Change text size:

Choose Style:

Wider Europe Policy Advisor

  • Public sector
  • 18/06/2024
  • £32,858.00 - £38,272.00 /yearly
  • Permanent
Job expired!

Job Overview

Job Type



£32,858 - £38,272 yearly

Date Posted:


Expiration date:


Additional Detail

Job ID


Job Description

Belfast, Birmingham, Cardiff, Darlington, Edinburgh, London, Salford

Job summary

The Wider Europe, Middle East & Africa (WEMAF) team in the International Strategy and Trade Relations (ISTR) directorate leads the Department of Business and Trades (DBT) policy engagement with trade partners outside of formal negotiations. Across this region we are responsible for identifying and resolving market access barriers, developing strategies to improve the UKs bilateral trade relationships and the implementation of trade agreements. To do this, we work strategically across Whitehall and with our networks based in London, the British Embassies and High Commissions overseas, and with businesses to identify and deliver against the UKs market access and trade policy objectives.  

We are looking to recruit an engaging and energetic Higher Executive Officer (HEO) to join the Wider Europe Team. The countries within the Wider Europe portfolio include the EEA/EFTA countries (Norway, Iceland & Liechtenstein), Switzerland, the Faroe Islands, Greenland, the Western Balkans (Albania, Bosnia & Herzegovina, Kosovo, Montenegro, North Macedonia and Serbia), and Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territories (OPTs). 

The successful candidate will have the opportunity to work on initiatives across the Wider Europe region, dependent on the needs of the team. The role requires the ability to proactively drive agendas forward and to inform the direction set by team leaders and seniors. The role will allow the successful candidates to play a central role in developing and delivering policy positions, country-specific engagement strategies and solutions to any trade policy and market access issues that arise. This will include the implementation of trade agreements, working closely with colleagues stationed in post overseas, wider DBT and HMG colleagues to establish strategies that maximise the impact of our agreements. 

The role requires a strategic approach but will also suit those who enjoy managing a range of competing priorities at any one time. Learning & development is on offer to support the successful candidate in becoming an expert in trade policy and the role provides an excellent platform for further career development and promotion.  

Job description

We are a friendly, collaborative and inclusive team. We expect the successful candidate to play their part in the building and maintaining a positive and vibrant culture across the wider WEMAF team, actively supporting various corporate activities. 

We believe that diverse and inclusive teams are the most successful and so strongly encourage applications from a wide range of backgrounds and working patterns. Knowledge of trade policy is helpful but not a prerequisite. Far more important is your commitment to contributing to a positive and inclusive culture within the team, your enthusiasm, and your commitment to personal development.

  • Identify, scope, evaluate and prioritise market access barriers, in accordance with objectives set by the DBT Secretary of State and ministerial direction
  • Develop market access action plans and strategies to resolve barriers   
  • Trade agreement implementation  
  • Develop policy positions and solutions with DBT and other government department experts and deliver upon these in support of market access and implementation work 
  • Represent the team across a range of DBT and cross-Whitehall fora, leading and contributing to meetings where needed 
  • Maintain and develop networks across DBT, other government departments and posts to aid the delivery of our objectives  
  • Deliver high-quality written briefings, submissions, correspondence and papers to aid the delivery of our objectives  
  • Deliver high quality oral briefings to seniors and ministers and manage Parliamentary process and scrutiny as necessary  
  • Contribute to an open and inclusive team culture across WEMAF

Person specification

Essential Criteria 

  • Demonstrated ability to understand, research, and develop policy positions 
  • The ability to independently drive forward and report on project progress 
  • Proven experience of building relationships and influencing stakeholders 

Desirable Criteria  

  • Experience or knowledge of international trade policy 
  • International experience (whether UK or overseas based) 
  • Experience of writing briefings or similar documents 

Personal Attributes & Skills 

  • Adaptable 
  • Analytical 
  • Confident 
  • Explainer 
  • Improver 
  • Inclusive 
  • Learner 
  • Problem solver 
  • Relationship builder 
  • Responsible 
  • Strategic 


We'll assess you against these behaviours during the selection process:

