Working for FCO
Our careers for generalist and specialist staff: recruitment policy, vacancies, work experience and internship schemes
The FCO is the UK government department responsible for protecting and promoting British interests around the world, through the FCO in London and our network of 270 diplomatic posts in 160 countries around the world.
We employ a diverse range of talented people capable of delivering to a high standard, often under pressure or in difficult places. In return, we guarantee a fascinating, personally rewarding career at the centre of world events. The FCO regularly scores highly in surveys of “employers graduates would most like to work for”. For example, we are currently ranked 9th out of the top 300 most popular graduate employers.
We want the modern FCO to reflect the very best of 21st century Britain and encourage applications from all suitably qualified applicants irrespective of personal background or circumstances. All appointments to the FCO are made through open and fair competition, in strict accordance with the key recruitment principles of the Civil Service Commission.
The FCO employs around 14,000 staff around the world. Roughly one third are UK-based British Civil Servants whose career typically includes work in the UK and postings overseas; and around two thirds are Locally Engaged (LE) staff, employed by a British Diplomatic Post overseas (such as an Embassy, High Commission, or Consulate). Applicants for LE roles should be based in that country and usually will need to be able to work in the main local language. For information on our LE vacancies, please visit the web pages for the country you are interested in working in.
Recruitment Policy: Generalists and Specialists
Recruitment into the FCO’s UK-based workforce is normally either as a generalist (ie. into the Diplomatic or Home Civil Service cadres where staff rotate between a variety of roles, including many overseas), or as a Specialist (i.e. taking up a specific role requiring specialist skills). The Civil Service-wide recruitment freeze introduced in May 2010 limits new appointments to frontline and business-critical jobs only, which normally means specialist roles. The only FCO generalist recruitment currently permitted under the freeze is via the Civil Service Fast Stream. Any specialist vacancies will be advertised on this page.
Please check this page regularly as all vacancies into our UK-based workforce are advertised well in advance here. You may also like to check out the Civil Service Jobs website. For information on our LE vacancies, please visit the web pages for the country you are interested in working in.
Consular Digital Communications Manager
£33,075 - £40,905 + LLA
Your digital know-how will help British citizens worldwide
Our travel advice is viewed online by 20 million people each year and our presence in the social media arena is ever-growing. Working closely with the new Digital Transformation Unit you will lead on the development and implementation of our digital communications strategy, ensuring our communications efforts contribute to the transformation of our consular services set out in the FCO’s Digital Strategy and Consular Strategy.
You will ensure our consular advice is delivered through the most appropriate digital channels possible – be that on GOV.UK, social media, mobile or other online tools.
You are someone who is passionate about all things digital and perpetually ahead of the curve. As the FCO embraces digital channels to deliver customer services your expertise will help us to do so efficiently and with the greatest impact, as well as recommending new platforms which will add real value to our customers.
Your track record exemplifies your deep understanding of how digital communications can be used to best effect, and you know how to use relevant monitoring tools and web analytics to evaluate digital projects. Your vision will be supported by your ability to build relationships and network with both internal and external stakeholders. Any digital marketing and project management experience and a genuine interest in the work of FCO would be beneficial.
For more information please download the candidate pack below. To apply please click here
Closing date for applications: 21st March 2014 at Midday
Westminster Foundation for Democracy- Appointment of Chief Executive
The UK’s leading democracy-building foundation, the Westminster Foundation for Democracy works with countries undergoing a transition to democracy. We provide expertise in developing parliaments, political party structures and civil society organisations around the world. An independent body sponsored by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, we work with and through the UK political parties, on a party to party and multi-party basis to develop the capacity of political parties to operate effectively in pluralist democracies. We also work to develop the capacity of parliaments and strengthen civil society engagement through a number of country and regional programmes.
We are currently looking for a new Chief Executive to lead the organisation through the next exciting phase of its development. Reporting into the Board of Governors, the Chief Executive will be responsible for setting the vision and strategic direction for the organisation, developing new business and funding opportunities and directing and managing a highly motivated team. S/he will play a key role as an ambassador for the foundation both domestically and internationally and will be responsible for developing relationships with key stakeholders and partners.
The ideal candidate will have strong visionary and strategic skills, exceptional personal credibility, a strong track record of operational management and the ability to influence at all levels both internally and externally. S/he will be an inspiring, charismatic and engaging individual, who can demonstrate a deep grasp of working with political parties, parliaments and governments internationally as well as a sound understanding of the UK’s governance system. In addition, s/he must demonstrate excellent communication and stakeholder management skills as well as a genuine passion for, and commitment to, the aims and values of the Westminster Foundation for Democracy.
To apply or to download further information on the required qualifications, skills and experience for the role, please visit www.perrettlaver.com/candidates quoting reference 1531. The closing date for applications is 9am (GMT) on Friday, 21st March, 2014.
The FCO aims to recruit a talented and diverse workforce which reflects the society we serve. In order to generate interest in FCO careers from a broader applicant base, the FCO offers a range of work experience opportunities each year.
We hope that by giving individuals from diverse backgrounds the opportunity to experience life at the FCO, they may consider the FCO as a future employer, as well as gaining beneficial work experience.
Our work experience opportunities, which are paid, are therefore mainly focussed on individuals from backgrounds that are currently under-represented in our workforce, and on those who bring skills which we require to achieve our objectives. All work experience placements are awarded strictly on merit, after a competitive application process. In order to ensure our opportunities are accessible to all those who are eligible, we do not offer any work experience opportunities to individuals on an ad-hoc basis and cannot accept speculative applications.
All of our work experience schemes are centrally run by either the FCO or other government departments (such as the Cabinet Office/Fast Stream, Department for Works and Pensions (DWP), and the Department for Business Innovation and Skills (Graduate Interns)). We launch our annual programme of schemes in Spring each year, when we will publish details of the schemes on this page.
It is important to note that the FCO’s external recruitment campaigns are run separately from any work experience or internship scheme: work experience does not in any way guarantee future employment with the FCO. Our recruitment for permanent employment is merit-based and through fair and open competition, as set out by the Civil Service Commission. Interns do not receive any preferential treatment in the selection processes.
FCO Internship Schemes
In summer 2013 we offered the following work experience schemes:
The FCO’s Future Talent Scheme (FTS): a 6-week summer placement for 15 students (5 undergraduates studying a hard language, and 10 female undergraduates studying any academic discipline).
The Fast Stream Summer Diversity Internship Programme (SDIP), once again targeting undergraduates from BME and low socio-economic backgrounds (15 student placements for 6 weeks in the summer).
The Whitehall Social Mobility internship Programme for college age (16-18) students from low socio-economic backgrounds.
The Government Economic Service summer student placement scheme aimed at economics students who are seriously considering a career in the Government Economic Service (GES) after graduation (4 placements for 8 weeks)
Further information about the summer internship schemes we plan to run in 2014 will appear here from early Spring 2014. Please check back then for updates.
The UK supports international efforts to prevent violent conflict, to resolve existing conflicts, and to build peace in post-conflict situations.
In support of this, the FCO seconds civilian experts and police (serving and retired officers) to international missions run by the European Union (EU), United Nations (UN) and Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE).
Find out more about International secondments with the FCO, for serving and retired police, and civilian experts.