two women and a man are having a team meeting and looking at a graph on a white board

Shell has hubs across the world and trades in crude oil, natural gas, LNG, electrical power, refined products, chemical feedstocks and environmental products.

For us, finding the right future traders is vital – they have the power to make a massive impact on our profitability and market position. That’s why we look for women and men who bring us diverse professional perspectives, life experiences and educational backgrounds.

If you’re a graduate who’s already proven your commercial acumen and enterprising flair in the workplace, you could join us for the next 2-3 years in London. You don’t need trading experience – we’ll help you cultivate the skills you need to flourish in one of the world’s most entrepreneurial and exhilarating working environments. 

Shell’s TDP at a glance

  • Duration: 2-3 years
  • Locations: London
  • Applications close: 8th April 2018
  • For: Enterprising graduates with 3-5 years of commercial experience

Find out more about TDP

Why Shell Trading?

A lively team meeting is taking place

Shared Values

Our shared values of honesty, integrity, and respect aren't simply a strapline. They're part of everything we do. An equal opportunities employer, we place the highest value on our inclusive approach and do all we can to make this a flexible and supportive place to work, backed by a leadership team that's fully supportive of our diversity ambitions. And it’s important to us that we the way we trade is ethical and compliant.

Backed By A Global Business

Although trading demands individual decision-making and independent thinking, it’s good to know you have the full backing of a business with a strong history, a powerful brand and a huge product range. When you join Shell, you’re part of a diverse team of c.85,000 people, working across 70 countries. We’re an end-to-end, fully integrated business. So, unlike some of our competitors we don’t just trade commodities; we extract them, refine them and ship them all over the world.

Learn From The Best

Ask any of our trainee traders and they’ll tell you that there’s a wealth of experience to tap into here. You’ll share the trading floor with some of the sharpest people in their field – learning how to outmanoeuvre the market and outpace the competition from some of the best in the business.

Feel Valued

From day one, you’ll feel very highly valued. Our teams trade the equivalent of 13 million barrels of oil every single day. They occupy an influential position in the business; we trust them to shape our prosperity and generate commercial value. Naturally, we invest heavily in nurturing the next crop, both financially and in terms of the time and attention we devote to our trainees.

Never Stand Still

Life never stands still in trading. It’s a hugely fulfilling career for people who want to take responsibility and add value to the bottom line. You’ll learn how to see the bigger picture and the finer details; how to keep pace with macroeconomics and stay one step ahead of the market.

Personal Connections

As a trader, the stronger the relationships you build, the better the deals you can strike. If you pride yourself on being a versatile communicator, you’ll be in your element here. You’ll work in an open, collaborative culture and make connections with people in different parts of our business, all over the world.

Global Scope

There’s a world of opportunity here. Our Trading & Supply business is one of the world’s largest energy trading operations. We have hubs in Dubai, Houston, London, Rotterdam and Singapore, trading in crude oil, natural gas, LNG, electrical power, refined products, chemical feedstocks and environmental products. 

What is Trading?

woman looking at the desktop screen

Joining Shell’s Trading division will position you at the forefront of one of the largest energy trading operations in the world, with a global trading network that comprises of Crude Oil, Chemical Products, Natural Gas, Power and Environmental Products. In a fast-paced environment that oversees trading volumes of around 13 million barrels of oil equivalent per day, quick thinking, problem solving and innovation are key attributes you will need in order to develop a fulfilling career at Shell. You’ll have the opportunity to make an impact on how the Shell team works together towards a socially conscious and cleaner energy future.

From our main Trading hubs in London, Houston, Rotterdam and Singapore, you’ll have the chance to make a significant impact on our organization’s bottom line through the trading of natural gas, crude oil, oil products, chemical feedstock, biofuels, energy and freight. ROLES AND RESPONSIBILITIES Over the course of the Programme you’ll sample the diverse range of challenges integral to becoming a successful trader in Shell.

Areas of Trading you could be involved in include:

  • Crude Oil
  • Chemical Products
  • Natural Gas
  • Power and Environmental Products

Learn from hands-on involvement in:

  • Preparing contracts and structuring deals
  • Conducting negotiations and managing risk
  • Business and market analysis
  • Trading operations and logistics

About the Programme

The busy trading floor in Shell Houston

The TDP is designed to turn today’s talent into tomorrow’s traders. It will help you develop the skills and gain the experience required to build a successful trading career with us.

Typically, the TDP takes 2-3 years to complete but no two trainees follow the same route. You’ll find that the TDP is highly individualised and dynamic, tailored to your aptitude and experience, as well as the requirements of the trading desk you’re working on.

