Small UK exporters getting left behind

Posted on 04 Jul 2013 and read 1273 times
Small UK exporters getting left behindAn international survey of 1,600 businesses — commissioned by the Institute of Export (IoE) and conducted by Trade and Export Finance Ltd — highlights a growing divide between ‘corporates’ with a turnover of more than £25 million and smaller UK firms.

Of those that replied to the survey, around 53% were from the engineering and manufacturing sectors. While nearly one in four of the respondents showed “an encouraging awareness” of Government schemes provided by UK Trade and Investment through Chamber of Commerce offices and the UK Export Finance programme, those with a turnover above £25 million were making the greatest use of the support on offer. The survey also found that the lack of finance and the lack of Government support were “constraining factors” for both ‘micro’ and small to medium-size businesses.

Lesley Bachelor, director general of the IoE (pictured), said that SMEs must be helped to make more use of the knowledge and skills training available to exporters.

“Most of the companies surveyed do not train their staff in international trade, and fewer than one in three small businesses see a specific need for training.

"Yet this lack of knowledge and training is holding back export momentum, especially for SMEs. Much more needs to be done to make these companies aware of the training programmes, apprenticeship and finance schemes available.”

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