Senior Policy Adviser – Department for International Development – Darlington

Department for International Development

Job summary

This recruitment is continuing as usual, but candidates should be aware that following the on the changes to some civil service departments, roles will be located in the new Department for Business and Trade. We will provide more information if you are selected for a role. This work remains of high importance to the civil service, and we thank you for your continued interest.

This is an exciting time to join the Department for Business and Trade (DBT). The newly created department oversees the domestic business environment, breaks down international barriers to trade and investment, and helps boost economic growth by ensuring the UK is a country where businesses can thrive.

We are recruiting for Senior Policy Advisers in the Competition and Goods Policy Team within the Trade Negotiations Group. The Trade Negotiations Group is responsible for negotiating and implementing the UK�s trade agreements with partner countries from across the globe to support the growth of UK businesses internationally. The Group has over 700 people, expert in diverse technical areas of trade policy and negotiations and is at the cutting edge of delivering the UK�s trade negotiation objectives.

The Competition and Goods Policy Team aims to be an inclusive and diverse group of people, who work on challenging and high-profile issues but in a supportive and learning environment and who adopt flexible policies to accommodate a wide range of personal situations.

We are seeking an enthusiastic and diligent policy lead in the Competition and Goods Team for this fast-paced, high-profile area, supporting Departmental priorities to secure and implement world class free trade agreements (FTAs). You will lead work on policy development, engagement and implementing the UK�s suite of FTAs, as well as providing support to FTA negotiations.

Our team is vibrant, hardworking and collaborative. We pay special attention to providing training and support needed to allow individuals to excel. We recognise the importance of professional and personal growth and will encourage you to develop your skills and trade knowledge.

Please note: This role sits within the new Department for Business and Trade, which was created in February 2023 following the merger of the former Department for International Trade (DIT) with the business-focused teams from the former Department for Business, Industrial Strategy and Energy (BEIS).� Any references to the Department for International Trade on the Government Recruitment System and will soon be updated to refer to the Department for Business and Trade.

Job description

This position is a high-profile and stretching role for an SEO supporting DBT to negotiate and implement FTAs. They will be supported in doing this by their G7 line manager, colleagues in our expert and specialised team as well as by country, analytical, legal and sectoral experts in the wider Department.

Key responsibilities for this role include:

1.���� International FTA Negotiations and Implementation – You will be expected to represent the Department in technical committees with partner countries that oversee the successful implementation of the UK�s FTAs. For live negotiations, you will play an active role inside and outside the negotiating room, supporting development of a negotiating strategy; assessing partners� negotiating positions; and advising the Chief Negotiator team on Goods Market Access issues.

2.���� Policy Development – You will work closely with colleagues and the Negotiation Lead, as well as with Other Government Departments, to develop trade policy and UK negotiating positions (in bilateral and multilateral fora) that are consistent with the UK�s domestic and international priorities, making recommendations that draw on expertise from analysts, legal colleagues, Other Government Departments, Overseas Posts, other policy teams and businesses to ensure the policy positions are in the best interest for the UK.

3.���� Working with other Government departments – These roles involve significant collaboration across Government. You will develop strong working relationships across Government to help ensure there is a clear understanding of departmental objectives and priorities, seeking to establish strong relationships and a united approach in the development of UK positions.

4.���� Stakeholder Engagement – You will assist in organisation of the team�s stakeholder engagement with businesses and interested persons on matters relating to goods market access, ensuring that they can input into policy making and DBT is providing comprehensive updates on the UK�s progress in ongoing negotiations.

5.���� Cross-cutting responsibilities � You will influence wider HMG workstreams on goods market access, tracking areas of innovation where there is a goods market access interest and ensuring that any future policies promote the use of existing FTAs.

The team puts a premium on learning and development and would encourage the successful candidate to be self-reflective and to regularly consider how they can develop and improve. The team helps each other in doing this and encourages innovation.

You will be expected to develop a deep understanding of negotiation and policy issues and be able to produce high-quality briefings and other materials for Ministers and senior officials.

Person specification

Essential Criteria

The Department for Business and Trade has a comprehensive trade policy training and development programme available to all staff. We welcome policy and skills knowledge from a wide range of backgrounds recognising that subject-specific knowledge will often be developed in the role. �Relevant support and training will be provided to ensure staff are equipped to carry out their roles effectively.

  • Ability to quickly get up to speed in new and complex policy areas,
  • Strong ability to work collaboratively within and across teams, the ability to build and maintain long lasting working relationship.
  • Confident written and oral communication skills with the ability to communicate with colleagues and external stakeholders at all levels.
  • A problem-solving outlook, and the ability to balance competing priorities, and bring together a wide range of interested individuals and groups.
  • Ability to operate in a fast-paced environment under tight time constraints, remaining flexible and adaptable.
  • Desirable Criteria

  • Knowledge or experience of trade policy.
  • Excellent communication skills, with the ability to persuade and influence others.
  • Experience of briefing senior managers or stakeholders.
  • Personal Skills and Attributes

  • You will be a motivated, conscientious, hardworking and highly organised team player who has an eye for detail and can communicate effectively with different audiences. You will help us maintain and improve our inclusive and diverse team environment.
  • You will have the ability to be proactive and to develop and take forward policy initiatives and to gather, organise and present research.
  • You will be comfortable working in a fast-paced environment and be able to prioritise between competing demands, balancing the needs of the team and other stakeholders.
  • You will have the ability and desire to pick up new subject matter quickly and to build collaborative and productive relations with colleagues, external stakeholders and negotiation partners.
  • You will have a strong interest in your personal development and will aim to make use of DBT�s extensive learning offer and the International Trade Profession.
  • Successful applicants will need to be willing to go through security clearance to �SC� level. In most cases, this requires that candidates have been living in the UK for at least 3 of the last 5 years. If you want to check eligibility, please contact us.�

    Hybrid Worker

    The role will be based in 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 DBT employees will be working a hybrid pattern, spending 2-3 days a week (pro rata) in an office, on average.

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


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

  • Making Effective Decisions
  • Seeing the Big Picture
  • Delivering at Pace
  • Benefits

  • Learning and development tailored to your role
  • An environment with flexible working options
  • A culture encouraging inclusion and diversity
  • A with an average employer contribution of 27%
  • Read more…

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