil engineering, construction and highway maintenance. We were one of the first UK companies to offer assessment for higher level NVQs in these areas.

“We have a competitive advantage in that we use occupationally competent assessors who are very experienced in their specific fields. “

The company is an approved assessment centre for a number of awarding bodies and is accredited by the Scottish Quality Management System. It recently received the Investor in People award.

“Our focus on quality and innovation has been a strong selling point for Edutrain and we find that once we get a customer they retain our services. We now have a successful track record of working through a partnering approach to service provision,” adds Richard.

The company has received advice and financial support from Invest NI to help it develop its marketing activity and strengthen its management structure.

Invest NI Director of Local Economic Development, Graham Davis, considers Edutrain International as an excellent example of a small business that has successfully penetrated the global market place.

“With its focus on a high quality, competence-based product Edutrain is successfully exporting 100 per cent of its sales. We want to encourage and support the establishment and growth of many more companies like Edutrain which have a global market focus. This is a central feature of our recently launched Accelerating Entrepreneurship strategy,” he says.