West Africa Trade Services Manager at British High Commission (BHC)

The British Government is an inclusive and diversity-friendly employer.  We value difference, promote equality and challenge discrimination, enhancing our organisational capability. We welcome and encourage applications from people of all backgrounds. We do not discriminate on the basis of disability, race, colour, ethnicity, gender, religion, sexual orientation, age, veteran status or other category protected by law. We promote family-friendly flexible working opportunities, where operational and security needs allow.

We are recruiting to fill the position below:

Job Title: West Africa Trade Services Manager, B3 – DIT

Job Ref: 38/19 LOS
Location: Lagos
Job Category: Department for International Trade roles (DIT)
Job Subcategory: Department for International Trade (DIT)
Grade: B3 (L)
Type of Position: Fixed Term
Duration of Post: 24 months
Start Date: 1st February, 2020

Main Purpose of Job

  • The Department for International Trade (DIT) is the Trade Promotion and Negotiation organisation for the UK. We promote UK businesses overseas and attract foreign investment to our shores. We have 3,000 staff across the globe in over 100 countries. Our aspiration is to address some of the challenges facing the UK, by helping British businesses to internationalise and grow overseas as well as helping African businesses better engage with the UK and the world.
  • DIT Africa is one of the nine DIT global networks and is led by Emma Wade-Smith, HM Trade Commissioner (HMTC) for Africa.The Africa Region is exciting and energising and UK firms have a strong presence here, making the UK the second largest investor on the continent. With some of the strongest growing economies in the world and booming population growth there are numerous more opportunities for UK firms; from tech start-ups in the West to infrastructure in the East. The Network’s role is to promote these opportunities and position the UK as the continent’s number one trading partner and investor.
  • This is a great opportunity to be part of an international team that contributes to the success of the UK’s trade goals. With excellent interpersonal skills and strong sense of initiative, the jobholder will work within DIT Africa in Lagos and will report to the Head of the Africa Trade Services Unit (TSU), based in London. The job holder will lead the team ( 2 x A2L and 2 interns) responsible for responding to West Africa related enquiries and support UK companies exporting and investing in the region through the delivery of trade services, which include market research, introduction to contacts in-market and organising trade missions and networking receptions.
  • They will be required to deliver within the team as much as possible, collaborating with colleagues across DIT Africa and other UK Departments in Africa, including the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) when necessary. They will also need to actively engage external stakeholders in the private sector.

Roles and Responsibilities
Working with the Head of the TSU, the jobholder will take full responsibility for leading on all TSU work in West Africa and ensuring trade and investment enquiries are actioned and chargeable trade services across the region are delivered promptly. They will:

  • Lead the West Africa regional team in providing prompt and fact-checked replies to trade enquiries;
  • Plan and oversee delivery of regional chargeable trade services to UK companies including market research, warmed-up contacts, introductions to local partners as well as events/activities such as networking receptions, market visits, trade missions etc. The jobholder will be required to see to agreement of work plans with companies and delivery of the service to a high standard and within the specified timeframe. They will also need to ensure the team keeps open lines of communication with the company throughout delivery of the service and ensure follow-up takes place after the service is delivered to review the effectiveness of the services received; and support the company expand further into Africa if needed.
  • Build strong and collaborative relationships with officers in the region and work with regional teams when required to deliver regional projects;
  • Promote the regional trade services offer to British companies with a view to increasing demand and building a healthy regional pipeline of clients and projects.
  • Lead the regional TSU team in uploading business interactions weekly onto Data Hub and shared spreadsheets.
  • Identify viable business opportunities for UK companies and communicate these to the Operations Team for uploading. Planning and delivering on requests for market research, warmed-up contacts, introductions to local partners (including support for market visits), delivery of events (in liaison with the APEC Team), and any other chargeable services/support required from British companies doing business in W AfriLine Manage one Trade Services Officer in Lagos, one in Accra and two interns, (Lagos, and Accra);
  • Liaise with Regional Managers in North, South and East Africa.
  • Substitute for other staff when on leave.

Resources managed:

  • Staff and expenditure: 4 staff (2 A2 and 2 interns)

Essential qualifications, skills and experience

  • A degree-level qualification
  • Fluent written and spoken English
  • 3+ years of relevant experience
  • Willingness to travel if required
  • Great team player, able to build collaborative working relationships across teams
  • Good client engagement skills
  • Strong IT skills in Word, Outlook, Excel, PowerPoint
  • Able to adapt to a quick changing and evolving business environment; working proactively and autonomously
  • Ability to work with people at all levels of seniority in an international environment and within a fast-paced, results-orientated organisation

Desirable qualifications, skills and experience:

  • Line management experience
  • Able to adapt to a quick changing and evolving business environment; deliver in the face of uncertainty, and work proactively and autonomously
  • Ability to work with people at all levels of seniority in an international environment and within a fast-paced, results-orientated organisation

Required competencies:

  • Collaborating and Partnering, Achieving Commercial Outcomes, Managing a Quality Service, Delivering at Pace.

Starting monthly salary

Other benefits and conditions of employment
Learning and development opportunities (and any specific training courses to be completed):

  •  All mandatory L&D courses on FCO Glo.

Working patterns:

  • Normal working hours for BDHC Lagos will be from 7.30am – 3.30pm, Monday to Thursday and 7.30am – 12.30pm on Friday.  All applicants must be legally able to work in Nigeria with the correct visa/status or work permit.

Application Deadline  
31st December, 2019.

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