Department for International Trade
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Liam Fox launches training scheme to find UK's future trade experts

Dr Liam Fox MP launches the world’s first international trade training scheme to grow the UK’s talent pool of future negotiators, policy makers and Trade Commissioners.

  • The two-year programme is an alternative to traditional graduate schemes, aimed at people of all ages and experience levels and includes international placements with the Department for International Trade (DIT) in one of its 127 locations which include places such as New York, Beijing, Johannesburg, Dubai, Sao Paulo, Mexico City and Singapore. It pays an annual salary of up to £30,109.
  • Candidates don’t need to have a degree or previous experience in government – instead DIT is asking for commitment to learn and work in one of the most fascinating and complex subject areas in global economics.
  • Applications close on 4 August. Visit to find out more and apply.
  • HD photos of Dr Fox and Crawford Falconer at the launch event can be accessed here

The International Trade Secretary, Dr Liam Fox MP has announced the world’s first training programme to recruit tomorrow’s trade negotiators.

The two-year scheme, which pays £30,109 per annum, includes placements with the UK’s expert trade negotiating teams working on future trade agreements with partners including the United States and Australia, as well as the teams supporting UK companies to export their goods and services, and a six-month international placement in one of DIT’s 127 international offices.

Unlike traditional graduate schemes, no qualifications are needed to sign up to the programme, with the majority of candidates expected to be school leavers aged 18 or over, people switching careers or those looking to work in government for the first time.

The scheme is intended to develop the UK’s talent pool of trade policy and promotion experts, as the UK prepare to leave the EU and implement an independent trade policy for the first time in 40 years.

Launching the scheme, International Trade Secretary Dr Liam Fox MP yesterday said:

For decades, people didn’t look at trade as a viable career option. Now, the International Trade Development Programme will make a career in trade policy and promotion not only viable but highly desirable.

A whole generation will be equipped with these vital skills, charged with driving our export and investment performance, securing market access deals for our businesses and promoting the UK’s prosperity.

My vision is that anyone joining the scheme will be able to enjoy their whole career at DIT, building skills and experience across the department to eventually take on one of our highest-ranking and most prestigious roles as HM Trade Commissioners.

Applications are open until 4 August at:

Crawford Falconer with students

This announcement is part of DIT’s continuing commitment to open up new career and expertise opportunities in trade policy and promotion. Last year, Dr Fox launched the National Trade Academy Programme which has ran in parallel with the Board of Trade across the UK, giving higher education students unique opportunities to learn about doing business internationally from British entrepreneurs and trade experts.

This year, the National Trade Academy Programme is open to 16-18 year olds for the first time with three Summer Schools in Edinburgh, Bristol and Birmingham. The Schools include trade simulation games to encourage students to think about the challenges and opportunities facing exporters, insights from successful exporters and an exporting challenge.

DIT’s Chief Trade Negotiation Adviser Crawford Falconer yesterday said:

This is a great opportunity to show young people that there is a whole range of careers in trade and, for the first time, DIT is opening up these opportunities.

I look forward to working with some of these young people when they become entrepreneurs, exporters and even trade experts in my team.

Notes to Editors

The Department for International Trade

DIT helps businesses export, drives inward and outward investment, negotiates market access and trade deals, and champions free trade.

  • Over the past year, 58,080 jobs were created and safeguarded as a result of FDI projects which DIT supported. [Source: DIT Inward Investment Results 2019]

  • Last year, DIT helped UK businesses export goods and services worth around £30.5 billion [Source: DIT Annual Report and Accounts 2018]
  • Analysis by the Institute for Economic Affairs has estimated that this could potentially generate around £10 billion for the Exchequer. [Source:]
  • To date, the UK has signed or agreed in principle agreements with countries that account for 63% of the UK’s trade with all the countries with which the UK is seeking continuity for a potential No Deal.

We are an international economic department, responsible for:

  • Supporting and encouraging UK businesses to drive sustainable international growth.
  • Ensuring the UK remains a leading destination for international investment and maintains its number one position for international investment stock in Europe.
  • Opening markets, building a trade framework with new and existing partners which is free and fair.
  • Using trade and investment to underpin the government’s agenda for a Global Britain and its ambitions for prosperity, stability and security worldwide.


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