View Vacancy - CPK - Office Manager and PA to Her Majesty’s Trade Commissioner for China and Hong Kong, B3 (L)

The British Government is an inclusive and diversity-friendly employer.  We value difference, promote equality and challenge discrimination, enhancing our organisational capability. We welcome and encourage applications from people of all backgrounds. We do not discriminate on the basis of disability, race, colour, ethnicity, gender, religion, sexual orientation, age, veteran status or other category protected by law. We promote family-friendly flexible working opportunities, where operational and security needs allow.
Department for International Trade roles (DIT)
Department for International Trade (DIT)

Main purpose of job:

China is the world’s largest economy in terms of PPP (IMF) and the second largest in terms of nominal GDP. The Chinese economy, whilst slowing is steadying at c. 6.8%, is still vast and the envy of many nations. With a focus on globalization, urbanization and domestic consumption through increasing middle classes with disposable income, there is huge commercial potential for both UK and Chinese businesses. As a result of this potential UK Department for International Trade (DIT) China has transformed and grown. Building on the tremendous success of China’s recent State Visit to the UK we now enter a golden era of UK China relations and an exciting opportunity to be at the vanguard of the opportunities afforded by the two countries’ unique relationship.

We are seeking an exceptional Office Manager and Personal Assistant to manage Her Majesty’s Trade Commissioner’s (HMTC) busy office, personal programme and diary in Beijing, China.

We need someone with great organisation skills, flexibility, diligence and attention to detail to manage the HMTC office, which is central to ensuring that the HMTC’s time is maximised and deployed to optimum effect. Someone who will have an unrelenting focus on delivering the best possible support services that truly encourages other to participate fully and deliver their parts in our total effort. Someone with the resilience and tenacity to excel in a complex and challenging environment that is often at the forefront of ministerial attention.

We are looking for a talented individual who is ready to take on the challenges, and opportunities, afforded by this critical role. Someone who has great interpersonal skills, good humour and an engaging style that will bring out the best from a wide and diverse stakeholder group.

Roles and responsibilities / what will the jobholder be expected to achieve?

Effective and smooth management of the HMTC office (30%)

  • Monitor and manage HMTC office’s overall budget of c £300k and discretionary allocation of c £55k (part of the £7.5m allocation that the HMTC is accountable for)
  • Develop, implement and ensure effective management of the HMTC office policies and procedures
  • Manage co-ordination with all other DIT China directorates DSO’s to ensure maximum efficiency and a joined up approach,   including virtual / matrix line management over the other DSO’s, exercising your management judgment in daily dealings
  • Design and implement a sophisticated system of records and knowledge management and filing system for the office being proactive in working under own initiative with minimal guidance. Develop appropriate systems, records and methods, be resourceful, use experience of doing this elsewhere and look for continuous improvement
  • Ensure security, integrity and confidentiality of data and information
  • Ensure DIT’s contributions to the running of wider Embassy is sufficient and on time through managing, influencing and negotiating with colleagues of all grades and levels of experience as well as programme managing multiple layers of activity to ensure effective and accurate returns in a very high profile environment.

Proactive management of HMTC visits and engagements (20%)

  • Design and manage HMTC’s forward engagement calendar on yearly basis
  • Design and coordinate input into HMTC’s personal visit programmes including making informed recommendations and decisions being mindful of understanding requirements from various perspectives and that the HMTC interacts heavily with the most senior officials in government and in the commercial arena.
  • Make decisions and recommendations on their own, including brokering, negotiating and finalising recommendations using their own judgment.
  • Liaise with colleagues in the Embassy or Chinese and British government bodies to ensure HMTC has been rightly engaged in ministerial visits
  • Manage and provide guidance on logistics arrangements

Perform administrative and secretarial duties as directed by HMTC (40%)

  • Arrange and schedule appointments
  • Maintain electronic diaries – including co-ordination when HMTC working off-site with no IT access
  • Provide daily information pack – ensuring complete, high quality and accuracy of detail
  • Monitor and handle emails – being attuned and responsive to sensitive and senior stakeholders
  • Keep the right and practical working pace for internal affairs
  • Arrange for official entertainments including invitations, placements cards etc
  • Support papers for meetings
  • Collect and distribute section publications

Professional and effective contribution to core relationship management (10%)

  • Maintain, develop and upgrade the clients data base
  • Facilitate clients’ visa application requests and answer enquiries
  • Maintain regular contact with key strategic, high profile stakeholders
  • Draft emails/letters/requests to stakeholders in both languages

The successful candidate will need to be confident and comfortable working in a high pressure, busy and challenging environment. They will need the skills and abilities to be able to prioritise, analyse and manage a heavy workload with minimal supervision. This role is pivotal to what is a busy and demanding office with many changes and demands flowing through daily that often require immediate responses, high degrees of flexibility and resourcefulness.

  • Excellent organisation skills, positive approach to teamwork, and a pro-active attitude
  • Excellent English Language Skills – both oral and written
  • Degree level qualification or equivalent  
  • Minimum 3 years of full time working experience, ideally working in Executive Aide positions
  • Ability to build rapport quickly with multiple, often senior stakeholders in public and private sector
  • A diplomatic, tactful yet assertive manner when dealing with contacts and colleagues

Must have excellent working knowledge of basic Microsoft office software (word, outlook, powerpoint), while experience of using more advanced features of excel (filtering, formulas and pivot tables) would be helpful. Experience of working in a fast-moving environment of organisational change would also be an advantage. 

  • Experience of developing and implementing knowledge management systems, policies & principles
  • Understanding of the role and remit of DIT globally and in China
  • Broad understanding of how the UK government operates
  • Broad understanding of how the Chinese government operates
  • Programme / Project management experience and qualifications would be extremely useful
Changing and Improving, Managing a Quality Service, Delivering at Pace
26 November 2019
B3 (L)
Full-time, Permanent
Asia Pacific
British Embassy
Chinese Nationals: RMB 17870 British Nationals: RMB 24746
23 December 2019

We offer a competitive package, which includes basic salary, good leave entitlement, and insurance plan, etc. The gross starting salary (before all deductions) is CNY 17, 870/month for Chinese Nationals and an abated monthly salary of CNY 24, 746/month for British Nationals and spouses/ partners (all nationalities) of diplomats who are ‘W’ (diplomatic) visa holders and meet passport criteria.

We also offer excellent development opportunities and a 22-day annual leave entitlement in pro rata. Conditioned working hours is 35 hours/ week from Monday to Friday and flexible working can be arranged upon personal needs. For more details on our Total Rewards Package, please visit our website

Staff recruited locally by the British Consulate-General is subject to Terms and Conditions of Service according to local Chinese employment law.

Please note that your application must be submitted before 23:55 (China Standard Time) on the day mentioned in the above field “Application deadline”.

Incomplete application forms will not be taken into consideration, so please ensure you provide the information requested. We regret to advise that we will only be contacting short-listed candidates. Applicants called for an interview will be assessed on the core competencies listed above.

Advertised start date is provisional and subject to successful completion of reference and security checks. 

You may check your online FCO application centre/email for any updates.  

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This opportunity is closed to applications.