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Assistant Director - Trade Associations

Role Summary:

With over 50 years of experience, the CBI is the UK’s most effective and influential business organisation. It provides its members with the influence, insight and access they need to plan ahead with confidence and grow.

Speaking for some 190,000 businesses that between them employ about one-third of the private sector workforce, the CBI’s members include FTSE 100 and FTSE 250 groups, mid-cap companies, small and medium sized enterprises, micro businesses, private and family owned businesses, start-ups, and trade associations.

The CBI has a once in a generation opportunity to work hand in hand with business and government to completely reshape the post Brexit UK industrial strategy and set a clear course for the success of the UK over the next 30-40 years. It is exciting, it is challenging and it is a privilege to be part of shaping the UK’s future. Do you want to join the CBI on this journey?

Within the CBI’s sector development team, is an exciting opportunity for a highly motivated individual to join a group tasked with developing and driving the ambitious plans of the business. It will be your job to manage and grow the CBI’s network of 150 trade associations that make up a key part of the organisation’s membership – working with the Head of Sector Development to build a strategy that helps the CBI speak for ever more businesses from a wide range of sectors.

The role will involve leading on the commercial development of the CBI’s work with trade associations, including liaising closely with policy colleagues to deliver a compelling offer that links TAs into our policy work, managing the CBI’s relationships with strategically important TA members and driving recruitment of new membership to help support the CBI’s ambitious growth plans. The role will include the development of a target pipeline as well as helping to pitch the CBI’s value to potential new members.

Key Responsibilities:

  • Developing and delivering a trade association business growth plan
  • Driving increased membership retention and satisfaction by working with the Head of Sector Development to delivering a compelling business plan for trade association membership growth – based on research and analysis, policy, networking and intelligence.
  • Designing a programme of policy events, networking opportunities and intelligence sharing.
  • Supporting the CBI’s Trade Association Council (and wider membership) by convening, organising and leading regular meetings.
  • Conceiving and executing a programme of value-add events for members concerning topics of interest – and securing third party sponsorship for those events as necessary.
  • Tracking engagement, policy developments and issues of interest to members to inform lobbying strategy and briefings, particularly on big cross-sectoral issues such as Brexit and industrial strategy.

Managing external relationships

  • Develop a strong understanding of the political and economic environment, becoming the ‘go-to’ liaison point between trade associations and the CBI.
  • Use your understanding in order to manage the relationship with trade associations to ensure that CBI supports their business goals, as well as ensuring members are kept informed of CBI activities in areas of relevance, driving retention.
  • Writing tailored briefings, sales materials and bid documents for trade associations and internal teams, supporting both senior colleagues and your own recruitment activities.
  • Maintaining accurate database records of the CBI’s efforts in the trade association space.
  • Representing the CBI at conferences, CBI regional meetings and internal and external events, as well as building a compelling programme of engagement, including running of the Trade Association Council.
  • Coaching regional colleagues on the sector, including key issues, dynamics, business models and key players, prior to meetings they are planning.

Success criteria:

  • Retention of existing members
  • Growing the membership base
  • Member satisfaction
  • Building a strong CBI business network and profile among trade associations

Knowledge & Experience

What an individual must know or understand to be able to fulfil the role's requirements

  • Degree educated
  • Knowledge of and interest in business affairs, national and regional policy
  • Experience of writing sales or commercial documents
  • Experience working with external stakeholders
  • Strong knowledge of UK and EU issues, particular Brexit and industrial strategy
  • Numerically literate
  • Experience of account management and/or sales.


The practical actions required in order to be able to fulfil the role’s requirements

  • Interpersonal and networking skills, comfortable dealing with senior members of the organisation
  • Ability to understand business strategy and how the current political and economic environment can either support or undermine a company’s business objectives
  • Commercial focus
  • Exceptional attention to detail
  • Strong aptitude using Microsoft PowerPoint
  • Ability to collate information from multiple sources and contexts into concise structured documents
  • Self-motivated and focused on delivery and results
  • Good organisational and team working skills
  • Ability to be innovative in a service environment
  • Ability to work under pressure/meet tight deadlines
  • Ability to be think laterally and solve problems
  • Ability to build strong relationships – both internally and with key members
  • Excellent written and verbal communication skills.


The behaviours and characteristics required in order to be able to fulfil the role’s requirements

The successful candidate will be interested in business and current affairs and will have an excellent analytical ability to help them understand potential members and be able to put together targeted sales campaigns. They will be a confident communicator with an excellent business writing style.

They must be proactive, pragmatic and be able to meet tight deadlines while maintaining excellent attention to detail. They should have a flexible approach and enjoy working with other people. Experience of account management is strongly desirable. Above all they should have a positive ‘can-do’ attitude, the ability to manage multiple projects/demands at times and the professionalism to be a credible representative for the CBI.

How to apply

For all applications and enquiries please contact with your CV and cover letter. The deadline for applications is Friday 21st April.

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