How to bat for Britain abroad

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The Independent Online
ARE YOU a graduate with at least four years experience in a managerial role? Was part of this experience spent overseas? If so you may qualify for a position as an international manager working for the British Council overseas.

The British Council is a registered charity which works to promote an understanding of Britain overseas. It employs more than 6,000 people in a variety of positions. Ruth Brander, spokeswoman for the British Council, says: "We, for example, promote British arts so we take British theatre companies, British musicians and British poets overseas. We also teach English, promote British education and give information to people who are considering studying in the United Kingdom. We also do development work and set up aid projects, mainly in education and training."

The council, however, is keen to overcome the image of being part of the Foreign Office. Although it does receive a third of its funding from the Foreign Office, it works as a completely independent body. Ms Brander says: "The Foreign Office works in a government-to-government role unlike the British Council, which has more of a 'people-to- people' capacity. It might, for example, forge links with Japanese and British children."

The British Council is spending around pounds 45,000 on a recruitment drive. It wants to hire managers to work in a variety of roles in order to promote Britain overseas. Potential managers are offered the chance of being posted to any one of 109 countries.

Ms Brander says: "Managers can be called on to do jobs as diverse as organising visits to China by the National Theatre, promoting children's rights in Bangladesh, or running English language centres in Eastern Europe."

The council is looking for a range of applicants representing the wide cultural diversity of modern Britain, including people from ethnic minorities and the disabled. It is especially keen to overcome its image of having a workforce that is predominantly establishment. Ms Brander says: "We want to make sure that we are accurately reflecting contemporary Britain as it is today."

There is also a good package on offer should you be recruited, with a salary of between pounds 19,000 and pounds 25,000 and added benefits.

Anybody interested should contact the Scott Edgar recruitment agency on 0171 269 6239. for further details. Applications close on 28 August 1998.

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