We build, repair and refurbish government buildings worldwide and like any construction project, we need all sorts of skilled tradespeople. From making and fitting window ledges for an 18th Century European embassy, to installing light fixtures in a brand new High Commission in Asia, it’s all thanks to our Skilled Trades team – both in the UK and overseas.
If this isn’t what you had in mind, answer a few questions and we’ll find where you fit.
In this article, we sat down with one of our team to talk about incredible travel, fascinating challenges, pride in your role, and always being fully supported.
When in the UK, the team are usually based at Hanslope Park, Milton Keynes.
Any tools you need will be provided by FCDO Services – and we make sure they’re well-cared for too.
You could be travelling overseas for up to 22 weeks of the year, and you’ll be working in the UK the rest of the time. As a general rule, we try to make sure that your time spent overseas is as efficient as possible, grouping projects together where we can.
Our Machine Tool Operators and Metal Workers will be based permanently in Hanslope Park; our site near Milton Keynes. Our other teams will also be based there when they’re in the UK. To find out more about Hanslope Park, see Life at FCDO Services
We work in 168 countries, and you could well be travelling to any one of them. Your safety is our most important concern though: we’ll never send you anywhere you aren’t comfortable with.
We’ll organise both your travel and your accommodation while you’re overseas, and support you financially.
As much as possible, we’ll aim to spread out your trips so that you get breaks from overseas travel. It means you can balance your home life with your travel abroad, and it also gives you time to properly prepare for each project you take on.
As a general rule, it’s not practical for families to travel with the Skilled Trades team, since you’ll be overseas for regular short bursts. Having said that, if you do have a longer posting overseas – if you’ll be stationed abroad for two years, say – then we can support your family to move overseas with you, if the role allows for that.
You’ll be able to stay in touch with your team throughout your time abroad, through our FCDO Services intranet, as well as having a manager who’ll check in on your progress. Plus, if you need someone’s advice on a project, there are always experts on call, no matter the time difference. You’ll also be able to take advantage of our overseas network activity: we offer all sorts of support to our colleagues both at home and abroad, whether it’s wellbeing events like yoga sessions, or chances to socialise with the teams stationed in your location.
You’re ready to muck in with anything, even if it’s outside your usual skillset.
Unless you’re a Machine Tool Operator or Metal Worker, you’ll be keen to go anywhere.
You can talk to people from all kinds of backgrounds, and get on easily with people.
You work hard and stay motivated, even when you’re working alone overseas.
The people are so important to your experience here, honestly. I travel a lot with my role, but if I was to think of my favourite places, it’s just as much about the people I’ve been with as the places themselves.
Find out about overall training and benefits at Life at FCDO Services
There are plenty of qualifications we’ll support you to aim for, like the HNC in Construction and the Built Environment.
Our Skilled Trades colleagues will undergo Security Vetting as part of their interview. Find out what’s involved here
Ready to see the work you might do with Skilled Trades? Just enter the embassy and select the ‘Constructing the secure embassy’ guide to get started.
Carpentry. Joinery. Installing utilities around the building. Even laying out a soft-play area for the kindergarten next-door. It’s all in a day’s work for our Skilled Trades team, as part of wider works on the British Embassy in Belgrade.
When you’re abroad, you could be refurbishing an office or fitting out a new secure area. You’re constantly using different tools and skills. Plus you’re seeing new countries; different places you’d never expect to go.
Interested in a career in Secure Property Design and Construction, but don’t have any experience? Your world just got bigger, with our Technical Engineering Apprenticeship – where you could learn the skills to become one of our radio, CCTV and access control systems designers. Whatever your age, whatever your background, our in-house training and paid qualifications could be just what you need.
Want to join FCDO Services but can’t see a live role to suit you? Great news: you can sign up for job alerts or add your CV to our talent pool and we’ll be in touch when something comes up.