Joint Head of Modelling Unit – CGE Model development

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Department for International Trade

London, London, United Kingdom

Application Deadline
GBP60,650 - £70,810

The Department for International Trade has overall responsibility for developing, coordinating and delivering a new trade and investment policy for the UK. This includes preparing for and then negotiating Free Trade Agreements and market access deals with non-EU countries and promoting UK trade and investment across the world.

The Analysis Directorate consists of five analytical teams that provide analysis in support of the full range of work by the Department for international Trade.

The Macroanalysis and Modelling Team consists of economists who support the full work of the department. There are three sub-teams:

  • The macroeconomics team leads the overall macroeconomic analysis including the global prospects for trade;
  • The WTO analysis team leads analysis on WTIO reform, multilateral negotiations and trade and investment issues in G& and G20;
  • The modelling unit consists of 6 G7-led sub teams plus one temporary sub team (to last one year) with responsibility for the partial equilibrium (PE) analysis, Computable

General Equilibrium (CGE) analysis, gravity analysis and distribution and geographic analysis of the impact of trade agreements.

The role of Head of the Modelling Unit is being split in to two roles with joint responsibility for the work and management of the Modelling Unit, following the departure of the current head. This reflects the growth in the work of the modelling unit and increased specialisation and work programme of the modelling sub-teams. There are two roles being recruited: this role to lead on the CGE model development and application; and the other joint head role to lead on the PE model, regional analysis and also applied CGE model. This role will also, over the next 12 months, lead a review of UK trade modelling, working a panel of external academic and other experts to identify how we might develop the best approach to trade modelling for the UK.

Management of the Unit consisting of 14 analysts (7 G7 economic advisers plus 7 Assistant Economists) responsible for conducting the modelling of future trade agreements and other trade policy issues that the UK may seek to negotiate will be undertaken jointly between the two joint heads. Line management of the 7 sub-teams will be evenly split with specific responsibilities to be determined once both posts have been recruited.

Job description

You will provide leadership for the modelling teams. Working with other analysts and policy colleagues, with the other joint head of the Unit, you will identify and agree the work programme and modelling priorities for the Unit. In particular, you will decide when and how best to deploy the modelling capacity and capability of the Unit to address policy questions, notably the impacts of UK trade agreements. This will involve working with colleagues, both in DIT and across other departments.

You will be responsible for leading the development of the DIT’s CGE modelling capability, to ensure the model(s) is(are) as up to date as possible and incorporates leading theoretical and technical developments and lead the work programme to maintain and develop the CGE model(s). Over 2020-2021 this will involve leading a review of modelling that the Secretary of State has commissioned to inform the development of trade modelling in DIT and which will be informed by a panel of academic experts.

As joint head of the modelling unit you will work with your team and with modelling teams in other departments to maintain and develop HM Government’s CGE model(s). This includes the development of the underlying methodologies. This will involve engaging academics, to ensure the department is engaging at the cutting edge of CGE modelling.

You will ensure that where the model is used to assess the impacts of trade agreements that the modelling work meets the appropriate standards and that appropriate processes are in place to quality assure the inputs and outputs from the models.

You will also work with the members of the unit to interpret and translate the results of the modelling work to inform policy making and negotiation teams. This may involve writing technical reports but also explaining the outputs to a non-technical audience.

You will support the other joint head of unit’s work on CGE model development and together determine the work programme for the application of CGE modelling to FTAs and other appropriate policy questions. This may involve actively using the model and undertaking modelling yourself, using the suite of CGE models we develop.

You will support the Deputy Director and Director of analysis in developing the overall modelling capability of analysts in DIT. And more broadly, deputise for the deputy director as appropriate.


Line Management Responsibility

You will line manage three, possibly four, G7 economic advisers in the unit. Each G7 leads on a portfolio of CGE modelling, for different countries and trade agreements. There is also an Assistant Economist working to each G7. The precise division between the two joint head roles will be determined once both roles are filled.

Essential Experience

  • A degree in economics or related subject.
  • Experience in applying CGE modelling and other economic modelling techniques, and the associated data, software and coding, and a willingness to learn the particulars of other modelling used across the other half of the unit.
  • The ability to lead a team during periods of uncertainty to provide clarity and direction to the work
  • Experience in providing economic analysis to inform development of policy and negotiating positions in a government department or international organisation.
  • Ability to communicate technical economic concepts and results to non-technical colleagues

Highly desired:

  • An interest in international economic matters
  • Higher qualification in economics or related subject, i.e. a Masters degree or PhD
  • Knowledge and experience in trade economics

The ideal candidates will be motivated and can-do individuals who are resilient and able to take the initiative to develop and explore ideas in response to challenges and changing circumstances.

The postholder will need to demonstrate the following behaviours:


Promote diversity, inclusion and equality of opportunity, respecting difference and external experience.
Welcome and respond to views and challenges from others, despite any conflicting pressures to ignore or give in to them.
Stand by, promote or defend own and team’s actions and decisions where needed.
Seek out shared interests beyond own area of responsibility, understanding the extent of the impact actions have on the organisation.
Inspire and motivate teams to be fully engaged in their work and dedicated to their role.

Seeing the Big Picture:

Develop and maintain an understanding of economic, social, political, environmental and technological developments to ensure activity is relevant.
Ensure plans and activities in your area of work reflect wider strategic priorities and communicate effectively with senior leaders to influence future strategies.
Adopt a government-wide perspective to ensure alignment of activity and policy. Bring together views, perspectives and diverse needs of stakeholders to gain a broader understanding of the issues surrounding policies and activities.

Working Together:

Actively build and maintain a network of colleagues and contacts to achieve progress on shared objectives.
Challenge assumptions while being willing to compromise if beneficial to progress. Build strong interpersonal relationships and show genuine care for colleagues.
Ensure consideration and support for the wellbeing of yourself and individuals throughout the team. Understand the varying needs of the team to ensure they are supported and their experiences are utilised.
Create an inclusive working environment where all opinions and challenges are taken into account and bullying, harassment and discrimination are unacceptable. Remain available and approachable to all colleagues and be receptive to new ideas.


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

  • Leadership
  • Seeing the Big Picture
  • Working Together

Technical skills

We'll assess you against these technical skills during the selection process:

  • Economics

Apply before 11:55 pm on Sunday 20th September 2020


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