Freeport Trade and Investment Manager

Department for International Trade Logo
Closing Date: 21/08/2022
Contract Permanent
Working Hours Flexible, Full Time, Part Time
Location Darlington
Salary £34,425 - £40,300
Company Department for International Trade

Job Description


The UK Government has announced eight freeports across England, with further Freeports to be selected in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. This programme requires critical inputs from across Government, including from DIT on trade and investment. Several Freeports have already become operational, and the role holder will play a key part in shaping the Department’s response to the challenges posed and opportunities in relation to growing investment and exports in Freeports and their communities.

The Department plays an active role in helping to deliver the UK Freeports programme, including:

  • Supporting the nomination and review process for Freeport bids
  • Advising each Freeport in the development of their trade and investment strategy
  • Ensuring Freeports have access to DIT’s expertise and cadre of export and investment support services

A central hub has been created in the department to manage this and provide strategic guidance to the Freeports.

This role will sit within the DIT Freeports Team. Whilst the team is housed within the Investment Directorate, it will straddle the interests of DIT Exports, Policy, Regions and Nations teams. Consequently, the role holder will be expected to understand the interests of all relevant DIT teams and work across them effectively to deliver the Department’s contributions to the Freeports programme.

The role holder will be expected to build networks across the Department, as well as with key stakeholders in the Department for Levelling Up, Treasury, and the Freeports, in order to balance stakeholder’s priorities and ensure the delivery of high-quality expertise and export and investment support.

Job description

This role requires strong attention to detail and outstanding communication, networking and influencing skills, as well as being able to communicate complex technical ideas clearly to non-specialist audiences.

We will be looking for:

  • Personal presence, effectiveness and credibility to operate autonomously with the executive teams of newly established Freeports, and at Director/Director General and Ministerial level within Government
  • The ability to work at pace in a complex cross-departmental environment, driving progress in the face of competing views and priorities
  • Excellent network-building skills, quickly creating an enduring network of senior stakeholders for collaboration on the Freeports agenda
  • The ability to hold authoritative conversations with external stakeholders and international investors, triaging investor interest and brokering introductions to a network

Hybrid Working

The role will be based in either London or Darlington. You will be asked to express a location preference during the application process.

Please be aware that this role can only be worked from within the UK and not overseas.

Informal hybrid working arrangements will be available as agreed with the vacancy manager and in line with the requirements of the role.

Appointments will be made to candidates in merit order based on location preferences.

Most DIT employees will be working a hybrid pattern, spending 2-3 days a week (pro rata) in an office, on average. If your office location is London, you will be eligible to receive London weighting.


Essential Criteria

  • Be a clear communicator and able to build effective working relationships with both internal and external stakeholders to deliver against a broad set of strategic objectives
  • The ability to work at pace in a complex cross-departmental environment, providing momentum to support the delivery of the Department’s objectives
  • Strong written and verbal communication skills, including the ability to draft effective ministerial briefings and presenting confidently to a range of internal and external stakeholders
  • You will have good attention to detail and be able to operate independently to deliver a high-quality service at pace

Desirable Criteria

  • A background in marketing and/or investment promotion with an understanding of global capital flows, inward investment, international investors, or export experience
  • Capable IT skills, intermediate to advanced user of the Microsoft Office Suite – Excel, SharePoint, MS Teams, PowerPoint, Word
  • Comfortable using different digital products, with the ability to present information in an effective manner to report to senior stakeholders
  • Experience of project management and delivery

Person Specification

The team member should be:

  • Effective communicator: someone who enjoys building strong relationships with a variety of different stakeholders
  • Delivery focussed; ability to think practically and be tenacious in overcoming barriers to implementation
  • Keen team player: collaborative, inclusive and organised, and a responsive sharer of information
  • Flexible: a willingness to learn and adapt and the ability to help others do the same
  • Comfortable with ambiguity; ability to take a structured approach to deliver in a changing environment

Support in applying for our vacancies is available by joining a virtual Candidate Support Session. These sessions include helpful tips and advice on the recruitment process, from application to interview.


We’ll assess you against these behaviours during the selection process:

  • Managing a Quality Service
  • Working Together
  • Seeing the Big Picture

We only ask for evidence of these behaviours on your application form:

  • Managing a Quality Service
Apply Now!

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