Project Planner

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 Department for International Trade (DIT) secures UK and global prosperity by promoting and financing international trade and investment, and championing free trade. We are one of the few international economic departments in Whitehall.

Our responsibilities are to:

  • Help businesses export
  • Drive inward and outward investment
  • Negotiate market access and trade deals
  • Champion free trade


Investment plays an important role in the UK economy. It provides a significant contribution to business turnover and job creation across the UK and will be essential in delivering on the government’s wider objectives including levelling-up, clean growth, innovation, and job creation.

The Investment Directorate works to deliver economic growth to all the nations and regions of the UK through attracting and retaining all modes of inward investment. We also deliver major investment events like the Global Investment Summit in October 2021, hosted by Her Majesty The Queen and The Prime Minister.

We are now building our Investment Transformation Project Team to implement the redesign of our investment services to better align to the government’s economic vision. This is an exciting opportunity to be part of a project at the forefront of the UK’s investment promotion services and shaping its future.

We are looking for a motivated, collaborative, professional who will deliver a project plan, identifying the interdependencies, and working closely with the programme delivery teams to manage key milestones and the overall critical timeline.

Job description

The Project Planner works with a range of senior stakeholders across DIT to ensure all aspects of the project are defined. The planner provides clarity on key milestones to define what, when and how activities will be organised to ensure the outcomes of the Investment Transformation Programme can be achieved, with the resources available. The Project Planner will work in a fast-paced environment and the ideal candidate will be proactive and adept at handling competing deadlines.

They lead on all aspects of project planning, which will include the development, updating and monitoring of plans and schedules. They identify tasks, activities, interdependencies and outputs for the project and work with the project team to track and monitor progress against the plan throughout the life of the project.

The job holder will be responsible for:

  • Delivery & Leadership – Lead on planning activity and work with the project to support delivery of the business case benefits and outcomes. Support capability building and the use of best practice in planning and reportin Provide expert advice for team members and project community.
  • Project Planning – Challenge and test project assumptions to ensure that plans are realistic and achievable. Develop breakdown structures, quality criteria, product descriptions and monitoring strategy. Support the project manager to identify options to optimise delivery through resource smoothing, resource levelling and rescheduling of activities.
  • Resources – Manage the planning team and identify, develop and deploy planning resources. Identify and plan for wider resource requirements for the project.
  • Stakeholder Management – Ensure that stakeholder responsibilities and needs are understood and addressed in reporting arrangements. Develop peer networks across the department.
  • Project Performance & Controls – Monitor and analyse information, reporting progress, slippage and highlighting areas of risk and opportunity.
  • Guidance & Support – Provide expert advice on planning processes throughout the lifecycle of the project.

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.

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 working as project planner or has held a role within a project team with good knowledge of project planning, a PMO or as a project manager or workstream lead of a small project.
  • A project background with experience of change management, identifying the critical path, scrutinising plans, dependency management and testing assumptions.
  • Ability to identify delivery risks and issues and reschedule activities to optimise delivery.
  • Experience of planning high-priority, or medium complexity projects, using formal project management processes.
  • Ability to effectively identify, map and engage with stakeholders, including to brief upwards to senior management.
  • Good working knowledge and skills using industry standard tools and methodologies, including Microsoft Project, Visio and Excel

Desirable Criteria

  • The ability to adapt and be flexible in responding to emerging demands.
  • Communicate effectively with a range of stakeholders about your area of expertise.
  • Contribute to building a collaborative and supportive team culture.
  • Experience of working to tight deadlines.
  • Proven engagement and communication skills.

Person Specification

  • You will be an excellent organiser who makes plans to maximize time and productivity.
  • You establish relationships based on mutual respect and trust allowing you to work collaboratively.
  • The ability to think of, research and apply new ideas and ways of doing things. Encourages and supports innovations from others, is willing to experiment and follow ideas through to implementation.
  • You will be able to adapt to changing circumstances and adverse situations whilst remaining calm, reassuring others and maintaining performance

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:

  • Delivering at Pace
  • Working Together

Technical skills

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

  • Planning Practicioner Level;
Apply Now!

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