View Vacancy - Vice Consul – South Africa (based in Cape Town) - 31/20 CPT

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.
Foreign and Commonwealth Office (Consular Roles)

Main purpose of job:

Delivering consular services and assistance to British Nationals in South Africa in line with our public guide "Support for British Nationals Abroad: A Guide”.   Run projects, including media campaigns, training events and lobbying activities to help minimise risks to British residents and visitors to South Africa, to help “prevent” them from getting into difficulty.

Role and responsibilities:

Providing consular assistance to British Nationals (BNs) who get into difficulty in South Africa and the region by leading on complex consular assistance cases and providing support for team members on other cases (40%):

-Leading on complex/high profile cases involving vulnerable British Nationals. Assistance work in South Africa might involve supporting families of people who have been bereaved, including victims of murder; giving welfare assistance to destitute British people; supporting victims of crime and people who have been hospitalised; as well as assisting victims of rape & sexual assault, domestic violence and a host of other issues. Many cases will attract media and UK parliamentary interest

-Working with political, press, senior and other colleagues across the FCO (particularly across South and Southern Africa, and in London) to resolve complex assistance cases. In South Africa, this will involve providing mentoring support to staff in neighbouring posts, with expectation of occasional regional travel

-Occasionally covering casework elsewhere in the region, both remotely and with physical regional resilience visits, on occasion

-Meeting consular business targets and ensure team promptly record casework on our case; management system

-Effective management of the consular section in Cape Town, in conjunction with an equivalent Vice-Consul based in Cape Town, under the supervision of the Consular Regional Operations Manager (also based in Cape Town)

Supporting Consular Directorate’s Prevention objectives by building strong relationships and liaison with local authorities and organisations (30%):

-Active outreach to British Nationals and partner organisations around South Africa to establish further sources of assistance for British Nationals

-Organise visits, seminars and events to engage South African authorities, businesses and NGOs on key areas of policy that impact British Nationals, be they tourists or residents

-Identify and lobby authorities and the government on key consular issues, supported by High Commission colleagues

-Creation and delivery of prevention campaigns and public communications to help reduce the risk to British people in South Africa, with support of media colleagues

Staff and resource management (10%):

Management of 1 x A2(L) Consular Officer
Mentoring to Consular Officers elsewhere in the region delivering assistance and casework
Management of the Cape Town consular office, in conjunction with equivalent B3 Vice Consul

Support BGC Cape Town crisis preparations (10%):

Lead on (consular) elements of the Cape Town crisis plan

Participation in the BHC crisis team; organisation and participation in crisis exercises. Provide crisis training to consular volunteers in the CMP as appropriate

Work closely with Regional Crisis Advisor to ensure South Africa consular crisis preparedness is up to date and appropriate

Regional and Corporate – (10%)

Contribute to the wider British Consulate General Cape Town as well as the sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) consular region by supporting cross-mission activity, advising regional consular colleagues, and providing regional resilience in other SSA posts when required.

The successful candidate will need to have excellent all-round communication skills to manage customer expectations and deliver difficult messages; demonstrate an ability to remain calm under pressure; be able to research and follow guidelines, and to plan and prioritise effectively. Experience working in a customer facing environment is essential. This is a rewarding and often challenging role. You will be well supported by your line manager, wider team, and colleagues across UK in South Africa, but you must have high levels of personal resilience to succeed

Language requirements:

Language: English essential other South African languages an advantage.

Level of language required: Fluent

Experience working in an international environment, experience managing & developing staff 
Collaborating and Partnering, Managing a Quality Service, Delivering at Pace, Demonstrating Resilience
15 July 2020
B3 (L)
South Africa
Cape Town
British Consulate General
1 September 2020

Learning and development opportunities:

You will join a supportive, diverse team with a culture of continuous improvement, and taking responsibility for personal learning and development. We work as a team across Southern Africa, and value a diverse range of skills and backgrounds.

You’ll be encouraged to spend the first year focused on becoming familiar with consular policy and services, and the structures of the Foreign and Commonwealth Office/UK Consulate Cape Town/UK High Commission Pretoria, in order to deliver in your role. The training courses below are a snap shot of consular specific training on offer.

After the first year, a wider range of learning & development opportunities will open up – both focused on building increased expertise & skills in consular delivery, but also across a range of other subject matter areas subject to the candidate’s interests and career focus including (but not limited to) project & budget management, mental health first aid and line management. Mentoring and coaching opportunities are part of our standard offer to all UK Consulate General staff.

Mandatory courses:

Consular - Essential Consular Work (ECW)

All mandatory consular e-learning and prevention modules on GLO

Other opportunities:

Attendance at sub-Saharan Africa consular conference

Attendance at L&D training event for sub-Saharan Africa consular staff

Sub-Saharan Africa Rapid Deployment Team and regional resilience opportunities

NCA/FCO criminal kidnap workshop

Foreign and Commonwealth Diplomatic Academy (largely online)

Working patterns:

Both UK Consulate General Cape Town, and UK High Commission Pretoria, are predominantly working from home during the COVID-19 pandemic. You should expect to work from home regularly, but should be prepared to go into the office in Cape Town if there is a business need to do so. Business travel is suspended for the time being as South Africa’s borders are closed due to COVID-19, but you should expect to travel a few weeks per year once borders reopen. See “learning and development” opportunities.

The British High Commission pays in full for the Key Care Plus option on Discovery Health for staff including spouses/partners and dependants.

  • Once you have successfully completed your probation the British High Commission will contribute 9% of your monthly salary to a Provident Fund.
  • Annual leave entitlement of 25 days
  • Working hours per week of 36.5 

The job will involve some travel for learning and development, and to support other posts in the region to manage consular assistance and prevention work.

Because of the unpredictable nature of consular work, additional hours will sometimes need to be worked. Where staff work beyond their conditioned hours, they are entitled to claim time off in Lieu (TOIL) or overtime, depending on the nature of the work and subject to approval.

  • Please complete the application form in full as the information provided is used during screening.
  • Please check your application carefully before you submit, as no changes can be made once submitted.
  • The British High Commission will never request any payment or fees to apply for a position.
  • Employees recruited locally by the British High Commission in Pretoria are subject to Terms and Conditions of Service according to local employment law in South Africa.
  • All candidates must be legally able to work and reside in the country of the vacancy with the correct visa/work permit status or demonstrate eligibility to obtain the relevant permit. 
  • The responsibility lies on the successful candidate to;
  1. Obtain the relevant permit
  2. Pay fees for the permit
  3. Make arrangements to relocate
  4. Meet the costs to relocation 
  • The British High Commission do not sponsor visas/work permits except where it may be local practice to do so. 
  • Employees who are not eligible to pay local income tax: e.g. certain third-country nationals and spouses/partners of UK diplomats will have their salaries abated by an equivalent amount.
  • Information about the Foreign and Commonwealth Office Competency Framework can be found on this link: Please note:  AA=A1, AO=A2, EO=B3, HEO=C4, SEO=C5
  • Reference checking and security clearances will be conducted on successful candidates.
  • Please log into your profile on the application system on a regular basis to review the status of your application.
  • We do encourage you to apply for your police clearance certificate at the time of your application
Please be aware that you will only be able to apply to vacancies for Local Staff roles with the British Government through this official site (operated by Oleeo). Jobs may be advertised on third party websites, however our adverts will always link back to the official site. If you complete and send an application through any other site, we will not receive it.

This opportunity is closed to applications.