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Overseas

Interested in living overseas? Want to help ensure an efficient day-to-day service for our customers, enabling us all to protect UK interests worldwide? Try an overseas posting of 1-4 years, with our Technical Works Officers or our Regional Technical Support Services team.

Bangkok temple.
Map of the world

As part of the overseas team, you’ll work in any one of 60 different international locations, supporting 270 diplomatic missions around the world

Our regional hubs in Washington, Brussels, Pretoria and Bangkok enable us to respond to our customers’ needs locally with the right skills and people, along with value for money services

Which overseas team do I choose?

The Technical Works Officers are a professional services team involved in construction projects, building compliance, and building condition surveys, looking at the lifecycle and future replacement of assets. Each colleague has a broad knowledge, encompassing the general principles of various specialisms, including:

  • Managing small construction projects
  • Building surveying and quantity surveying
  • Health and safety assessments and training
  • Disability access assessments
  • Perimeter security
  • Mechanical and electrical engineering

This team recruits both externally and internally so you could apply directly for a job as a Technical Works Officer.

 

These colleagues specialise in technical security in a secure environment. Specialist roles include:

  • Work Schedulers
  • Logistics Planners
  • Secure Technical Services Officers
  • Technical Support Officers

This team currently only recruits internally, so you’d apply for a UK role in Logistics; UK NACE; Engineering; Secure Property and Construction; some roles in Digital, Data and Technology, or an Apprenticeship, then apply to RTSS later in your career with us. Read more

 

Not the career you wanted?

If this isn’t what you had in mind, answer a few questions and we’ll find where you fit.

Did you know?

Having colleagues permanently on the ground overseas gives us better local knowledge.
In Nairobi, for instance, a trip to the airport can take 15 minutes or three hours depending on the time of day – and our team gain that knowledge of local logistical challenges.

About the Technical Works Officers

If you become a Technical Works Officer, you’ll train in the UK. Then, you’ll be posted to one of the four regional teams, providing professional building services to embassies and consulates within that region.

Subject to availability, every 3-4 years, you’ll move within these four geographical regional teams. Within the Europe team, there are some Technical Works Officer positions based in the UK, covering Europe, Eastern Europe and Central Asia. You’ll always move on in no more than 3-4 years – though with some specific postings, you’ll move earlier than that.

Hear from one of the team

I’ve been Involved with managing and refurbishing the Foreign and Commonwealth Office’s estates in the Americas, Europe, Asia Pacific and Africa. The variety of work is extensive, and every day brings new challenges. Working in so many different countries gives you so many opportunities to develop new ways of working, working with in-country teams to deliver a world-class service for our customers. It increases the range of your knowledge, understanding, and experience of the world.

What we do is unique because you’re on the other side of the world, with different ways of working, different environments and different cultures. The way things are done won’t always be the same as it’s done in the UK, but the challenge is to work with in-country consultants, contractors and service providers to adapt and work together to achieve what our customers need.

Technical Works Officer

About Regional Technical Support Services

Our RTSS colleagues are handpicked from across existing UK teams, to form overseas clusters with skills including secure logistics and engineering. Each RTSS colleague is posted for up to four years at a time. They might then take on other postings, or choose to return to the UK. We don’t currently hire externally for our RTSS roles though, so you won’t be able to apply for them as your first role with us, and should look at Logistics; Secure Property and Construction; Engineering; UK NACE; some roles in Digital, Data and Technology; or an Apprenticeship as a starting point.

If you’re applying for an apprenticeship with us, did you know you can take an overseas posting after you finish your programme?

10% of the RTSS team in the Middle East and Africa are currently studying for degrees, with tuition paid for by FCO Services.

Case study

The Overseas team can respond to all kinds of projects – like the seismic strengthening work that recently happened at the British Embassy in Belgrade. Find out more in our case study.

Life in this team

Living overseas for up to four years can seem like a big step, but we make it easier: our overseas training and benefits make sure that you’re supported before, during and after your post. We’ll talk about this in more detail at interview for TWO roles, but our support will include:

  • Provision for UK standards of family healthcare and education
  • Accommodation and travel support
  • Support to gain a wide range of distance-learning qualifications

Find out about overall training and benefits at Life at FCO Services

If you decide to go abroad on an overseas posting, you won’t just gain a sense of worldwide impact; you’ll also broaden your experience of cultures around the world.

There are mental health networks and contacts across our hubs – making sure you’re supported no matter where you’re posted.

Working overseas

Taking up a posting overseas is a big commitment. Let’s talk about the details:

You can apply directly for a Technical Works Officer role if there’s a current opening. Usually, you’ll start off in the UK, then we’ll move you into an overseas posting after your training.

You can’t currently apply directly for a role in the Regional Technical Support Service though, because we only recruit internally. If you’re interested, it’s something to pursue once you’re inside our business. Take a look at Logistics; Engineering; UK NACE; some roles in Digital, Data and Technology; Secure Property Design and Construction; or Apprenticeships to start your career there.

Yes, you can decide where you apply to, and with around 60 posting locations, you can choose the one that best suits you, your career, and your personal circumstances. We also encourage you to get exposure to different cultures, so you could really move between some quite different postings during your career with us, always supported by the wider FCO Services team.

Your posting will usually be for a set time; normally 3-4 years depending on the location. That said, we can be flexible, depending on your needs.

When you’re posted overseas long-term, you’ll be in secure permanent accommodation, and we make sure that security arrangements are in place so that you’re living in a safe environment, no matter where you are. You’ll also receive a living allowance that varies in line with the local economy, as well as variable pay per location.

We’ll pay for your travel at the start and end of your posting, and you’ll also be provided with a travel allowance to allow you to visit home in the UK.

If you’re going overseas for a permanent posting, we’ll support you to relocate your partner and any children too. It’s important to note that there are a limited number of postings where we can’t accommodate children, but you’d be told about that in advance to help you make your decision. If you are relocating with your family, we’ll also make sure everyone is provided with UK standards when it comes to healthcare and educational needs. You can find out more about how families are supported on diplomatic postings at https://dsfa.org.uk/

Your relocation is funded by us, and we make sure that your personal belongings go with you, so that you can settle into your new accommodation and make it a home.

Welcome to the virtual embassy

Ready to see the work you might do? Just enter the embassy and select your guide to get started. We’d recommend ‘Designing and Engineering the Embassy Building’ for TWOs, or ‘Installing security features and secure communications’ for the RTSS team.

What do I need to thrive here?

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1. Self-reliance

You’re confident and self-motivated in the work you do, adapting when you need to

2. Communication skills

You’ll be a capable communicator, working with everyone from senior colleagues to customers, representing FCO Services in a positive light

3. Global mindset

You’ll be keen to see more of the world than most people ever will, and to be part of a global community of colleagues too

4. Firm knowledge

You know the latest technology, tools and techniques, and you’re a reliable source of expertise in your specialism

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Want to join FCO 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.

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