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department for international trade

The Department for International Trade has announced its second programme to recruit trainee trade negotiators.

Recruits will go through a two-year training programme to become part of the DIT’s global team negotiating future trade deals, developing trade policy, supporting businesses in exporting, and attracting investors to the UK.

A DIT statement said successful applicants will be based in London or at its campus in Darlington, after which they will spend six months working overseas in one of its 127 offices globally.

Applications close on 31 January and more information is available online.

Five-star year

International trade minister Anne-Marie Trevelyan said it was an exciting time to be joining the DIT as it looked forward to “a five-star year for trade”.

The department is involved in or has plans for negotiations with India, Canada, Mexico, the Gulf region and the CPTPP pact of 11 Pacific nations.


“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.

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

Former trade minister Liam Fox launched the first trainee programme in 2019.

Beyond London

The Northern Echo reports that the programme is part of a wider recruitment campaign for DIT roles based outside of London.

Since June 2021, 378 roles have been advertised externally across offices in Darlington, Belfast, Edinburgh and Cardiff.

Darlington is set to receive 500 DIT jobs by 2030, according to Tees Business.

As well as being chosen as an international trade hub for the DIT, Darlington is also the site of the Treasury’s northern office.

Post-Brexit career

Recruiting and training trade negotiators has become a priority for the UK since Brexit.

As a member of the EU, Britain benefitted from deals signed on behalf of the bloc but is now able to create its own deals as an independent nation.

According to civil service recruiters, international trade is a particularly interesting field to work in at the moment with opportunities to negotiate deals across both goods and services – including ecommerce, digital services, and intellectual property.


Since leaving the EU, the UK has secured fresh or continuity trade deals with 69 countries, according to the BBC.

As well as the EU, it has agreed deals with Japan, Australia and New Zealand, among others.