I am the Rail Free Trade Agreements & International Engagement Lead in the Rail Markets Strategy team. 

My day to day is never quite the same and is one of the things I love most about my role.  I lead a small team who ensure that our rail priorities and objectives are represented in Free Trade Negotiations. That usually involves lots of meetings and discussions with various government and industry stakeholders, updating papers that reflect our position and even being in the negotiating “room” (though currently that room is a teams call!)

On the international engagement side I work with the UK supply chain to ensure that government supports them to export our UK expertise overseas. I am also responsible for handling requests from overseas investors or foreign delegations who wish to meet DfT Ministers or officials to discuss opportunities.  It also involves overseas travels with Ministers to places like Dubai, Poland and Berlin for rail trade fairs. This is one of the most exciting parts of the role, as I get to represent the UK Government overseas and ensure the Minister has a smooth visit and key objectives are achieved while we are abroad.

I’ve been in DfT four years and have thoroughly enjoyed my time here so far. I started as a HEO apprentice very new to the civil service and to the workplace and have been supported to find roles I have loved, including being private secretary to the Rail Minister.  One of the things I love most about DfT is the supportive and friendly culture. I’ve worked in great teams but also been supported hugely by colleagues in wider networks.  

There are such a wide variety of opportunities available to people in the department – I never dreamed of working in rail, or that there could be an international angle to rail but I’ve travelled to the UAE, had my own driver in a convoy in Poland and shaped key international policy for future trade agreements. There are endless opportunities here and plenty of people that want to help you succeed in whatever you do.