Fianna Fáil Senator Mary White says that there is an urgent need for Irish businesses to develop their sales expertise, especially in the international arena.

The Senator, who is the party’s Seanad spokesperson on Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation, says that to be a major export nation we need to be world class at selling our products in technology and innovation.

“Sales are the engine of growth yet, relative to the availability of scientists, engineers, financial experts and other professionals, our innovation companies have a critical shortage of internationally focussed sales expertise.”

Senator White, who co-founded the Lir chocolate company, is especially keen that our third level institutes be at the forefront of developing this.

“We must explore how we can make international sales a core discipline at third level. There is a multitude of marketing courses but these are not sufficient.”

 “During my own business career I regularly encountered the attitude that selling was somehow beneath the status of the marketing graduate. This needs to change.”

In raising this issue in the Seanad today, the Senator was endorsing other calls to develop our international sales expertise. The Kernel Capital Group recently sent an open letter to the Minister for Education and Skills, the Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation and the Presidents of the Universities and the Institutes of Technology on the issue.