Trade Policy Advisors

Department for International Trade Logo
Closing Date: 10/10/2022
Contract Permanent
Working Hours Flexible, Full Time, Part Time
Location Darlington
Salary £28,070 - £31,824
Company Department for International Trade

Job Description

Here at the Department for International Trade, we help British businesses sell their goods and services around the world. Our job is to make it easier for businesses to reach customers and investors abroad, and fight for them when they have problems. Sound like something you’d like to be a part of?

We are recruiting Policy Advisors to join our team at an exciting time. The UK has trade agreements with over 70 non-EU countries, covering £240 billion of UK trade in 2021. You will be providing policy support and advice for the implementation of  non-EU trade agreements and provide trade policy advice for various bilateral trade dialogues. You will also help resolve the trade  barriers that UK businesses face abroad, a programme of work worth more than £20 billion.

This is a brilliant opportunity for you to be a part of shaping the UK’s trade policy, maximising opportunities for the UK now that we have left the EU. You will be working closely with colleagues across

You will be part of the vibrant Darlington Economic Campus, our pioneering cross-government hub bringing together people from different departments and public organisations to play an active role in the most important issues of the day, and in our department, help make an impact internationally.

We’re looking for people to join us who will be as enthusiastic as we are. We place a strong emphasis on learning and development and the successful applicants will receive a tailored induction programme. For this reason, prior policy experience is not required.

We encourage applications from a diverse range of people and would welcome the opportunity to introduce people who are not currently in the Civil Service into our team. Please get in touch with the Hiring Manager if you are unfamiliar with Civil Service recruitment and require some guidance or if you have any questions more generally. Please see our Linked In page and video for more information on our work.

Applicant Drop-In Session

We want to make sure you’re covered if you have any questions about this job and so we’ll be running a virtual Q&A with the hiring team on Microsoft Teams, which is open to all interested applicants:

Time: 13:00

Date: 03/10/2022

Join here.

We’ll run through the application process, including our top tips on how to complete the application form and prepare for interviews.

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.

Job description

There are multiple roles available in different trade policy teams including Regulatory Environment, Intellectual Property, Government Procurement, Digital Trade, Trade and Sustainable Development, Competition, and Trade in Services. Your exact role might vary depending on the team you are in but in general you will be responsible for a combination of the following:

  • Supporting delivery of trade dialogues, including trade agreement implementation committees with partner countries. Ensuring dialogues deliver on UK policy and trade priorities, engaging directly with partners
  • Providing policy support for resolving market access barriers faced by UK businesses working with relevant teams in the department, across government, and based in partner countries
  • Developing expertise in your policy area and providing  analysis and input for reviews and amendments to UK trade agreements
  • Working with the overseas HMG network to maintain an up-to-date understanding of the bigger picture on policies in partner countries as well as any wider priorities and sensitivities
  • Developing a good understanding of UK and partner country commitments under free trade agreements and working with colleagues across government to ensure that both the UK and our partner countries are compliant with these commitments
  • Developing and maintaining collaborative and open relationships with teams across the department, across government, and based in partner countries and engaging with businesses and other stakeholders to understand their needs in a rapidly changing environment
  • Maintaining an evidence-based prioritisation framework and target-driven delivery plan to effectively forward plan engagements and manage conflicting demands
  • Drafting briefings and other materials  for ministers and senior civil servants when required

You will be expected to work flexibly across teams and tasks as business priorities evolve. There is also the potential for overseas travel. If you have a preference for any particular trade policy teams, you can indicate this at interview stage.

Hybrid Working

The role will be based in Darlington.

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 you are an existing Civil Servant and wish to relocate to Darlington to take up one of these posts you can receive relocation assistance via the Places for Growth Programme.


Essential Criteria

  • Ability to analyse a problem in a particular context and propose effective solutions
  • Strong written and verbal communication skills
  • Strong organisational and planning skills, are able to work quickly and accurately, and are able to balance competing priorities
  • A strong team player who is flexible and proactive and can work across organisational boundaries

Desirable Criteria

  • Knowledge of trade policy or policy making in general
  • A background in international relations, development or economics
  • Experience in strategic planning
  • Experience in project management
  • Experience of working internationally and/or with international counterparts

Please note the above is not essential – all we’re looking for is people who want to make a positive impact and have the motivation, thinking, communication and organisational skills to that. If that sounds like you, we want to hear from you!

Person Specification

This role requires the ability to work on policy issues and to master technical detail, and to communicate this as simply and clearly as possible. The enthusiasm to learn and continue learning is therefore really important from day one. You will be effective as a part of a team and comfortable working flexibly in a changing and fast-paced environment. You will need the ability to focus on specific issues and countries in detail, whilst also building and maintaining a strong grasp of the bigger picture.

If you have the right attitude, are willing to work hard, and want to develop yourself and others, we’d love to work with you. We welcome applications from people who are thinking about a change in their career, whether that’s because of circumstances in life or background, caring or other responsibilities. And we’re open to talking about flexible working styles that will help you perform at your best.


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

  • Delivering at Pace
  • Communicating and Influencing
  • Making Effective Decisions
Apply Now!

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