Department for International Trade
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DIT Darlington seeks next generation of trade professionals

Local civil servants share stories on their transition to the trade profession as DIT looks for the next generation of Darlington-based trade professionals.

  • The Department has ambitions to employ over 500 permanent staff members at the government’s Darlington Economic Campus by 2030 as part of the government’s Places for Growth Programme
  • It comes as Minister for Exports Andrew Griffith visits the Darlington for the first time since joining DIT in July

The Department for International Trade (DIT) is searching for the next generation of trade professionals to be based at DIT Darlington, part of the government’s Darlington Economic Campus.  

Applicants from an array of backgrounds have been encouraged to apply for a wide range of roles on offer, from Cyber Security Analyst to Multilateral Trade Adviser to Scientific Adviser.  

Local recruitment has been central to the success of the scheme so far, with over 70 staff hired from non-traditional trade backgrounds already transitioning into new careers at the Darlington site, including in trade negotiations, data protection, communications, HR resourcing and change management.  

Sam Micklewright, Negotiation Logistics Lead said:  

Prior to joining the Department for International Trade, I worked as a Store Assistant and later an Operations Manager in the regional distribution centre of a major retailer. When looking for the next step in my career, it was actually my Mum who told me about the Darlington Economic Campus!   

I hadn’t previously considered a role in the Civil Service, but I was pleasantly surprised by how transferrable my skills were and since taking on my new role as Logistics Lead for our Trade Negotiations team, I’ve thoroughly enjoyed putting the skills honed in warehouse distribution to good use, helping to deliver large scale, global projects for DIT. 

For anyone thinking about joining the Civil Service in Darlington my advice would be to do it.  The Darlington Economic Campus provides an opportunity to be part of something new and exciting, with a broad range of roles and career opportunities.  Best of all, it is refreshing to know I no longer need to look beyond the North East to achieve my ambitions in the Civil Service.

Nicola Pearson, Change Adviser, said:  

My career journey to date has been a long way from what you might consider a ‘traditional Civil Service path’, spending the past 14 years in fashion retail.  I hadn’t previously considered a role in the Civil Service, but my old line manager sent me a link to the Civil Service Jobs website and I came across a Change Management role for the Department for International Trade in Darlington.   

Having loved my time delivering work overseas in the past, and being passionate about the area, I’m really enjoying the opportunity to work in an environment that combines both!

I think DIT’s presence in Darlington is brilliant for the area and provides great opportunity for local people like myself to pursue new career paths.  Since joining in May, I have been able to get involved in a number of events with local schools and colleges, supporting the work we’re doing to create the next generation of trade professionals in the North East.

Jo Crellin, Trading Systems Director General, said:  

It is fantastic to have built up this cadre of trade professionals in Darlington - and we look forward to building on this success in the future.  

We have great people doing great things from our Darlington base, including hosting meetings with likeminded countries to talk about trade support to Ukraine, participating in negotiations with India, and supporting companies to explore new markets to trade with.  

I’m proud that we have such a diversity of talent and experience in our new recruits.

In line with the government’s drive to diversify policy making and level-up across the country, DIT will bring more than 500 high-quality, well-paying jobs to Darlington by 2030. 

The Department has also been working with local residents to challenge perceptions surrounding careers in trade and the Civil Service more broadly. Last month, DIT partnered with the Social Mobility Business Partnership to run “Myth-Busting” sessions and career roundtables with 16-18 year old students in Darlington.  

DIT’s Talent Acquisition team are also hosting a series of virtual candidate support sessions for prospective applicants to demonstrate what’s needed in a successful application and to share how best to construct interview responses.  

Newly-appointed Minister for Exports Andrew Griffith visited the Darlington Economic Campus for the first time on Tuesday as part of a visit to the North East. He also met with farmers at Darlington Farmers Auction Market and visited local exporters Roman Showers. 

Exports Minister Andrew Griffith said:  

In 2021 the North East exported £11.6 billion worth of goods globally. It’s been brilliant to meet the DIT team at the Darlington Economic Campus who are helping businesses from the North East and beyond export across the world. 

Increased presence in Darlington will bring DIT closer to the communities and businesses we support day in and day out, whilst driving job creation and growing the economy.

Additional Information:

  • You can apply for roles at DIT Darlington here.
  • You can register for one of our virtual candidate support sessions here.
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