Jun 032020

UK Board Co-Chair - Infrastructure Exports

Location: National
Date Posted: 01/06/2020
Closing Date: 29/06/2020

Vacancy Description

This is an important time for the Department for International Trade (DIT) as it establishes an independent trade policy and champions free trade around the world. The Department will be a liberalising force, tackling protectionism head-on and defending the rules-based framework that underpins our ability to trade freely. The Department will strike trade agreements with some of the largest advanced economies, build trade relationships with the economies of the future, and champion the multilateral rules-based trading system with the WTO at its heart. The Department, as part of its levelling up agenda, will support and encourage UK businesses to grow and attract Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) across the whole of the UK. It will support businesses to trade through trade dialogues and the removal of market access barriers. It has a critical role in promoting innovations, products and skills from the UK through its HM Trade Commissioners, trade advisors who help exporters reach new markets, the GREAT campaign, trade shows as well as inward and outward missions.

The Department is working at pace to respond directly to the global health pandemic, COVID-19. As the situation unfolds the consequences for businesses and trade are acute and require immediate action to keep trade flowing and supply chains functioning. The Department is focused on immediate activity to provide practical support to businesses and enable trade through the crisis for example working with G20 trade ministers, working with BEIS and HMT to provide support to UK businesses, using its regional and overseas networks and sector teams to unblock supply chains and on international procurement of critical medical supplies. The Department also has a critical role to play in supporting the economy and British businesses to recover once we are through the worst of the immediate crisis.

Infrastructure is at the heart of the UK’s national renewal and change and is a sector in which the UK has a strong international reputation. Governments around the world will need to consider infrastructure for the future that keeps society connected and the economy moving, whilst responding to challenges such as the coronavirus and climate change. Infrastructure is therefore a priority for DIT, a Department at the heart of the UK’s relationship with the global economy.

In support of building a UK offer to meet global infrastructure challenges, a partnership between industry and government, led by industry and DIT has been set up. Infrastructure Exports: UK (IE:UK) brings together 18 of the UK’s leading infrastructure firms to help UK companies secure major international contracts, in particular through identifying opportunities for a consortia approach. The industry-led body group will pursue infrastructure projects with government support.

What is IE:UK?

IE:UK is a joint industry and government partnership, strategically targeting major infrastructure export opportunities around the world. It is supported by DIT’s network of local staff in 116 markets, with the objective of identifying, pursuing, and delivering major strategic infrastructure projects through a consortium-led approach. The objective of IE:UK is to increase UK infrastructure exports and identify gaps in the UK supply chain for FDI to fill.

The IE:UK Board is co-chaired by DIT‘s Minister for Exports and a senior industry leader. The Industry sector co-Chair will benefit from working closely with the Minister for Exports and leading UK based infrastructure companies to help shape the direction of UK export policy and support within the infrastructure sector. The 18 companies with seats on the IE:UK Board represent around 200,000 employees from across the UK. A full list of Board Members and further information is listed here.

IE:UK supports UK exporters by:

  • selecting and targeting projects for consideration;
  • participating in and helping form UK partnership models, such as consortia, to deliver identified projects by bringing together infrastructure initiatives and funding options from across government and the private sector;
  • scoping new markets to shape opportunities and decide on prioritisation;
  • identifying gaps in the existing UK supply chain to support the goal of a comprehensive UK offer and attract targeted FDI;
  • providing a renewed focus on the UK’s export offer in the infrastructure sector, through the identification and promotion of global best practice, expertise and cutting-edge technologies being developed and delivered on UK major infrastructure projects, with a specific focus on sustainable infrastructure.

