Business Studies Student Completes Industry Placement for International Trade in London

A Weston College Business student has earned the opportunity to gain work experience at the Department for International Trade.

Ryan, who’s studying a BTEC Extended Diploma, secured the work placement after taking part in a government competition designed to test learners’ trade-related knowledge and skills.

On his placement, Ryan will get to learn about trade relations, defence and security and multilateral tariffs. He’ll also gain invaluable experience of working in a high-pressure environment and establish contacts with key department personnel.

In the summer, Ryan and a team of fellow Weston College students took part in the regional stage of the Department for International Trade competition at Airbus in Bristol.

They emerged victorious against schools and colleges from across the region, presenting an excellent pitch for their product to enter the international market.

The Weston team then took part in the finals, held at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office in London. Even though they didn’t win the event, they impressed judges with their pitch and were given the opportunity to visit Downing Street.

Upon his return to College Ryan sought an opportunity to complete his industry placement hours at the Department for International Trade, with the aim working alongside key trade personnel and ministers. Ben, the College’s Subject Area Manager for Business, said: “The route into the Department for International Trade wasn’t clear and you couldn't just 'apply'. Ryan and I drafted an email to the organiser of the summer competition who drafted a bespoke 5-day programme for Ryan. She even commented on the fact that she remembered Ryan as an individual from the summer competition and looked forward to working with him, which was great to hear.

“Industry placements provide our learners with an opportunity to get jobs and network with people in the workplace.

“The course is great at providing them with the knowledge they need, but a good placement can really help a learner to put their skills into practice and focus on a specific progression route.”

“It was a great opportunity, I learnt about international and bilateral trade, and the differences between the countries. I sat in on an official development assistance (ODA) meeting, joined marketing to create comms around brexit.

“My work placement was really helpful for me as it’s given me a sense of direction as of where to go in the future. Because of my work placement I’ve decided to go to uni and after that I know I am going to go and work in the civil service “ said Ryan.

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