With the ongoing support of an experienced, dedicated mentor, you’ll be learning on the job alongside some of our very best traders. Depending on your skills and the demands of the business, you can expect to be exposed to one of the following: businesses: crude oil; oil products; LNG; carbon; gas and power trading.

Shell’s culture of continuous learning develops the skills essential to a range of business tasks, focusing on training areas such as market analysis, trading and pricing strategy, nurturing business partnerships, trading operations and leadership development.

Along the way, you’ll sharpen your ability to analyse markets and develop trading strategies, unearth opportunities to generate profit and manage risk, and learn how to successfully negotiate and structure deals.

We’ll give you plenty of feedback and assess you regularly– there are several ‘stage gates’ that you need to pass through – so you’ll always know how you’re progressing.

At the end of the TDP, there’s a final assessment to validate your readiness to trade. Pass this and you’ll be officially Trader Ready and fully equipped to apply for a permanent Trader role with us. 

Who we’re looking for

A woman is working on a white board and smiling

You don’t need trading experience to join us. We look for women and men with at least a degree coupled with some relevant professional experience. Diversity is hugely important to us, so this could be in any number of fields. In the past, strong applicants have come to us from:

  •  Refinery, engineering
  • Technology, digital
  • Commercial start-ups
  • Finance, banking, fintech, risk management
  • Accountancy, Audit
  • Trading analyst/operations
  • Commodities, equities markets

Whatever field you’re working in, we’re looking for the following qualities:


You’re numerate and highly analytical. You’ve shown you can digest wide amounts of information from different sources, pinpoint the relevant details from a huge range of data, and synthesise it to form critical insights.


The market changes by the minute so you need to be comfortable thinking on your feet and making quick decisions, even if you don’t have all the facts at your command. Speed of thought is vital you’re someone who can move easily between a micro and macro view.


This is a highly open, collaborative environment where we achieve results through teamwork. You’ll be talking to colleagues and contacts all over the world, so you’ll need to be able to change your social style to suit your audience. We value people who’ve proven they can persuade and influence; in English and, ideally, a language native to the market you’re working in.

Commercially astute

You’ll need to cultivate an incisive understanding of how global energy markets work – that means you should be entrepreneurial, self-motivated and commercially astute with a keen interest in how business works. You’re passionate about working in trading and excited by the prospect of finding opportunities to create monetary value.


In trading, the risks you take must be calculated and the decisions you make considered. You’ll be accountable: someone who takes responsibility for their decisions and can adhere to both the letter and the spirit of all relevant legislation and compliance. You’ll always work with Shell’s values of honesty, integrity and respect for others firmly in mind.  

Selection and Assessment

Selection process for trader development programme

Assessment Process

Throughout the assessment process, both in Stage 1 phone interview and Stage 2 assessment centre, you will be assessed against what we deem our ‘Trader Qualities’. The Trader Qualities refer to a set of behaviours which are central to effective performance across a range of roles in trading. They are grouped into three key categories:

1. Trader Capacity: This refers to the ability to analyse and synthesise multiple sources of information, and understand the strategic context and commercial factors in which the Trading organisation operates. It also involves the ability to produces useful, creative, and innovative solutions to problems.

2. Trader Achievement: This refers to the ability to learn quickly and continuously, persevering despite obstacles in a challenging environment.

3. Trader Relationships: This refers to the ability to build effective relationships with a wide range of people, and being a true team-player.


An overview of Stage 1 Assessments

The Stage 1: Phone Interview consists of two assessments: A Commercial Case Study, and a Competency Based Interview. Please see below for a brief outline of each assessment.

COMMERCIAL CASE STUDY: In the case study you will be presented with a commercial problem and asked a series of questions to assess your capacity for strategic thinking, numerical ability, and ability to propose solutions to problems.

COMPETENCY BASED INTERVIEW: In the competency based interview, your interviewer will ask you a series of questions to learn more about some of your relevant past experiences and, in particular, how you dealt with specific situations. It is recommended that you come prepared to discuss specific tasks/projects you have worked on in the past 18 months, or which you worked on in your last role if you have not been working in the last 18 months.


At the end of the interview there will be some questions to help us identify why you are interested in the TDP. Make sure you’ve done some research in to the programme and are able to articulate why you are interested in a career in Trading.

Finally, you’ll have an opportunity to ask your assessor some questions. This part won’t be assessed, but it’s a valuable opportunity for you to find out a bit more about Shell Trading and your potential career here.  

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Find out more about the Trader Development Programme and have a look though our frequently asked questions.

Read our FAQ's

Meet our traders

The thing people love most about working at Shell, is the people. Explore these ten films featuring colleagues from across Trading and Supply; from Sophie on the TDP and Lifei who completed the programme, right up to Andrew our Executive Vice President. Find out for yourself if this is the team you want to surround yourself with, to set you up for success.

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