View Vacancy - Sector Specialist: Infrastructure – Department for International Trade (14/21 JHB)

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Department for International Trade roles (DIT)
Trade Policy


The UK Department for International Trade (DIT) operates in 23 of Africa’s nations. As the UK Government Department promoting free trade and open market access, UK exports and UK business overseas investment, we support the development of strong, prosperous and peaceful African nations, through modern, dynamic and long-term trade and investment partnerships delivering mutual benefit for the UK and Africa.  DIT brings together policy, promotion, and financial expertise to break down barriers to trade and investment in markets across the world, to help businesses succeed.

This is a great opportunity to work in Africa in a key sector for the UK and for Africa. The UK offer in infrastructure is strong, and includes manufacturing capabilities in sectors such as rail and water, as well as world class design, engineering capability and expertise, a strong and capable supply chain, as well as broader UK expertise on key issues such as national infrastructure planning and PPP.   

Your job will be to bring additional expertise on UK capabilities, and UK business interests, to bear on our work in Africa.  You will help DIT to access UK companies in these sectors, including the supply chain. The objective is to increase the depth of engagement of UK firms in African infrastructure projects. You will engage directly with UK supply chain companies on opportunities in Africa, helping them to understand the best opportunities and to win success on projects in Africa. As a part of this you will gain an understanding of the key projects in Africa, drawing on knowledge within our network.  You will understand barriers to trade and investment, and work with colleagues to address these barriers. You will help us to liaise with key buyers, increase their understanding of UK expertise, and help key buyers to engage with UK companies.

The jobholder will join a dynamic network of committed trade officers working to support UK business interests and Africa’s economic growth. This is an exciting time to join DIT Africa, as we deliver on our ambition to be Africa’s trade and investment partner of choice.

Roles and responsibilities: 

The infrastructure sector, including transport, airport development, rail, water and construction, is one of our top priorities for the Department for International Trade in Africa. The Sector is led by a Sector Director working with a virtual team across the continent. You will support that team in each priority market, with an expert understanding of UK infrastructure capabilities.

You will understand UK infrastructure capabilities and be able to translate those effectively to officials less familiar with the sector. You will forge close relationships with UK companies so that you can explain their products and services to key African buyers. You will help match African buyer needs to UK products and services. You will understand infrastructure projects and be able to draw on that to help promote an understanding of UK best practice on projects.

You will bring a commercial perspective to the sector, and an in-depth understanding of the UK sector including the supply chain. This will complement other activity undertaken by the British Government teams in Africa, with whom you will develop close working relationships. Together with expertise in infrastructure, you will also understand financing models (including from UK Government partners including UKEF), and policy approaches such as PPP.

You will understand UK capabilities, public and private, especially in the area of engineering design capability, innovation, and supply chain support. You will have this knowledge already, but enhance that through networking, development, and engagement with UK companies.

You will contribute to relationship development with African buyers, help us to make progress on trade policy or market access issues, and help to upskill our network so they can better understand how to target work to meet African needs by engaging with the right set of UK businesses.

You will ensure alignment with other HMG work streams where relevant, for example Official Development Assistance (ODA) through the FCDO

Resources managed:

You will work as part of a team of around 5 advisers

Operational budgets for travel and subsistence

                                • Undergraduate degree and other relevant professional qualification or experience.
                                • At least ten years’ experience working with or in the infrastructure sector, with a UK contractor or within the UK infrastructure supply chain (please note – this is not about experience in working for a UK owned company, but about experience with companies based in the UK regardless of nationality of ownership)
                                • Experience of working with business at senior levels
                                • A proven track record of cross-team collaboration
                                • A positive, resilient, flexible and adaptable “can-do” attitude that can see its way through challenges.
                                • Knowledge of, and a keen interest in infrastructure issues and their applicability to Africa.
                                • A keen interest in sustainable development
                                • Knowledge of African infrastructure projects
                                • Experience of working with Governments on infrastructure issues

                                                  Making Effective Decisions, Collaborating and Partnering, Achieving Commercial Outcomes, Managing a Quality Service
                                                  24 May 2021
                                                  D6 (L)
                                                  South Africa
                                                  British High Commission
                                                  R 66,499.70
                                                  1 July 2021

                                                  Learning and development opportunities:

                                                  This role provides excellent opportunities to grow and develop given its pan-Africa reach, and the contact it will bring with a wide range of key buyers and Governments in Africa. 

                                                  You will have access to the full suite of DIT and FCDO learning and development opportunities including the FCDO’s Diplomatic Academy and will be encouraged to join DIT’s trade profession. We also provide regular in-house learning opportunities and are committed to supporting further academic opportunities. Our staff who demonstrate great leadership potential are encouraged to apply for the FCDO’s pan-African Emerging Leadership Programme.

                                                  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

                                                  Working patterns:

                                                  Flexible working is possible but please note that the role is likely to involve some evening commitments and regular travel to the UK and across Africa, notwithstanding any changes in working practices as a result of the current Covid situation.

                                                  • 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;

                                                  • Obtain the relevant permit

                                                  • Pay fees for the permit

                                                  • Make arrangements to relocate

                                                  • 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 liable to pay local income tax on their Mission salary may have their salaries reduced by the equivalent local income tax 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.

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                                                  This opportunity is closed to applications.