Policy Adviser: Trade – CBI

Role Summary:

The CBI is the UK’s leading business lobbying organisation and a powerful voice in UK policy debates.  With offices throughout the UK, Brussels, Washington, Beijing and Delhi, the CBI has a truly global footprint and promotes its members’ interests at regional, national, European and international level.

Working across all the CBI’s international offices, the CBI’s Trade team is responsible for developing insight and intelligence on the UK’s international trade outlook, as well as business-friendly policy solutions relating to opening market access for UK companies, helping firms into exporting, and creating an environment that attracts foreign investment. The UK’s decision to leave the EU has created many new uncertainties and opportunities for the government’s trade agenda; this role offers a unique opportunity to work with companies to shape and influence trade and investment policy to support long-term economic growth.

Based out of our London office, and reporting to the Head of Trade & Investment, the Policy Advisor will be responsible for developing robust analysis, evidence-based policy recommendations and campaign plans that respond to CBI member needs. The post holder will be expected to engage with senior business representatives and government officials, as well as contribute to commercial opportunities in the CBI’s wider work.

Key Responsibilities:

Lead the London-based policy work on trade in services, government export promotion and the UK’s trading relationship with the countries of North & South America

  • Working with colleagues in all CBI country offices, the post holder will lead policy work on the post-Brexit trade agenda with respect to the UK’s services sectors (e.g. financial services, telecoms, tech, and professional business services) and associated market access issues & regulatory barriers.
  • The post holder will lead our lobbying on supporting UK companies into export, and act as the key London analyst on the UK’s trading relationship with the Americas (working with our US office).
  • This work will include in-depth policy analysis, research, engagement with CBI members and wider stakeholders, organising senior level events as well as writing reports, drafting press releases, articles and blogs.

Target Parliamentary stakeholders and build a Parliamentary engagement campaign

  • The post holder will devise a trade engagement plan for MPs and Lords, building productive relationships with Westminster offices, as well as relevant officials within government, and wider business or non-governmental stakeholders with an interest in trade policy.
  • This will include representing the CBI at meetings to influence policy, as well as preparing and delivering presentations.

Work effectively with businesses and colleagues across the CBI

  • The post holder will engage effectively with senior representatives from the business community and colleagues across the CBI, including account managers and staff in CBI country offices.
  • This work includes involving CBI members in policy formation, keeping them up-to-date with policy developments or changes which relate to their specific interests, helping to build partnerships to deliver specific projects or events and working with the membership team to secure new members and help retain existing ones. Keeping the team and senior management team informed on key issues will also be key within the role.
  • The post holder will also seek innovative ways to maximise our member service and contribute to the trade team’s commercial goals.


The role will offer the opportunity to work with all CBI country offices as well as our Brexit team, and a wide range of policy and sector teams such as innovation, tax & regulation, and financial services.

Knowledge & Experience

What an individual must know or understand to be able to fulfil the role’s requirements

  • Achieved a 2:1 at degree level or equivalent is essential
  • Understanding of UK and EU political institutions and the broad political landscape is essential
  • Knowledge of the services sectors is essential, as is some knowledge of trade policy dynamics
  • Experience of working within or alongside Parliamentary offices is essential
  • Demonstrable interest in digitisation, tech, data flows, and/or e-commerce is highly desirable
  • Strong commercial awareness and understanding of business processes is essential
  • Demonstrable experience advising senior stakeholders is highly desirable


The practical actions required in order to be able to fulfil the role’s requirements

  • Excellent research and analysis
  • Excellent written communication, including the ability to pull out a key narrative
  • Clear and persuasive oral communication and presentation
  • Effective at planning, organisational and time management
  • Strong interpersonal, team work and influencing abilities
  • IT literacy (Microsoft, MS Office, CRM systems)

Person Profile

The behaviours and characteristics required in order to be able to fulfil the role’s requirements

  • An interest in trade, and helping create solutions to make policy work for business
  • Proactive/can-do/results focused approach to work
  • Resilience and ability to work in a fast-paced, pressurised environment
  • Ability to think logically when analysing a policy problem
  • Communicates the key issues involved clearly, concisely and accessibly both orally and in written outputs and with consideration to the relevant audience
  • Ability to work independently and as part of a team – particularly teams which include colleagues with different responsibilities, skill-sets and in distant locations
  • A desire to influence colleagues and the wider public on international aspects of business
  • A demonstrable interest in media representation of policy debates
  • Developed business and commercial awareness and ability to showcase this throughout own work
  • A desire to develop, learn from mistakes and constantly challenge oneself
  • A commitment to the CBI’s values of pride, impact, respect and honesty

How to apply 

For all applications please send your CV and cover letter to recruit@cbi.org.uk. The deadline for applications is Friday 18th August.

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