The British government has launched a scheme to recruit and train school-leavers as future commerce experts as it prepares to carry out its own trade negotiations for the first time in decades. The Department of International Trade, which was created after the 2016 vote to leave the European Union, said its two-year scheme would include placements with teams working on future trade deals and supporting British companies exporting.
Trade minister Liam Fox while launching the programme said that he wanted young people to take up world of trade as a profession and join it. Britain cannot formally sign trade deals with other countries until it has left the European Union but has been working to amass expertise, replicate agreements it is part of as a member of the EU and lay the groundwork for new deals. Those applying for the scheme, which will pay around 30,000 pounds a year, do not need to have any qualifications. The department expects most candidates will either be 18-year-old school-leavers or people wanting to switch careers.
It will also include a six-month posting in one of Britain’s trade offices around the world. “If you want to sell Britain properly you have to know what Britain has to sell but you also have to understand the markets that we are selling into,” Fox said. Britain’s chief trade negotiation adviser Crawford Falconer said the scheme was not about filling a gap in trade negotiating talent in Britain.
“We have got plenty of trade negotiating talent but what we need to have is greater diversity and greater choice and for people to enter at a younger age,” he said.