From education to employment

FE exports see 15-fold increase

UK organisations exporting products to Further Education colleges and educational establishments overseas saw a fifteen-fold increase in demand in 2011.

Demand soared from £23 million in 2011 to £361 million.

The findings come from a survey of The British Educational Suppliers Association’s (BESA) member organisations that represented £1.74 billion of sales in 2011.

Director of BESA Ray Barker said that recent research of school spending in the UK has shown that despite the sector’s perception, budgets are still strong.

Barker said: “It is heartening that our member organisations are also seeing a growth in the opportunities provided by schools and colleges overseas.

“The standards and code of business practice that we have ensured our members abide by over the years is hopefully recognised and respected by schools across the world.”

Carried out in conjunction with the National Education Research Panel (NERP), the research also found that nearly three quarters of respondents also gave a positive outlook for export sales in 2012.

The UK market for education products and services across schools and colleges is in excess of £2.8 billion.

BESA represents over 300 educational suppliers in the UK, including manufacturers and distributors of equipment, books, furniture and technology to further education colleges and the education market as a whole.

Linsey Humphries 

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