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Senior Sector Adviser, Manufacturing

Role summary:

The CBI is the UK’s leading lobbying organisation. We represent 190,000 companies across the UK and work on their behalf to create a business environment that drives economic growth and prosperity for all.

Based at our head office in the City of London, sector advisers contribute the industry expertise that enables the CBI to speak on behalf of the whole economy. The lead our support for a sector, ensuring businesses benefit from the CBI’s unrivalled influence, insight and access around public policy.

Reporting into a director, sector adviser roles are highly varied, encompassing commercial and policy responsibilities. Sector advisers lead policy development and lobbying for an industry, and are our key external representative for a sector.

An exciting opportunity has arisen for a highly motivated and commercially-minded individual to become the CBI’s senior sector adviser for manufacturing, at a crucial time for the industry and the wider economy.

The successful candidate will collaborate across the CBI’s policy teams – including on issues including skills, innovation, and the cumulative cost burden of doing business – to develop targeted lobbying campaigns for the sector. They will manage CEO-level relationships in the sector by managing the CBI’s manufacturing council, and support the CBI’s commercial team to recruit and retain members in this sector.

In addition to supporting the success of manufacturing overall, the role will also include a particular focus on the food & drink sector, which will involve liaising with the CBI’s dedicated food & drink council to support companies in this industry with lobbying and policy advice.

The role will have significant senior relationship management responsibilities, including into government at a senior civil service level, and into the wider sector, for example into trade associations.

Key responsibilities:

Leading sector policy and lobbying campaigns

  • Leading the development of CBI policy positions that respond to the challenges and opportunities facing the sector, including by producing original research and analysis of policy that affects the sector.
  • Working closely with other CBI policy teams to ensure the sector’s perspectives are represented in cross-cutting policy areas of relevance, particularly innovation policy and people & skills issues. 
  • Drafting of papers, policy briefs and CBI responses, for example supporting engagement between the CBI leadership team and senior government ministers.

Delivering high quality events to serve CBI members and develop policy

  • Managing the CBI’s manufacturing sector council, including by working closely with sector CEOs to gauge their priorities and expectations, and by developing a close partnership with the CBI member CEO who chairs the manufacturing council.
  • Supporting the CBI’s food & drink council, including by providing policy and political insight to the relevant CBI team, planning the agenda, and ensuring we take forward the particular concerns of food & Drink within our overall manufacturing campaign.

Driving membership growth

  • Developing and driving strategies for improving the value sector members derive from the CBI, including by ensuring that policy work reflects the changing priorities of the sector, and that benefits are clearly communicated to current and potential members.
  • Discussion with CBI members individually and at committee meetings, including by establishing networks of contacts across the sector and facilitating roundtable events with senior sector leaders.
  • Supporting members by sharing CBI policy insight and analysis, both by developing proactive communication strategies and responding to member queries in a timely and professional manner.
  • Managing a small number of the CBI’s major member accounts from the sector, with responsibility for ensuring each account derives the full potential value of their membership.

Managing government and stakeholder relationships

  • Establishing relationships with senior government leaders that are relevant to manufacturing, leveraging the full range of CBI policy, networking and intelligence to drive increased membership retention and satisfaction
  • Managing relationships in the wider sector, including with trade associations, think tanks and other thought leaders, to ensure effective information sharing and coordinated lobbying.

Knowledge & Experience

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

  • Prior work experience in an environment driven by politics and/or public policy
  • Prior work experience in relation to leading or supporting commercial activities, for example managing sponsors, managing or engaging with client/member accounts, sales, or business development
  • Interest in and enthusiasm for the manufacturing and/or food & drink sectors; prior work experience in or around the sector is not essential but would be an advantage.


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

  • Strong research and analytical skills
  • Commercial awareness
  • Excellent oral and written communication
  • Persuasive influencing skills
  • Stakeholder management
  • Good interpersonal skills
  • Tact and diplomacy
  • Organisational skills
  • Teamworking
  • IT literacy


Collaborative – Listening, seeking views and sharing information; constructively challenging when appropriate

Taking ownership – Ensuring delivery and holding others to account; can influence, irrespective of hierarchy

Agile – Proactive and responsive to provide a strong member service; responding positively to shifting priorities

Commercial – Awareness of the wider business environment

Innovative – Exploring, sharing and integrating best practice; generating new ideas and challenging a mind-set of “what we’ve always done”

Analytical – gathering information and using logic to analyse, problem solve, evaluate risk and make decisions.

How to apply

For all applications please email your CV to The closing date for applications is Friday 13th April.

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