  • Seeing the Big Picture
  • Delivering at Pace
  • Communicating and Influencing
Alongside your salary of £32,858, Department for Business and Trade contributes £8,869 towards you being a member of the Civil Service Defined Benefit Pension scheme. Find out what benefits a Civil Service Pension provides.
  • Learning and development tailored to your role
  • An environment with flexible working options
  • A culture encouraging inclusion and diversity
  • A Civil Service pension with an average employer contribution of 27%

We recognise the challenges that people with (multiple) protected characteristics may experience on the job market and in their career progression. We are fully committed to being an inclusive employer and ensuring equal opportunities. We are keen to make our workforce as diverse as possible, and we hope to attract applications from underrepresented groups, including ethnic minorities, people with a disability, and people with gender diverse identities

Please refer to the attached candidate pack for further information on our benefits.

Selection process details

This vacancy is using Success Profiles (opens in a new window), and will assess your Behaviours, Strengths and Experience.

Interviews for this vacancy will be conducted virtually. We will, however, consider in-person interviews by exception.

Please ensure that you check your emails regularly as all updates from us will be sent to you this way.

To apply for this post, you will be asked to complete the following as part of the online application:  

  • CV setting out your career history, with key responsibilities and achievements. Provide employment history that relates to the essential criteria, and that any gaps in employment history within the last 2 years are explained. The CV should not exceed more than 2 x A4 pages.
  • Personal Statement of up to 750 words,explaining how you consider your personal skills, qualities and experience provide evidence of your suitability for the role in reference to the essential criteria.

After the closing date It is likely that the sift will take place 1-2 weeks after the closing date and interviews 3-5 weeks after the closing date though this is subject to change.

In the event of a large number of applicants, an initial short sift will be conducted on the CV Only. Candidates who pass the initial sift may be progressed to a full sift or progressed straight to assessment/interview. 

Reasonable Adjustments

We are committed to supporting candidates so they can perform at their best throughout the recruitment process. This includes making reasonable adjustments to our process. In order to request an adjustment:

Complete the Assistance required section on the Additional requirements page of your application form to tell us what changes or help you might need further on in the recruitment process.

Alternatively contact the Government Recruitment Service at [email protected] as soon as possible before the closing date to discuss your needs. 

If you are experiencing accessibility problems with any attachments on this advert, please contact the email address in the 'Contact point for applicants' section.

Candidate Support

You may want to join a virtual Candidate Support Session. These sessions include helpful tips and advice on the recruitment process, from application to interview. 

Please see attached Candidate Pack for further information on: Diversity and Inclusion; Benefits; Learning and Development; Working Patterns and what we deliver as a department.

Further Information:

  • A reserve list may be held for a period of 12 months from which further appointments can be made. Reserve Lists will be for each location and appointments made in merit order based on location preferences.
  • Any move to the Department for Business and Trade from another employer will mean you can no longer access childcare vouchers. This includes moves between government departments.
  • The Department will not consider sponsoring a visa or issuing a Certificate of Sponsorship. We are unable to offer advice on any Visa and Immigration cases. 
  • New entrants are expected to join on the minimum of the pay band. 
  • Applicants who are successful at interview will be, as part of pre-employment screening, subject to a check on the Internal Fraud Database (IFD). This check will provide information about employees who have been dismissed for fraud or dishonesty offences. This check also applies to employees who resign or otherwise leave before being dismissed for fraud or dishonesty. Any applicant who has details held on the IFD will be refused employment.
  • A candidate is not eligible to apply for a role within the Civil Service if the application is made within a 5-year period following a dismissal for carrying out internal fraud against government. 
  • Terms and Conditions are attached. Please take time to read the document to determine how these may affect you. 
  • Please note the successful candidate will be expected to remain in post for a minimum of 18 months before being released for another role.

In order to process applications without delay, we will be sending a Criminal Record Check to Disclosure and Barring Service /Disclosure Scotland/Access NI on your behalf.

However, we recognise in exceptional circumstances some candidates will want to send their completed forms direct. If you will be doing this, please advise Government Recruitment Service of your intention by emailing [email protected]k stating the job reference number in the subject heading.

