The Foreign & Commonwealth Office (FCO) promotes Britain’s interests overseas, and its work includes the management of climate change, international aid and development, national security, Europe, and foreign affairs.
Headed by the Foreign Secretary, the FCO is a part of the UK Civil Service and is managed day-to-day by a civil servant, the Permanent Under-Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs. It has an annual budget of around £1.5 billion.
As part of the Civil Service, FCO recruits graduates through the Fast Stream programme. Successful candidates will complete placements in several different government departments over the course of the scheme.
The aim of the Fast Stream is to develop future senior leaders, and it’s underpinned by a robust learning programme. As well as on-the-job training, graduates have the opportunity to study for a professional qualification. Self managed learning sets and cohort groups are regularly organised, so graduates have ongoing support from their peers.
Starting salaries on the Fast Stream are around £25,000 to £27,000, depending on location. Promotion is expected to occur within four to five years, and salary could then be in excess of £45,000. Graduates also receive around 25 days holiday per year, and the flexible working schemes are some of the best around.
The Foreign Office is a grade 1 listed building.
Benefits of working for Foreign and Commonwealth Office
25 days holiday
Training courses & extra qualifications
Childcare and Gym
London Living allowance