ERIC Number: ED469867
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2002
Reference Count: N/A
Internationalisation and Changing Skills Needs in European Small Firms: Synthesis Report. CEDEFOP Reference Series.
The changing skill needs being experienced by small European firms because of increasing internationalization were examined in a survey of owners/managers and employees of 85 small manufacturing businesses in Greece, Spain, Ireland, Italy, the Netherlands, Austria, and the United Kingdom and case studies of an additional 16 businesses that have been particularly successful in becoming internationalized. The study confirmed that export and other cross-border activities constitute the first step toward internationalization and that, in most cases, it also constitutes natural progress in business growth or even survival. The main difficulties encountered in the small firms' international operations were access to suitable contacts abroad, market access, and market information. Having employees with two to four of the following key competencies was deemed key to successful internationalization: (1) foreign language skills; (2) knowledge of other markets/tastes; (3) communication skills; (4) information technology-based competencies; (5) negotiation skills; and (6) a capacity to work with international information systems and databases. The following are among the types of training services and technical support needed by small firms engaged in international business: group training programs; workshops on small exporters' best practices; and intensive foreign language courses. The study institutions' addresses are appended. (Contains 41 tables.) (MN)
Descriptors: Communication Skills, Communicative Competence (Languages), Competence, Contract Training, Cross Cultural Training, Cultural Pluralism, Educational Needs, Employee Attitudes, Employer Attitudes, Employment Qualifications, Exports, Foreign Countries, Global Approach, Information Technology, International Trade, Job Skills, Labor Needs, Manufacturing Industry, Needs Assessment, Postsecondary Education, Second Languages, Secondary Education, Small Businesses, Synthesis, Technical Assistance, Training, Trend Analysis, Vocational Education, Workshops
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Publication Type: Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: European Centre for the Development of Vocational Training, Thessaloniki (Greece).