ICA re-evaluates its training provision

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ICA re-evaluates its training provision

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/* Style Definitions */ table.MsoNormalTable{mso-style-name:”Table Normal”;mso-tstyle-rowband-size:0;mso-tstyle-colband-size:0;mso-style-noshow:yes;mso-style-parent:””;mso-padding-alt:0cm 5.4pt 0cm 5.4pt;mso-para-margin:0cm;mso-para-margin-bottom:.0001pt;mso-pagination:widow-orphan;font-size:10.0pt;font-family:”Times New Roman”;mso-fareast-font-family:”Times New Roman”;mso-ansi-language:#0400;mso-fareast-language:#0400;mso-bidi-language:#0400;} The International Cotton Association ICA has been forced to suspend its annual training programme, Complete Cotton, due to a number of industry changes that have resulted in a shortfall in delegate applications.

ICA Directors reluctantly made the decision last week, following a meeting of the Association’s Training Committee. Kai Hughes,ICA Managing Director, explains:
“This past year has been particularly difficult for firms with many having to make savings. There has also been a large amount of consolidation in the industry, which has seen a decrease in the number of new entrants into the trade. In addition, strict visa restrictions for entry into the UK have had a direct impact on the number of students joining the course.
“Despite actively marketing the course, take up has been slow and disappointing. There were 35 places available and, as of last week, eight delegates had signed up. One of the major benefits of attending the course is the networking and the friendships that the students make. This year’s delegate shortfall was considered to be well below the level required to produce a viable course for our students and it would also have had a big financial impact for the ICA. All these factors played a part in our decision – it was a sad decision, but the right one.”
Complete Cotton was due to take place in April in Liverpool, UK. It is a two-week training programme that focuses on all aspects of the cotton trade and, over the years, it has provided an excellent grounding for many of today’s influential players in the cotton world.
Kai concludes:  “On a more positive note, the decision to suspend the 2010 programme has forced us to take action and re-evaluate our education provision. We aim to completely re-think and re-vamp the course in time for next year -rationalising the syllabus and providing more advanced, in depth modules on aspects of the trade. We also want to be able to introduce a range of new courses that can be delivered at global locations, that are demand led, trade focused and are flexible enough to react to the ever-changing market conditions.”