From education to employment

British Learning Association (BLA) and UK Trade and Investment (UKTI) Coll

Industry and government entered into a happy collaboration last month at an event organised by the British Learning Association (BLA) and supported by UK Trade and Investment (UKTI).

Held at the prestigious DTI Conference Centre, London, the event, International opportunities for learning and development, opened the gateway for UK learning providers wishing to offer their services internationally. It is hoped an on-going partnership with UKTI, a Government organisation that supports both UK companies trading internationally and overseas enterprises seeking to locate in the UK, will enable the BLA to realise international business potential.

Broad Interest

The event, which enjoyed registered interest from more than 160 parties, provided a valuable platform for diverse providers in the learning and development sector to engage with players already active in international markets. In addition, the occasion raised industry awareness of available government support for export opportunities, and for achieving success.

According to David Wolfson, Chair of the BLA, the latter organisation has long desired to market the UK’s learning services abroad. “We have known for a long time that our members expertise and products can form a vital part of our countrys export market. British education and learning is held in the highest esteem throughout much of the world,” he said.

Heralding Further Events to Come

February’s event is anticipated to be the first of many, as the two organisations continue to build their relationship. Richard Parry, Head of Unit, Education Skills and Leisure at UKTI, further explained that the benefits of the collaboration flow in both directions, saying: “It gave us a priceless opportunity to explain what UKTI do, and how we feel we can help British companies export their learning skills and equipment.”

The partnership will afford UK learning providers easier access to advice, support and global business knowledge and improve their opportunity for expansion abroad. In turn, exporting the UK’s leading learning services will doubtless benefit the British economy and raise the profile of the industry sector abroad and at home. But will UK learning providers be conflicted in where to expend their resources, and are their businesses mature enough to succeed in a foreign market? Will domestic customers benefit from business growth, or could they lose-out as companies turn their attention to foreign markets?

Capitalising on the brand and reputation of British education and learning is theoretically sound, but successful execution will probably prove more challenging.

Michelle Price

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