The Institute for Export & International Trade, the professional membership body representing and supporting the interests of importers and exporters, is to return money it claimed from the government in 2020 under the furlough scheme.
The Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme, known as the furlough scheme, was introduced by HM Government in the spring of 2020, to cover 80% of pay to employees furloughed by companies due to the economic impact of Covid-19.
It was subsequently widened to cover those working part time for the same reason.
The scheme has since been extended to the end of April 2021.
From Marco Forgione, director general, IOE&IT: “Last year the Institute was faced by a considerable amount of uncertainty. We – like so many others – had to make use of the employment support offered by the government.
“At the time we appreciated the help and support for employment that the government provided through the furlough scheme. It gave us security during what was a very difficult period and enabled us to reshape the way in which the Institute serves its members and the wider international trade community.
“But now, the IOE&IT starts 2021 in a strong financial position with a significant influx of new members joining it, as the UK experiences the biggest changes to its international trading position for a generation.
“IOE&IT members are able to access advice and training to help them and their businesses adjust to the changing landscape.”
With demand for the IOE&IT’s training and qualifications in trade and customs at an all-time high, the Institute’s team has grown from 15 staffers at the start of 2020 to our present strength of more than 100 team members.
“We are increasing the much-needed support and guidance to UK businesses we provide, helping them trade effectively,” Forgione says.
The Institute is proud to be based in Peterborough and within the wider Cambridgeshire region, Forgione continues.
“We’re looking forward to facilitating the post-Covid recovery, confident we will continue to play our valuable role internationally, nationally and locally in the future,” he says.
The IOE&IT will shortly be repaying some £25,000 to the Exchequer, money which will now be available to help businesses that need it.