§ Mr. McNamara
To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what commercial training or experience is required for each grade of staff of UK Trade and Investment. 
§ Mr. Mike O'Brien
[holding answer 13 May 2004]: Commercial training or experience is not a specific requirement for UK Trade and Investment staff prior to recruitment. However, the organisation is committed to offering its staff a career structure in which continuous training and development opportunities are offered to enhance professionalism. All staff undertake induction courses and relevant training to enable them to meet business objectives.
UK Trade and Investment's international trade advisers (based in Business Links) and locally engaged staff overseas also undertake associated commercial training to gain the knowledge and skills relevant to their role. Many international trade advisers and locally engaged staff have practical business experience. Staff are encouraged to take advantage of opportunities to work in the private sector and in our commercial posts overseas. Those within the organisation who are from the public sector also benefit from the knowledge, skills and expertise of the private sector business experts working alongside them.