Trade Policy Advisor - Investment

Department for International Trade
  • Location
    London, United Kingdom
  • Sector
  • Experience
    Mid Career
  • Posted
    Nov 07

Position 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 new customers and invest abroad, and fight for them when they have problems. Sound like something you’d like to be a part of?

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

This role offers a unique opportunity to lead in shaping the UK’s investment policy and approach towards trade agreement implementation, as well as providing strategic support for free trade agreement (FTA) and multilateral negotiations – maximising the UK’s independent trade opportunities now that we have left the EU.

You will be working closely with colleagues across government to develop joined-up, evidence-based policy positions and deliver on the Government’s objective to secure UK and global prosperity. For those with an interest in working internationally, you will have the opportunity to represent the UK in engagements with a diverse range of partner countries and external stakeholders, with potential for overseas travel.

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 continuous improvement. Therefore, while previous trade policy or international experience is desirable, it 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. 

Job description

You will be the policy support for implementation within the investment policy team. As part of this you will be responsible for maintaining and improving the UK’s investment trading relationships with countries around the world.

Examples of responsibilities include:

  • Supporting the delivery of trade dialogues, including implementation committees under the UK’s existing free trade agreements – ensuring UK trade and investment policy interests are represented.
  • Working closely with colleagues across DIT to establish action plans for resolving market access barriers faced by UK investors in overseas markets.
  • Building expertise on the UK’s existing investment trading agreements – ensuring the UK is compliant with its obligations, supporting reviews as to how agreements are working, and providing policy advice on any suggested amendments.
  • Scoping potential opportunities with trading partners – such as agreeing Memorandums of Understanding or launching new bilateral Free Trade Agreement negotiations – and considering what policy levers can be used to influence other countries’ investment policies.
  • Intelligence gathering by maintaining strong relationships with UK and overseas Government networks, to maintain an up-to-date understanding of the trade and political contexts of partner countries.
  • Drafting briefings and other materials for ministers and senior civil servants as required.

You will be expected to work flexibly across teams and tasks as business priorities evolve.

Hybrid Working

The role will be based in either London or 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.

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

Most DIT employees will be working a hybrid pattern, spending 2-3 days a week (pro rata) in an office, on average. If your office location is London, you will be eligible to receive London weighting. 


Person specification

Essential Criteria

  • You have strong analytical skills – you are able to identify a problem and consider various options, making a recommendation which takes into account the broader context of your work.
  • You have strong written and verbal communication skills.
  • You have strong organisational and planning skills – with a track record of effectively balancing competing priorities.
  • You are a strong team player who is flexible and proactive and can work across organisational boundaries.

Desirable Criteria

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

Personal Attributes & Skills

The ideal candidate will be a skilled collaborator, with strong written and oral communication skills, that enjoys working across the Department and engaging with external stakeholders to develop policy positions.

You will be motivated and keen to deliver an important part of UK trade policy, while being able to adapt to changes, prioritise workloads and work at pace.

Investment policy is complex, and the post holder will need to be willing to learn quickly to build the technical knowledge and skills required for this role, carry out independent research, make connections with wider issues outside the policy area and draw robust conclusions. The ability to both grasps detailed issues, and the bigger picture will be required. Training will be provided within the team and through the Trade Profession.


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

  • Working Together
  • Delivering at Pace
  • Seeing the Big Picture

Application instructions

Please be sure to indicate that you saw this position on