Person Specification

We are currently in a defining period for UK exports in the infrastructure sector. The co-Chair will be joining the board as it builds on and sets a new, refreshed, agenda for the purpose and future of IE:UK. The co-Chair will play a pivotal role alongside the Minister for Exports, in defining the strategic direction and structure of IE:UK and UK exports in the infrastructure sector, providing clear leadership and direction to the IE:UK board. The co-Chair will be expected to:

  • Co-chair IE:UK Board meetings with the Minister for Exports
  • Provide leadership and clear direction to the Board
  • Take decisions on HMG/industry collaborative approach to infrastructure export opportunities
  • Work with industry leaders and IE:UK working groups to win business for the UK
  • Inform decisions about the future of the board and help establish the new Terms of Reference as necessary
  • Play a leading role in promoting infrastructure’s sustainability credentials

Essential criteria and experience for this role

The co-Chair should be regarded as an ‘industry leader’ within the UK infrastructure sector, with the ability to provide clear leadership and direction to the IE:UK Board. Candidates for applying for the role of co-Chair should have the following:

  • extensive experience and understanding of the UK’s capability in the infrastructure sector;
  • experience and knowledge of international markets;
  • experience in the delivery of major infrastructure projects;
  • the ability to contribute, inspire confidence and bring together a wide range of stakeholders, with frequently diverse commercial and political agendas.

Desirable criteria and experience for this role

We also encourage candidates to demonstrate evidence of skills/experience/expertise in as many of the following as possible:

  • an understanding of trade policy, driving exports and/or FDI
  • an awareness and experience of managing change
  • experience as a board member or at an equivalent level in an executive or non-executive
    capacity in either the public, private or voluntary sector
  • an understanding of the key challenges faced by the public sector and the ability to bring through their experiences to carve solutions with government

Additional Information

All candidates are expected to the adhere to the Principles of Public Life and the Code of Conduct for Board members. The successful candidate will be required to undertake security checks in line with the Civil Service guidelines. Due diligence will be carried out at the shortlisting stage, which will include requests for references and background checks e.g. social media and political activity.

The Department for International Trade embraces and values diversity in all forms. We welcome and pride ourselves on the positive impact diversity has on the work we do, and we promote equality of opportunity throughout the organisation.

How to Apply

To make an application please email us your CV, covering letter, Candidate Declaration Form and Diversity Monitoring Form to IEUK@trade.gov.uk.

Applications must be received by 23:00 Monday 29th June 2020.

Please ensure your CV and cover letter covers the breadth of experience that you would bring to the role.

Candidate Declaration Form

It is a requirement of the appointments process that we ask interested application to declare the below activity as part of our due diligence. These comprise:

  • Declaration of: conflicts of interest or perceived conflicts of interest; previous conduct which could bring the reputation of the Department into disrepute; political activity;
  • Requests for references;

As such, please complete and return the attached Candidate Declaration Form as part of your application.

Please note, this form will be shared with the Panel as part of your application. We will only contact the referees of candidates invited to interview and will also carry out the following searches; financial probity, public statements, and publicly available social media profiles on all candidates invited to interview.

Diversity Monitoring Form

We are committed to recruiting public appointees that reflect the diverse communities we serve. To do this we ask candidates to fill out a diversity monitoring form which is signposted below at the end of this information page. The information you provide will help support us ensure that our recruitment processes are fair to all and allow us to attract diverse and talented candidates.

Diversity monitoring information will not be seen by the selection panel assessing your application. Please note that your personal details will not be shared with the panel. However, you should note that political activity detailed in this form will be provided separately to the panel and may, if appropriate, be discussed with you during your interview.

Disability Confidence Scheme

The Department for International Trade is committed to providing equality of opportunity for all candidates during the selection process, so that appointments are selected from the widest pool of talent available.

We are signed up to the disability confidence scheme and as part of that commitment is that we guarantee an interview to any candidate who:

  • has disclosed a disability as defined under the Equality Act 2010 (see definition below); and
  • meets the essential criteria for the post(s) in question, as set out in the role advertisement.

If you wish to apply under the disability confident scheme, please complete the disability confidence form and return it with your application. All applications will be acknowledged by email after the closing date.

The Equality Act 2010 defines a person as disabled if they have a physical or mental impairment and the impairment has a substantial and long-term adverse effect on their ability to carry out normal day to day activities.


This post is NOT regulated by The Commissioner for Public Appointments.

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