Policy Lead – Europe

Department for International Trade Logo
Closing Date: 08/08/2022
Contract Permanent
Working Hours Flexible, Full Time, Part Time
Location Darlington
Salary £47,981 - £56,396
Company Department for International Trade

Job Description


This is an exciting time to join the Department for International Trade (DIT). The work we do has a real impact on jobs and growth across the United Kingdom. Our mission is to help businesses export, drive inward and outward investment, negotiate market access and trade deals, and to champion free trade. We are an international department based in 108 countries, and we work closely with our colleagues worldwide.

The ESS Policy & Analysis Hub is a multidisciplinary team created to lead DIT engagement in cross-government work to support UK businesses in navigating the new complexities in exporting to the EU following the end of the EU Exit Transition Period. Working within an evolving operating model the team support the delivery of the DIT Export Support Service though policy advice and deep export support knowledge and experience.

The successful applicant will play a vital role within the ESS Policy & Analysis Hub to help improve the export environment for UK businesses. You will be working on cross-Whitehall policy projects to identify issues facing UK exporters and find ways and means to address these issues, through upskilling, improvements to guidance, and seeking changes to policy and processes.

This role involves leading the team’s Projects Function, working closely with Policy Hub team leads, counterpart teams in Europe, and acting as lead negotiator with OGD partners on policy recommendations and overseeing timely implementation.

The role will require you to develop your ability and knowledge to act as a voice for UK exporters in the policy-making process, and to gather evidence and feedback to encourage other government departments to address the issues exporters face.

The team is high-performing, ambitious and inclusive, and is the ideal place for existing or aspiring trade professionals to make a difference and develop their careers.

We are committed to being an inclusive employer and building a culturally diverse workplace. We actively encourage applications from people from the widest possible diversity of backgrounds, cultures, and experiences. Our culture of inclusion is underpinned by our excellent staff networks which cover disability, faith and belief, gender equality, social mobility, age, race, LGBT+, and how to be an ally.

Job description

• Project Management: Oversee and project manage the full programme of ESS Policy & Analysis Hub policy projects. This will involve acting as a sounding board and senior point of escalation on all groups, as well as regularly reviewing outputs and monitoring performance.

• Leadership: Lead the teams delivering each policy project, and ensure a positive team culture and a commitment to the professional development of the team.

• Improvement: Lead the continuous improvement of the policy projects process, regularly reviewing templates and structures to ensure the process evolves from experience of previous groups.

• Relationship Management: Lead on key Policy Hub relationships with partner OGDs at working level and senior stakeholders on the ESS Steering Board.

• Negotiation: Work closely with OGDs to negotiate cross-Whitehall recommendations to address exporter issues, and oversee their delivery.

• Other: Develop and maintain a policy pipeline of issues facing exporters, using export data, business feedback, and analysis of recurring themes. Use this pipeline to plan the work programme of the Policy Hub team, and to ensure other DIT teams and OGDs are able to feed in emerging export issues.

• Management: responsibility for managing an SEO, HEO, and EO.

Hybrid working

The role will be based in either Darlington or London. 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.

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.

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


Essential Criteria

• Experience of leading multiple projects running concurrently and managing competing deadlines.

• Experience of cross-government collaboration or of working with external teams & organisations to negotiate and deliver shared outcomes.

• Experience of communicating with a range of different stakeholders & audiences.

Desirable Criteria

• Experience and/or understanding of issues affecting UK exporters – such as; VAT, rules of origin, export health certificates (ie sanitary and phytosanitary issues), customs processes, cabotage, groupage, labelling, mutual recognition of professional qualifications, mobility issues (eg visas and work permits).

• Working in a policy or strategy environment, which involves problem solving and multiple stakeholders.

• Experience of stakeholder management, externally and within organisations.

Person Specification

We seek dynamic, energised applicants who are comfortable working in client-facing and cross-organisational teams, delivering at pace and to a high quality, and who can demonstrate the following attributes:

• Negotiating and Influencing – contributes to wider cross-Whitehall discussions and able to influence others to work similarly towards a practical solution.

• Team working – actively participates as a full member of a team, effectively contributing and sharing information even when it is of no direct personal interest. Has a cross-cultural awareness.

• Communicating – able to express ideas clearly and concisely, both orally and in written communications, identify and share relevant information, check understanding, and to listen actively to others. Able to develop guidance or learning materials in terms that are easily understood by business.

• Analytical Thinking and Problem Solving – spots trends in themes and issues being raised, uses relevant data and available information to seek solutions to complex problems.

• Self-Management – effectively managing self and time to deliver required outcomes. Demonstrates a positive attitude and approach to develop their own knowledge and performance.


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

  • Communicating and Influencing
  • Working Together
  • Seeing the Big Picture
  • Making Effective Decisions

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

  • Communicating and Influencing
  • Working Together
Apply Now!

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