How to close the skills gap in global trade: A roadmap for companies

Multinational firms struggle to find skilled professionals for global trade management. The 2023 TRI Corporate Global Trade Survey Report identifies complexity, volatility, and technology as drivers of the skills gap. To bridge this gap, companies should identify skills, invest in training, foster collaboration, partner with institutions, and embrace technology.

  • How to close the skills gap in global trade: A roadmap for companies

    Multinational companies are grappling with a shared dilemma: the ongoing struggle to secure skilled professionals for critical roles in global trade management. The Thomson Reuters Institute (TRI) Global Trade Report 2023 identifies two key drivers of the skills gap among international trade specialists:


    1. Complexity and volatility: Evolving global trade dynamics introduce challenges, including geopolitical instabilities, supply chain scarcities, regulatory changes, and rising fuel costs. 
    2. Technology integration: Widely adopted technology transforms the skill set needed for global trade professionals, involving interlinked computer systems and specialized software managing various aspects. The rise of generative AI exacerbates the shortage of specialists.


    • 33% of surveyed companies remain understaffed. 
    • 53% have plans to actively recruit for new roles in global supply chain management. 
    • 37% are considering outsourcing to bridge these skills gaps.

    By following this roadmap, companies can bridge the skills gap and navigate the complexities of the modern trade landscape.

    Step 1: Identifying critical skills gap

    • Assess critical skills, analyzing organizational gaps, understanding global trade demands, and invest in training programs while encouraging participation in relevant events.

    Step 2: Invest in training and development

    • Provide targeted programs to enhance existing workforce skills, offering courses and certifications to develop technical, regulatory, and business acumen.
    • Encourage participation in industry conferences and networking for knowledge expansion.

    Step 3: Foster collaboration and knowledge sharing

    • Promote cross-functional collaboration, establishing mentorship programs, and encouraging employees to share expertise through internal workshops and presentations. 

    Step 4: Partner with educational institutions and trade associations 

    • Collaborate to develop specialized programs, supporting industry-specific certifications, and offer internships and apprenticeships to bridge the skills gap.

    Step 5: Embrace technology and automation 

    • Invest in state-of-the-art global trade management (GTM) software, leveraging automation tools to streamline efficiencies and free up time for strategic decision making.

    For further information visit: How to address the persistent skills gap in global trade management

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