Social Affairs Attaché

Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office
  • Location
    Brussels, Belgium
  • Sector
  • Experience
    Early Career
  • Posted
    May 21

Position description

The British Government is an inclusive and diversity-friendly employer. We value difference, promote equality and challenge discrimination, enhancing our organisational capability. We welcome and encourage applications from people of all backgrounds. We do not discriminate on the basis of disability, race, colour, ethnicity, gender, religion, sexual orientation, age, veteran status or other category protected by law. We promote family-friendly flexible working opportunities, where operational and security needs allow.

Job Category: Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (Policy & Political roles)
Job Subcategory: Political

Job Description (Roles and Responsibilities)

Due to COVID-19, you may experience some delay in the progress of this recruitment campaign. We are working hard to minimise any disruption. You may find more information in the Additional Information section below.

The British Embassy, based in Brussels, Belgium, is part of a world-wide network of 230 Diplomatic Posts, representing British political, economic and consular interests overseas. We are looking for a professional and motivated individual to join our busy Political and Public Diplomacy (PPD) Team.

This is a challenging, varied and fast-moving job. As a key member of the Embassy team, the Social Affairs Attaché at the British Embassy, will need to deal confidently and fluently with the variety of political, economic and social affairs interests between the UK and Belgium. This will include priority issues such as the COVID situation, impacts of the Trade and Cooperation Agreement and the UK’s Force for Good agenda.

PPD sits at the heart of the British Embassy to Belgium. The team engages the Government of Belgium and provides reporting, analysis and external communications to support a range of UK interests in Belgium, including economic, security, climate change and foreign policy.

The successful candidate will have a varied portfolio. An understanding of the relationship between Belgium and the UK’s economic and political objectives will be important. The jobholder will be expected to accompany the Ambassador to meetings with Belgian senior officials and Ministers and to network confidently on their own.

This is an exciting opportunity to support the UK’s ambitious agenda in Belgium, at a fascinating time following the UK’s departure from the EU. The role sits as part of a busy team whose focus shifts according to external events and changing political priorities. As such, the job description may be subject to change and may evolve over time in response to changing circumstances. The team has a supportive work culture in which members work flexibly to support each other and share their skills.

The job of an Embassy is to understand the country it operates in. We encourage our staff to share their expertise and insights on Belgium, particularly across the areas on which the Embassy focusses, in order to deepen our understanding and promote a culture of debate.

Main Duties and Responsibilities:

Health: Monitor COVID situation in Belgium, including internal measures and travel. Provide analysis for regular reporting to London. Support bilateral engagement on health and resilience. Respond to ad-hoc requests for analysis and reporting within specified deadlines.

Social Affairs: Closely monitor, analyse and report on Belgium’s social affairs; including education, labour, agriculture and transport. Respond to ad-hoc requests for analysis and reporting within specified deadlines.

Economic: Provide regular, high quality analysis on key aspects of the Belgian economy and the relationship between Belgium and the UK. Closely monitor, analyse and report on Economic policy and developments to support HM Ambassador to Belgium, HM Treasury and FCDO Economics Unit. This will include analysis of impacts on the Belgian economy such as the Trade and Cooperation Agreement, C19, multilateral and domestic economic governance measures; budgetary policy. Respond to ad-hoc requests for analysis and reporting within specified deadlines.

Society: Research on social issues (including race and gender) in support of UK’s Force for Good agenda.

Essential qualifications, skills and experience

  • Full professional proficiency in English, including excellent writing skills (written and spoken, minimum of C1 level for CEFR framework*);
  • Full professional proficiency of French or Dutch with a good level of the other (written and spoken, minimum of C1 level for CEFR framework*);
  • Knowledge of Belgian political and economic system;
  • Previous experience of economic and domestic public policy analysis;
  • Good interpersonal and influencing skills to be able to develop and maintain a network of key contacts (both in Belgium and the UK);
  • Ability to work and deliver results under pressure;
  • Demonstrated initiative, problem solving and judgement skills;
  • Excellent writing and research skills.

Desirable qualifications, skills and experience

  • Knowledge of the UK political and economic system;
  • Familiarity with Social Affairs policies;
  • Experience of working independently, attending meetings and networking events.

Required competencies

  • Managing a Quality Service, Delivering at Pace, Engaging Internationally.

Application deadline: 6 June 2021
Grade: B3 (L)
Type of Position: Full-time, Permanent
Working hours per week: 36.25
Region: Europe, Eastern Europe & Central Asia
Type of Post: British Embassy
Number of vacancies: 1
Starting monthly salary (EUR): 4,243.29 (gross)
Start Date: 2 August 2021

Other benefits and conditions of employment

This is a permanent full-time contract for 5 working days (36.25 hours net) per week. The monthly gross salary for this position is € 4,243.29, B3 level. In addition, we offer an extensive salary package, which includes a 13th month, luncheon vouchers, pension scheme, optional hospitalisation insurance (subject to monthly employee contribution), reimbursement of public transport and a lot more. We offer more days of annual leave than the Belgian requirements.

Please note that Belgian nationals will be paid their salary gross and are expected to comply with their tax obligations through completion of a tax return to the Belgian authorities. Non-Belgian nationals will receive their salary net, minus the deduction of an equivalent level of Belgian tax retained at source. Further information on this will be given to candidates during the recruitment process.

Staff recruited locally by the British Diplomatic Missions in Belgium are subject to Terms and Conditions of Service according to local Belgian employment law.

The successful candidates will be subject to professional background checks and security clearance.

Passport: officers are expected to be in possession of a passport due to the possibility that they may be asked to undertake business travel.

Visa/work permit requirements: Candidates must currently hold the independent right to live and work in Belgium and be prepared to ensure that right remains throughout the scope of the contract. Please note that it is your responsibility to ensure you meet the legal requirements to live and work in this country.

Additional information

Please note that the deadline for applications is 23:55 on the day mentioned in the above field “Application deadline”.

We advise you to allow enough time to complete and submit your full application, since only applications completed and submitted before the deadline will be considered.

Please be aware that the deadline for submitting applications is considered to be the time zone for the country where the vacancy has arisen.

The British Diplomatic Missions will not be able to meet the travel costs incurred when travelling to the interview, nor the costs connected with relocation if offered a job.

Additional Information (due to Covid 19):

  • You may experience some delay in the progress of this recruitment campaign and we are working hard to minimise any disruption;
  • Interviews will be done remotely if the existing situation determines this to be the right course of action;
  • Starting date may be delayed depending on circumstances at the time and it will be agreed with the selected candidate.

*Please note for more information regarding the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages , please click on the following link CEFR. Please bear in mind in case you are invited for an interview your language skill is going to be assessed.

Application instructions

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