Sat, 27 Jun 2015

EDUCATION in renewables could be the key to business opportunities for Grimsby-area companies in Indonesia.

Two leading training providers operating in North East Lincolnshire are exploring opportunities, working alongside Hull and Humber Chamber of Commerce.

Food businesses are already active in a market which is driven by a population of 250 million, and support services for UK companies are well established.

The scale of the potential emerging was underlined by a delegation of influential trade and industry leaders who are now following up with business who gathered at a private meeting on the Humber earlier this month. Related content

Members of BKPM, Indonesia's Investment Co-ordinating Board, met national and regional businesses brought together by the Chamber.

Pauline Wade, the director of international trade, said: "The meeting generated excellent engagement between senior business leaders in the region and our visitors from Indonesia and we see that as the beginning of developing a relationship with them.

"One of the quickest ways to form cultural ties is through education. We need to work hard in terms of profile but Grimsby Institute and Heta have already visited Malaysia with the Chamber and they are considering other countries in the region."

Nurul Ichwan, director of the Indonesian Investment Promoting Centre, said opportunities exist across his nation's economy, and particularly in renewables.

He said: "We want industry in Indonesia to grow faster because we have natural resources that we want to develop. This is a time for Indonesia to start looking at green energy.

"We are looking for joint ventures with companies from the UK to develop projects in Indonesia. We have more sun than the UK and we have a very long coastline which presents a big opportunity.

"Any kind of training that will increase capacity and skills will be needed. Our Ministry of Manpower is thinking about the right training strategy."

Iain Elliott, chief executive of Humberside Engineering Training Association (Heta), said the company is looking into exporting expertise by sending its trainers overseas and by bringing trainees to the Humber.

He said: "Our interest is in looking for those countries which are trying to develop technical and vocational education. We have looked at the Emirates and Malaysia and there is no reason why Indonesia would not figure as well."

Heta's teaching, quality and innovation head, Mike Cargill, added: "The ideas we are looking at are opportunities to train international colleagues at our training centres in Hull, Scunthorpe and Stallingborough, allowing our instructors to go abroad for short periods of time to train people in their home countries."

Tony Bell, vice-principal for commercial activity at Grimsby Institute, said his organisation is keen to explore "any or all education, training, research and consultancy opportunities – both in the UK and the ASEAN region".