For further information on the Disclosure Scotland confidential checking service telephone: the Disclosure Scotland Helpline on 0870 609 6006 and ask to speak to the operations manager in confidence, or email [email protected]

For further information on the Access NI confidential checking service telephone: the Access NI Helpline on 0300 200 7888 and ask to speak to the operations manager in confidence, or email [email protected]


The requirement for SC clearance is to have been present in the UK for at least 3 of the last 5 years. Failure to meet the residency requirements will result in your security clearance application being rejected.  

For further information on National Security Vetting please visit the following page


Feedback will only be provided if you attend an interview or assessment.


Successful candidates must undergo a criminal record check.
Successful candidates must meet the security requirements before they can be appointed. The level of security needed is security check (opens in a new window).

See our vetting charter (opens in a new window).
People working with government assets must complete baseline personnel security standard (opens in new window) checks.

Nationality requirements

This job is broadly open to the following groups:

  • UK nationals
  • nationals of the Republic of Ireland
  • nationals of Commonwealth countries who have the right to work in the UK
  • nationals of the EU, Switzerland, Norway, Iceland or Liechtenstein and family members of those nationalities with settled or pre-settled status under the European Union Settlement Scheme (EUSS) (opens in a new window)
  • nationals of the EU, Switzerland, Norway, Iceland or Liechtenstein and family members of those nationalities who have made a valid application for settled or pre-settled status under the European Union Settlement Scheme (EUSS)
  • individuals with limited leave to remain or indefinite leave to remain who were eligible to apply for EUSS on or before 31 December 2020
  • Turkish nationals, and certain family members of Turkish nationals, who have accrued the right to work in the Civil Service
Further information on nationality requirements (opens in a new window)

Working for the Civil Service

The Civil Service Code (opens in a new window) sets out the standards of behaviour expected of civil servants.

We recruit by merit on the basis of fair and open competition, as outlined in the Civil Service Commission's recruitment principles (opens in a new window).
The Civil Service embraces diversity and promotes equal opportunities. As such, we run a Disability Confident Scheme (DCS) for candidates with disabilities who meet the minimum selection criteria.
The Civil Service also offers a Redeployment Interview Scheme to civil servants who are at risk of redundancy, and who meet the minimum requirements for the advertised vacancy.

Diversity and Inclusion

The Civil Service is committed to attract, retain and invest in talent wherever it is found. To learn more please see the Civil Service People Plan (opens in a new window) and the Civil Service Diversity and Inclusion Strategy (opens in a new window).
This vacancy is part of the Great Place to Work for Veterans (opens in a new window) initiative.
The Civil Service welcomes applications from people who have recently left prison or have an unspent conviction. Read more about prison leaver recruitment (opens in new window).
Once this job has closed, the job advert will no longer be available. You may want to save a copy for your records.

Contact point for applicants

Job contact :

Recruitment team

Further information

Our recruitment process is underpinned by the principle of appointment on the basis of fair and open competition and appointment on merit, as outlined in the Civil Service Commissioners Recruitment Principles.
If you feel your application has not been treated in accordance with these principles and you wish to make a complaint, you should in the first instance contact DBT by email: [email protected].
If you are not satisfied with the response you receive, you can contact the Civil Service Commission, which regulates all Civil Service recruitment.
For further information on bringing a complaint to the Civil Service Commission please visit their web pages: Click here to visit Civil Service Commission/Complaints


Our use of cookies

We use necessary cookies to help our site function. We’d also like to use analytics cookies that help us make improvements by measuring how you use our website.

For more detailed information about the cookies we use, see our Cookies page.

Necessary cookies

Necessary cookies enable core website functionality such as network management, security and accessibility. You may disable these by changing your browser settings, but this may impact how the website functions.

Analytics cookies


We’d like to collect website analytics cookies information using Google Analytics to help us improve our website. We collect this data by running Google Analytics JavaScript on your device, which collects data about how you interact with our site. The data is collected in a way that does not directly identify anyone. For more information please see our Cookies page.