Students in Scotland have been given the opportunity to learn about the world of international trade, thanks to an initiative organised by the Department for International Trade (DIT).

Held in Edinburgh, the National Trade Academy Programme Summer School was one of three such events held across the UK aimed at inspiring the next generation of exporters.

Working alongside business leaders, the 16 to 18 year-olds who participated in the initiative learned how to design their own export strategy and how to develop their entrepreneurial skills.

Students were drawn from a number of schools and colleges, including Preston Lodge High School, West Calder High School and Knox Academy.

The National Trade Academy Programme Summer School was established by the DIT to help increase knowledge about the opportunities and benefits of international trade, while at the same time inspiring young people at a time they are exploring career options.

Among the export businesses represented at the event were the Scotch Whisky Association, Tissue Solutions and Aggreko.

Expressing her pleasure at being involved in the day, Scotch Whisky Association Chief Executive Karen Betts said the entrepreneurs of tomorrow could learn from the global success of Scotch Whisky.

“The industry’s exports flourished because of the entrepreneurial spirit of previous generations,” she explained.

With the whisky sector’s important contribution to the UK economy, Ms Betts added, it is vital that young people are inspired to learn the skills needed for future success.

For Tissue Solutions, Dr Morag McFarlane said that working alongside business leaders who have first-hand experience of exporting gives students practical insights, while helping them develop their leadership and management skills with a specific focus on business growth and innovation.

Summer Schools have also been organised in Bristol and Birmingham. Winning teams from each of the three days will be invited to London for a prize day, at which an overall winner will be announced.

Last reviewed 5 July 2019