Economic Adviser - Bilateral Trade Modelling

The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra)

Two year fixed-term contract with the potential for extension or permanency

From £46,150 (National) £50,750 (London)

Locations: Bristol, York, London

Application Deadline: Friday 16th November

With large and wide-ranging responsibilities, the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) works collaboratively to protect the environment and to maintain and grow the rural economy. Our vital work is far-reaching and complex. Plus the UK’s impending exit from the EU continues to set us absorbing challenges. Join us and you will contribute to the development of new approaches and policies affecting millions of people across the country. This is a career-defining opportunity that offers networking and professional development.

Joining Defra’s EU Exit and Trade Analysis Group in this stretching role, you will help to shape the future of UK trade. As a key member of the close-knit Trade Modelling team, your analysis of bilateral trade flows will influence negotiations for the nation’s future trading relationship with both the EU and future Free Trade Agreement (FTA) partner countries. You will:

  • Put your analytical and quantitative modelling skills to the test using specialist economic models, at a time when demand for analysis of bilateral trade flows is becoming ever more important.
  • Provide analysis in support of everything from the development of trade policy, through to decisions about operational requirements at UK borders.
  • Help to lead a better analytical understanding of the impact of FTAs on trade flows, UK producers and consumers - for example, by developing the team’s capability for modelling different tariff scenarios.
  • Lead the development of Defra’s bilateral trade capability for agri-food products, and the development of our modelling capability for the processed food sector.
  • Take the lead on analysing specific sectoral impacts of FTAs.
  • Take the initiative to engage with policy and analytical colleagues, not only across Defra but also in other government departments.
  • Manage the work of an Assistant Economist.
  • Develop your modelling expertise in specialist software including R.

To be equal to this exciting challenge, you will need a flair for working with economic models and processing data sets based on economic theory. Coupled with excellent communication skills, this equips you to both interpret and explain data and assumptions, and to transparently present expert advice in support of policy questions such as trade flows and tariff rate quotas. While knowledge and experience of trade data and trade modelling would be a definite advantage, neither is essential for success in this role. We will certainly expect you to demonstrate in-depth theoretical and empirical knowledge of how markets function, plus the ability to advise on the impact that policy interventions may have. Qualified with a degree in economics, you will bring excellent quantitative modelling skills, along with proficiency in Excel. As important as your technical skills will be a commitment to collaborative working.

Everyone in Defra is supported to develop their skills and capabilities. You will have access to learning and development from quality providers and support from mentors and coaches. We offer flexible working alongside a range of other policies and schemes to support your physical and emotional wellbeing. Our comprehensive benefits offer includes generous annual leave, a contributory pension, staff bonuses and recognition, volunteering days, Tax-Free Childcare Scheme and other salary sacrifice options, and an employee discount scheme.


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