View Vacancy - CPK - Prosperity Fund Technical Advisor (China Skills Programme), C4(L)

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Foreign and Commonwealth Office (Policy & Political roles)
Economic and Prosperity

In November 2015 the UK Government announced a £1.2bn Prosperity Fund to promote the economic reform and development needed for growth in partner countries. Priorities will include improving the business climate, competitiveness and operation of markets, energy and financial sector reform. As well as contributing to a reduction in poverty in recipient countries, we expect these reforms to create opportunities for international business including UK companies.

The China Prosperity Fund portfolio, if approved, will consist of a number of sector-focused programmes.  One of these is the China Skills Programme. As China seeks to transition to a new economic growth model, one of the main challenges the country faces is the size and scale of its skills gap. The mismatch between the skills Chinese employers’ need and those that workers actually possess represents a huge opportunity cost, estimated to be US$250 billion or 2.3 percent of GDP in 2020. 

The Prosperity Fund China Skills Programme will focus on supporting China to develop high level technical and vocational skills, where the greatest needs exist.  The programme will draw on UK expertise to support China, addressing some of its current key constraints and create a more enabling environment for the international, including the UK, business and skills sector players to access China’s skills market.

The British Embassy Beijing is seeking a China skills technical advisor as a principle advisor to the host government (including Ministry of Education, Ministry of Human Resources and Social Security, National Development and Reform Commissions and provincial/local government), think-tanks, education institutions and the private sector on skills system reform, education-industry alignment and cross-cutting skills issues to inform the delivery of the Programme. The technical advisor will use specialist technical expertise to build and maintain effective relationships with the Chinese government to support China’s progress on skills system reform and enable programme success. The successful candidate will also be required to work closely with the China Skills programme management teams, wider PF teams and HMG. The technical advisor will be part of the programme delivery team and act as the principle interface with the programme management team in the British Embassy in Beijing.

As such the successful candidate will need to demonstrate technical expertise and policy knowledge, as well as strong communicating, collaborating and influencing skills.

To implement an impactful Skills Programme, you will work in collaboration with:

  • Relevant Chinese ministries, government authorities, think-tanks, universities and colleges
  • Embassy colleagues in the Prosperity Fund, British Council, DIT, Science and Innovation Network (SIN), UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) and DFID;
  • Department for Education, Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) and DFID in London;
  • The UK education and skills sector;
  • International organisations such as UNDP, ILO, World Bank 

In addition, the technical advisor will also play a role in managing and delivering existing projects in the Prosperity Fund China Skills Programme, maximising its impact.  As such the successful candidate will have experience of working in a programme environment with a working knowledge of programme development, budget management, monitoring, evaluating and reporting, preferably in the education and skills sector. You will support gender equality act compliance and support the Prosperity Fund’s policy and guidance on gender equality, economic empowerment and inclusive growth for all.

This is a challenging and exciting opportunity to play a critical role in a high-profile and strategic development initiative in China on behalf of the UK Government, which aims to have a positive impact on economic development and trade, as well as strengthening the relationship between the UK and China.

We are looking for a pro-active, engaged individual to apply his/her technical expertise in driving the delivery, and supporting the management of the China Skills Programme.

Implementation/Delivery (80%)

Stakeholder Engagement - Drawing on technical expertise to build wide stakeholder networks in China and the UK to enable programme implementation. Support partnership between key Chinese/UK stakeholders and delivery partners to drive the development of skills reforms in China. Acting in an advisory role to the Chinese government to commit to MoUs with the UK government to enable programme implementation and success.

Policy Advisory - Conduct analysis and research on the Chinese context and UK priorities to shape programme delivery on areas including but not limited to, standards and progression pathways, education-industry alignment and TVET institution capacity building. Work with the Chinese government to identify capability gaps, develop technical assistance and training programmes. Ensure external delivery partners have the policy direction and technical guidance required to maximise high-quality implementation and outcomes of the programme.

Policy Implementation - Use technical expertise to plan, implement and facilitate the delivery of technical assistance activities with the Chinese government, skills sector and wider beneficiaries to achieve programme outcomes on progression pathways, education-industry alignment, TVET institution capacity building and other areas as required.

Reporting and Communications - Provide input into overall reporting and communications on the China Skills Programme, including impact and success stories, working closely with Prosperity Fund communications colleagues.

Programme Management (20%)

Deploy excellent programme management skills by proactively managing elements of the China Skills Programme to ensure they deliver the programme outcomes and key performance indicators. This will include leading on procurement of external suppliers to implement various strands of the programme and management of external suppliers and contracts, liaising with the Prosperity Fund Central Team ensuring that budgets are well-managed, performance is maintained and projects monitored and evaluated over the lifetime of the programme. Line manage programme officer to balance a variable workload across the programme cycle.

Underpinning Requirements

  • Delivering Impact - Ensure the programme meet Prosperity Fund central requirements including on monitoring, reporting, evaluation and learning; compliance with OECD rules for ODA; and Gender Equality Act compliance and support PF ambitions on women’s economic opportunities, inclusive growth and poverty reduction.

The position requires excellent networking skills and negotiating skills, both in order to win confidence and to deliver outcomes across a wide range of Government departments, education and business stakeholders.  The position also demands creative problem solving with strong initiative and drive.

  • Strong specialist knowledge and technical expertise in skills sector reform, education-industry alignment standards and progression pathways, education-industry alignment and TVET institution capacity building in the context of China.
  • Minimum of three years’ experience of international development programming, including delivering complex programmes and managing delivery partners
  • Minimum of three years’ programme management experience preferably in education and skills, familiar with programme management cycle and have hands-on experience in budget management, programme design, implementation, M&E and risk management
  • Excellent networking and negotiating skills, with demonstrable track-record of building strong relationships and credibility with a range of external stakeholders across both commercial sectors and government institutions; including Chinese policy-makers, think tanks, skills sector and business representatives
  • Ability to communicate confidently and persuasively in a range of situations
  • Fluency in English and Mandarin Chinese, both written and spoken
  • Excellent IT skills including Microsoft excel and word
  • Familiar with UK skills system
  • Previous experience of working in an international environment with a proven track record of delivering results across government organisations and think tanks
  • A university degree in a relevant field
  • Line management experience
  • Experience/knowledge of UK ODA programmes.
Seeing the Big Picture, Making Effective Decisions, Leading and Communicating, Collaborating and Partnering, Managing a Quality Service
30 August 2019
C4 (L)
Full-time, Fixed term, with possibility of renewal
Asia Pacific
British Embassy
30 September 2019

We place a strong emphasis on learning and development.  You will be encouraged to undertake developmental training and get involved in corporate activities.  This role provides an excellent opportunity to build up programme knowledge and expertise and again exposure to working across government.  You will have access to existing and new Project and Programme Management L&D as well as wider job relevant L&D and support for your own personal development.  You will have the opportunity to participate in annual reviews.

The post holder would be able to work flexibly: Altered working hours (e.g. starting early or late), provided the post holder was able to make calls with colleagues in the UK when necessary and was able to travel as required.

Successful candidates will be offered an annual contract, renewable on a yearly basis depending on staff performance and availability of programme funds.

We offer a competitive package, which includes basic salary, good leave entitlement, and insurance plan, etc. The gross starting salary (before all deductions) for this  position is CNY 27,596 / month for Chinese Nationals and an abated monthly salary of CNY 35,959 / 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.  For more details on our Total Rewards Package, please visit our website

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

All applications must be received before 11:55PM (China Standard Time) on 28 August 2019.

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.

To those applicants not short-listed, we extend our appreciation for considering the British Government as a potential employer.

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.