Trade Briefs: Birmingham Ormiston Academy; Open to Export; Responsible Trade Worldwide

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Ormiston Academy agrees new trade partnership with Maltese institute

THE Birmingham Ormiston Academy has agreed an exclusive partnership with St Martin’s Institute of Higher Education in Malta.  

Students from the two institutions have been commissioned to work alongside the Maltese Film Commission to create a series of promotional videos for the Maltese Tourism Authority.

The videos, which mark 50 years since Malta gained independence and 10 years since the country joined the EU, will explore subjects including heritage sites, festivals and carnivals, and food and culture; and will be used to draw new visitors to the country.

Gaynor Cheshire, principal at BOA, said: “This fantastic new partnership will allow students from both Malta and the UK to learn a lot more about creative media, giving them the chance to build international connections which will be of great benefit to them in the future.”

Over the next 24 months, the 30 creative arts students from BOA will make the trip to Malta in groups of 10, each group staying for two weeks at a time. As well as producing the promotional videos students will also attend a ‘Film School’, hosted by BOA head of broadcast media Nathan Dodzo and supported by the University of London.

BOA is open to students aged 14-18 who are looking to pursue careers in creative, digital and performance industries. It is sponsored by Ormiston Trust and Birmingham City University, with founding partners Maverick TV and the BRIT School.

Start-ups urged to boost export potential by entering new competition

BUSINESSES in the West Midlands looking to boost their exports could be eligible for entry to a new competition looking to support SMEs interested in developing their overseas trade.

Online exporter community Open to Export has launched the competition, which is aimed at an export start-up or a successful business ready for international expansion.

Firms entering will have the chance to win a package of prizes worth £4,000 designed to accelerate and develop their growth plans, including an easyJet flight to the market of their choice.

Shortlisted applicants will be invited to pitch in person to an expert judging panel and demonstrate their business vision and commercial knowledge.

Trade and Investment Minister Lord Green said: “This is a great opportunity to discover and support innovative SMEs and start-ups that have an established business or an export concept which is ready to be converted into a successful international opportunity.

“I’d encourage any business with global ambitions to apply for this valuable package of support which has been specifically tailored to jump-start business expansion overseas.”

Would-be participants can visit http://opentoexport.com/info/jumpstart/ for more information on how to apply. Candidates must submit the application form by midnight on November 24.

Birmingham seminar debates ethical supply chain challenges

RETAILERS are increasingly looking to establish partnerships with their global suppliers that promote sustainability and ethical working practices.

This was the message delivered as major retailers, specialists and academics gathered at ThinkTank in Birmingham to discuss the opportunities and challenges in increasing global supply chain transparency.

The event, run by sustainability and ethics consultants Responsible Trade Worldwide (RTW), identified common issues in the supply chain and offered potential solutions to improve the quality of goods, to minimise the environmental impact of products, and to improve working conditions and empower workers.

Rebecca Taylor, Head of Research at RTW, said: “We are delighted with the turnout for the event. With the public demanding greater transparency from retailers and employers, as well as more ethical and sustainable products, intelligent companies are now starting to enact change and events like this that promote collaboration and the sharing of ideas play a fundamental role in starting a change for the better.”

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