Graduate Project Assistant (Trading Standards) GBP

  • Job Reference: GBP 4480 DSTTSS
  • Date Posted: 1 October 2018
  • Recruiter: University of Exeter (Graduate Business Partnership)
  • Location: Exeter, Devon
  • Salary: £18,189
  • Sector: Government & Defence, Retail & Consumer Products
  • Job Type: Internship or Placement
  • Duration: 12 Months
  • Work Hours: Full Time

Job Description

Devon, Somerset and Torbay Trading Standards Service (DSTTSS) is a tri-council regulatory service hosted by Devon County Council. Operating as a joint service for four years DSTTSS provides the trading standards function across the three local authority areas with a team of approximately 70 FTE’s based across 5 offices.

We are looking for a project assistant to help us operate a discrete key project contributing to the growth and development of the nationally available ‘Buy With Confidence’ scheme;

Buy With Confidence (BWC) is a national business approval scheme owned and operated independently by Trading Standards. It is supported by 56 local authorities and is the largest Trading Standards run business approval scheme in the UK. BWC is managed centrally within DSTTSS and we are looking for another person to join the team to help develop and grow BWC making it a nationally recognised, profitable, successful brand.

Number of staff directly employed within the central hub: 1 full time, 2 part time, 1 temporary officer promoting BWC in London.

Company culture

Our Strategic Plan lays out our structure, governance and vision. With outcome priorities for Economic Growth, Consumer Protection and Health and Wellbeing, we have an extremely varied, diverse and exciting workplan which offers the opportunity for progression and personal development through project and task work, excellent networking opportunities and longer-term career support with access to added value programmes such as coaching, training and mentoring.

Devon County Council is also keen to learn from you; what support do you need as a graduate, how can we help you to develop and how can we achieve this together. We want to continuously improve our graduate offer and would welcome input from a motivated and career minded individual to assist us, and yourself, with this.

Corporate social responsibility

Award winning

Recently mentioned in an Observer News Paper article comparing business approval schemes, BWC was the recommended choice for businesses because of the links with Trading Standards.

The service was nominated and successful in winning a national award as being the best service of its kind in the UK for regulatory business support.

Work-life balance

Devon County Council operates a flexible working policy to ensure good work life balance. Occasional unsocial hours will be required to facilitate travelling or event attendance. These roles are primarily office based but travel around the UK may be required to attend meetings.


Purpose of Role

To support the BWC project officer in taking the project to the next level increasing awareness and bringing new companies, stakeholders and partners to the scheme in order to generate more income for reinvestment.

Duties and Responsibilities

Initial duties and responsibilities:

  • Familiarise yourself with the project; its history, ethos, goals, systems, processes and business/project plan.
  • Build working relationships with colleagues and work collaboratively to improve processes and systems
  • Understand what each team member’s role is and shadow them as appropriate sharing their workload to relieve resource burdens.
  • Receive and respond to incoming communications to the Central Hub as part of the team including telephone calls and email
  • Act as a ‘fresh pair of eyes’ to offer constructive feedback and make suggestions for improvement; take part in fortnightly tasking meetings with responsibility for updating progress on work allocated to you
  • Support the project officer in the completion of his tasks with research, feedback, consultation, administration etc as required

Longer-term duties and responsibilities:

  • Leading on a project or task
  • Engagement with stakeholders/partners including research, consultation and feedback
  • Generating new business including engagement with business groups, local authorities, charities etc
  • Organising and delivering events and presentations alongside marketing colleagues
  • Working in and with the community
  • Providing ongoing admin assistance to the team
  • Generating press releases and campaigns
  • Working collaboratively to assist Trading Standards officers develop the ‘Buy With Confidence’ brand

Training and Development opportunities

Devon County Council and DSTTSS are committed to ensure that graduates placed with us have the opportunity to create their own personal development plan which we will assist you in achieving. Opportunities will be provided to experience the wider roles and responsibilities of working within a trading standards service plus relevant in house training will also be available which will be complementary for future career options. We are committed to preparing suitable applicants for a possible career in Trading Standards or elsewhere in the public sector subject to the availability of future opportunities.

Level of Support

The successful candidate can expect to meet with their line manager formally every four to eight weeks with informal interactions on at least a weekly basis. The candidate will be working daily with their respective project manager who will be an experienced delivery officer who will allocate work tasks and supervise the completion of those tasks accordingly mentoring the successful candidate to gain confidence in their new role.

Other Benefits, Rewards and Recognition

  • Flexible working
  • Access to an excellent Employee Assistance Programme to support health and wellbeing needs
  • Travel and networking opportunities
  • Discounted gym membership and the opportunity to join the ‘Coaver Club’
  • Use of department vehicles or hire cars for travelling as required and subject to license conditions



  • A degree in a business-related subject such as marketing, communications, operations management, business administration etc would be advantageous but not essential
  • Ability to travel between sites and to attend meetings as required

Skills and Understanding

  • A strong communicator across a number of different platforms including face to face, letter, email, social media etc
  • Use of or knowledge of design software would be advantageous
  • Excellent organisational skills and the ability to prioritise effectively and manage your own time
  • Ability to work independently and in small teams
  • Understanding of the need for discretion and confidentiality when dealing with sensitive or privileged information
  • Excellent IT Skills including Microsoft Office products and databases
  • Excellent Customer service skills

Prior Experience (please only include experience that could have been achieved outside of the workplace)

  • Project Management e.g. delivery of a set piece of work to achieve desired outcomes or working on projects
  • Use of databases
  • Public speaking experience and delivery of presentations would be advantageous
  • Successful promotion of a service or product or the management of promotional campaigns.

Behavioural Characteristics/ Personal Qualities and Attributes

  • Ability to work on their own initiative as well as in a team
  • Problem solving skills
  • Detail-oriented with the capability of following precise procedures
  • Excellent written and verbal communication skills
  • Excellent organisational skills

Other Requirements

  • Graduate of a UK university within the last 3 years/Student at the University of Exeter
  • Right to work in the UK for the duration of the internship.

Key Dates:

  • Closing Date: 21/10/2018
  • Interview Date: 5-6/11/2018
  • Start Date: 19/11/2018 or ASAP after interview
  • End Date: 12 months with potential to extend up to 23 months subject to review and available finance

To apply, download the application from and send it to us by clicking APPLY NOW