Training Scheme launched to find UK's future trade experts

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

The two-year programme is an alternative to traditional graduate schemes, aimed at people of all ages and experience levels. The scheme, which pays £30,561 to £34,173 per annum, includes a six-month placement 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.

Candidates don’t need to have a degree or previous experience in government. The majority of candidates are expected to be school leavers aged 18 or over, people switching careers or those looking to work in government for the first time. DIT is simply looking for a commitment to learning and working 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.

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.

Dr Liam Fox MP said at this morning's launch:

 “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.”

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 run 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 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. 
  • Last year, DIT helped UK businesses export goods and services worth around £30.5 billion
  • Analysis by the Institute for Economic Affairs has estimated that this could potentially generate around £10 billion for the Exchequer. 

DIt is 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.