The Department for International Trade has launched what it says is the world’s first training scheme for trade experts as the UK prepares to leave the European Union.
The scheme is intended to expand the pool of trade policy and promotion experts to help support the UK’s post-Brexit international trade, according to the department.
The programme is described as “an alternative to traditional graduate schemes, aimed at people of all ages and experience levels” and pays an annual salary of up to £30,109. Most candidates will be school-leavers, people switching careers or those looking to work in government for the first time, DIT said.
“Candidates don’t need to have a degree or previous experience in government – instead DIT is asking for commitment to learn and work in one of the most fascinating and complex subject areas in global economics,” the department said.
As part of their course, trainees will undertake a six-month international placement at one of DIT’s 127 locations worldwide.
The announcement comes after the National Audit Office said in May that the section of DIT tasked with overseeing work to open up overseas markets to UK business after Brexit was 20% below its target staffing level.
Announcing the scheme, international trade secretary Liam Fox said: “For decades, people didn’t look at trade as a viable career option. Now, the international trade development programme will make a career in trade policy and promotion not only viable but highly desirable.
“A whole generation will be equipped with these vital skills, charged with driving our export and investment performance, securing market access deals for our businesses and promoting the UK’s prosperity.
“My vision is that anyone joining the scheme will be able to enjoy their whole career at DIT, building skills and experience across the department to eventually take on one of our highest-ranking and most prestigious roles as HM trade commissioners.”
Applications for the scheme close on 4 August.