Senior Desk Officer, NE Asia and Australasia

UK Department for Business and Trade

Position description

This is an exciting time to join the Department for Business and Trade (DBT). We bring 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 be part of an international team that contributes to the success of the UK’s trade goals.

This role requires the successful candidate to be cleared to SC level with an aspiration to DV once established in the role.

UK Defence and Security Exports (UK DSE) within DBT supports the defence, security and cyber sectors. These are strategically important sectors that contribute significantly to our exports, national prosperity and inward investment, and are fundamental to the UK’s national security and our wider diplomatic and economic interests around the world. Customers in the defence sector are exclusively other Governments, so HMG support is a fundamental component of successful export campaigns. Overseas customers often view procurement of UK equipment as part of a wider bilateral relationship – and the topic regularly occupies discussion time at the most senior bilateral meetings. 

This role is based in the Old Admiralty Building, London. The successful candidate should expect to be working from this office for between 40%-60% of their time. Travel both within the UK and overseas will also be required.

Job description

As the SEO Senior Desk Officer, your role transcends three varied stakeholder groups: UK industry, UK Government colleagues based in the UK and overseas, and overseas customer governments and industry. Your work falls into three parts:

  • You will initiate and have the opportunity to lead work with the first two stakeholder groups to develop and execute Defence and Security export campaigns for the region.
  • You will build close networks across Government and industry to support market entry/development strategies.  
  • You will help plan and execute UK DSE’s presence at exhibitions and trade missions overseas and in the UK in accordance with line management’s wishes. 

These three elements will give you the chance to demonstrate and further develop a wide array of skills and experiences.  As part of your role you will be expected to prepare briefs and submissions for Ministers and senior officials, sometimes at short notice. You will also develop plans for the strategic employment of Ministers and senior officials in order to influence and progress campaigns and  develop relationships with key decision makers. An eagerness to develop strategic thinking is vital as the role will provide you with an insight into UK industry and commercial processes, whilst also requiring you to consider the Defence and Security export objectives in the context of HMG’s wider security and foreign policy agenda.

Hybrid working

The role will be based in London. You will be asked to express a location preference during the application process.

Please be aware that this role can only be worked from within the UK and not overseas.

Informal hybrid working arrangements will be available as agreed with the vacancy manager and in line with the requirements of the role.

Most DBT employees will be working a hybrid pattern, spending 2-3 days a week (pro rata) in an office, on average. If your office location is London, you will be eligible to receive London weighting.

Support in applying for our vacancies is available by joining a virtual Candidate Support Session. These sessions include helpful tips and advice on the recruitment process, from application to interview.



The post holder will ideally have knowledge and experience of defence and security equipment or policy.  They will have well-developed interpersonal skills, combined with the ability to manage a diverse group of stakeholders within and outside of Government.


  • Self-starter, comfortable with developing a network of close contacts in industry and across Government.
  • Strong written, analytical and communication skills.
  • Resilient, credible and results-oriented.
  • Ability to find creative solutions to complex problems.


We’ll assess you against these behaviours during the selection process:

  • Communicating and Influencing
  • Working Together
  • Making Effective Decisions
  • Seeing the Big Picture


Alongside your salary of £41,553, Department for Business and Trade contributes £11,219 towards you being a member of the Civil Service Defined Benefit Pension scheme. Find out what benefits a Civil Service Pension provides.

  • Learning and development tailored to your role
  • An environment with flexible working options
  • A culture encouraging inclusion and diversity
  • Civil Service pension with an average employer contribution of 27%


Application instructions

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