Chamber is aiming to present more international trade events

Suffolk Chamber's new international trade apprentice.
Rachel Cornes being welcomed by Chamber staf

Suffolk Chamber's new international trade apprentice. Rachel Cornes being welcomed by Chamber staff (L2R: Alicia Matthews, Rachel Cornes, Amanda Ankin plus Jo Pine of West Suffolk College). - Credit: Archant

Suffolk Chamber of Commerce appoints first international trade apprentice

Suffolk’s leading business organisation, one of whose four strategic aims is to improve the county’s skills base, has just appointed its first-ever international trade apprentice in a bid to further enhance its offer in this increasingly important area of its work.

Rachel Cornes joins Suffolk Chamber of Commerce as its international business and events apprentice with a brief to help senior events co-ordinator Alicia Matthews and Jim Fanshawe, Suffolk Chamber international’s manager expand the Chamber’s use of events and exhibitions to reach potential and current exporters with its advice services across the county.

Amanda Ankin, head of Chamber Services said: “we are committed to ensuring that the county’s skills base is fit for the future. With the appointment of Rachel we are putting our money where our mouth is. Rachel was an outstanding candidate whose enthusiasm, attitude and willingness to learn impressed us all. We know she will be a great asset in supporting our growing international trade offer.”

As part of her full-time role, Rachel,20, from West Bergholt, is studying for a Level 3 Diploma in Business Administration at West Suffolk College and doing so remotely by putting aside specific hours each week for coursework.

Rachel said: “Suffolk Chamber is a fast-paced and dynamic place to work. Each day is different and I’m learning so much. But what I also appreciate is that under Alicia and Jim’s mentoring I’m being allowed to show my own initiative and get actively involved in organising and marketing the Chamber’s many international trade events.”

Jo Pine, senior business development advisor at West Suffolk College added: “It’s fantastic to see Rachel setting into her role at Suffolk Chamber so well. Having discussed the business needs with Amanda we identified the exact type of candidate required. I was then able to deliver our free recruitment service and provide a set of high-calibre candidates for the role. The overall result was the Chamber got the best employee to support its business and especially its growing international trade offer.”

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Suffolk Chamber’s work in supporting firms from across the county to export has been accredited by the British Chambers of Commerce and is being held up as an exemplar to others across the UK.

Recently the Chamber launched a free web-based Export Readiness Assessment Tool and is offering Expert Readiness Follow-up Sessions for companies needing more detailed guidance about breaking into new overseas markets.