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People 1st International highly commended in Department for Business and Trade export award

People 1st International logo

People 1st International has been recognised as a highly commended business in a prestigious Department for Business and Trade award, recognising our trading performance overseas.

A trusted partner to employers, development banks, government agencies, NGOs and education providers around the world, we were honoured as part of the Made in the UK, Sold to the World Awards which celebrates exporting excellence among UK SMEs.

Made in the UK sold to the World Awards 2024

The unique expertise and reputation of People 1st International as an established advisor in our role as a sector skills council in the UK has proven the catalyst to the success of our export business, which has gone from strength to strength since we began working internationally over 12 years ago.

Work overseas accounts for roughly 70% of our revenues. In the last year alone, we have delivered projects for a diverse portfolio of clients in countries and territories, including Mexico, Belize, Jamaica, Uzbekistan and the Middle East.

Our work has helped to strengthen workforces internationally through effective technical vocational education and training, building local capacity and capability. In addition to the economic impact this has had in developing countries, our collaborations have had a significant social impact in helping to widen participation in the workforce amongst marginalised groups. An example of which is a recent project in Egypt where we have supported Hyatt Regency Cairo West to analyse skills needs, strengthen current training plans, and develop curricula and capacity building programmes to scale up and improve talent.

At the helm of People 1st International is our Executive Director Jane Rexworthy. Despite being a trailblazer for skills development consultancy on the international stage, the foundations for our success in export markets were laid much closer to home, says Jane.

“We are proud to fly the flag for British skills and TVET know-how and expertise, harnessing these learnings to improve standards and transform people’s lives across the globe.”

“People 1st International traces its roots back to the 1960s when it was the Hospitality and Catering Training Board, which was set up to standardise training and improve standards across the industry.

“Fast forward sixty years and that commitment to empowering industry to create sustainable approaches to workforce development is unwavering.

“We combine vast industry experience and an in-depth understanding of technical and vocational education and training to support developing countries to challenge social and gender exclusion, address the barriers to work and support continuous professional development as a vehicle to sustainable job creation and economic growth.

“We are delighted to have been recognised by the Department for Business and Trade for sharing our knowledge and expertise with international partners to help raise education and skills standards.”

The Inter-American Development Bank is one of a number of partners that works with People 1st International to promote skills development in markets around the world. Fernando Yitzack Pavon, Senior Specialist – Skills Development Labor Markets Division says:

“It’s great to see People 1st International being recognised with the highly commended UK Department for Business and Trade’s ‘Made in the UK Sold to the World Award’”.

“From my experience working closely with People 1st International, I can confidently say that they are a trusted partner for organisations seeking to cultivate a skilled, productive and inclusive workforce. Their commitment to driving positive change through sustainable workforce development practices is evident in their work, making them a leading authority in the field. This award is a testament to their expertise and dedication, and we are proud to have brought them on board to implement sector skills councils in the western hemisphere and help us in advancing skills development to transform industries in Latin American and the Caribbean.”

Robert Marek, General Manager at Hyatt Regency Cairo West who worked with People 1st International on a transformative journey to improve customer ratings, employee retention, and diversity with the business adds:

“We congratulate People 1st International for receiving the highly commended recognition in the UK Department for Business and Trade’s Made in the UK, Sold to the World Award. It is brilliant to see their hard work and dedication being acknowledged on such a prestigious platform.

“As an organisation, we have had the pleasure of partnering with People 1st International on a project aimed at supporting the development of skilled and inclusive workforces. Their commitment towards supporting businesses and empowering individuals is commendable. We are confident that this recognition will only inspire them to continue their impactful work globally.”

Read more about the Made in the UK, Sold to the World awards here.