DIT launches search for ‘next generation’ of trade negotiators

Post-Brexit programme offers up to £35k a year to latest wave of trainees
DIT's Old Admiralty Building HQ. Photo: Andrew Milligan sumo/Flickr/CC BY 2.0

By Jim Dunton

20 Jan 2022

The Department for International Trade is recruiting a 16-strong new wave of trainee trade-deal negotiators and offering successful applicants up to £35,557 a year to join.

DIT said a second round of its training programme to develop the UK’s future policymakers and trade negotiators – work undertaken at European Union level before Brexit – will kick off this autumn. Applications for places are now open, but the window closes at the end of this month.

DIT said more than 2,000 people applied for the two-year programme’s first intake, which ran from 2019-21, and that successful trainees had been appointed to senior executive officer roles.

The candidate information pack for the next wave says trainees will be placed in one of the department’s top teams and can be based in either Darlington or DIT’s Old Admiralty Building HQ in London. The programme also involves a six-month placement overseas.

DIT stresses that a university degree is not a requirement for acceptance onto the programme and that “character and ambition” is more important than “experience-packed CVs”. Good judgement, resilience, and the ability to influence others are also listed as important attributes.

International trade secretary Anne-Marie Trevelyan said there has “never been a more exciting time” to join her department, with 2022 set to see the start of negotiations with India, Canada, Mexico and the Gulf, and the UK’s accession to the £8.4tn CPTPP trade bloc.

“We’re looking for highly motivated, talented individuals from different backgrounds who can learn how to design and negotiate first-class deals in the years to come, as the UK leads the way as an independent trading nation,” she said.

DIT said the programme will teach trainees about researching and developing new policy thinking; building relationships with contacts in partner markets; handling parliamentary and public correspondence; and reporting on projects.

Successful trainees will complete a Level 4 Diploma in International Trade with the Institute of Export and International Trade and be appointed to a permanent SEO role in DIT.

The upper salary range of £35,557 a year includes London weighting, so the maximum salary for trainees based in Darlington would be the “national rate” upper limit of £31,824.

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