DIT launches trainee programme to find next generation of trade negotiators

The International Trade Secretary has today announced the second round of the International Trade Development Programme to recruit the UK’s future leaders in international trade.

The two-year scheme is designed to train and develop highly skilled trade experts with a passion for international trade.

Successful candidates will be placed in one of the Department for International Trade’s top teams, working with colleagues across the globe to craft world-class free trade agreements, develop the UK’s future trade policy, or support UK businesses to export their products to the world and attract the biggest investors to the UK. Trainees will work alongside teams with decades of industry experience, who will provide expertise and support to develop the future leaders in trade.

Successful candidates will have the option to be based at the new Department for International Trade (DIT) campus in Darlington or at Old Admiralty Building in London. Their placement in a UK team will be followed by six months working overseas at one of DIT’s 127 offices based across the world. Previous trainees have been based in India, Uruguay, and Australia.

The initiative aims to support social mobility, as candidates do not need a university degree to apply but will require applicants to have five GCSEs, including English Language and Maths, and must meet the relevant security clearance.

International Trade Secretary Anne-Marie Trevelyan said:

There has never been a more exciting time to join the Department for International Trade.

2022 will be a five-star year for trade as we begin negotiations with India, plan to launch negotiations with Canada, Mexico and the Gulf, and secure accession to the £8.4 trillion 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.

Ben Gruenberg completed the trade programme last year and now works as a Senior Clean Growth Adviser at the British High Commission in New Delhi. He said the following on the programme:
“DIT is certainly a great place to start your career and really gives you space to learn and develop.

“There has been a huge variety in the types of work I have done whilst on the programme, ranging from ministerial briefings, supporting trade negotiation sessions to running trade promotion events overseas to create export opportunities for British businesses.”

The initiative aims to support social mobility, as candidates do not need a university degree to apply but will require applicants to have five GCSEs, including English Language and Maths, and must meet the relevant security clearance.

The last programme ran from 2019-2021 and attracted over 2000 applicants, and the successful candidates are now all senior executive officers (SEOs). Potential candidates who are not appointed to the training programme may be considered for other roles in the department.

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