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Administration / Corporate Support

Assistant Private Secretary to Special Adviser – 46153
£22,566 - £30,324
Multiple Locations

Apply BACK TO SEARCH

We welcome and encourage applications from everyone, including groups currently underrepresented in our workforce and pride ourselves as being an employer of choice. To find out more about how we champion diversity and inclusion in the workplace, visit: https://www.gov.uk/government/organisations/ministry-of-justice/about/equality-and-diversity

Inclusion and diversity

The Northern Ireland Office is committed to being an inclusive employer with a diverse workforce. We encourage applications from people from the widest possible diversity of backgrounds, cultures and experiences.

We particularly welcome applications from Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) candidates, as they are under-represented within the NIO at this level.

The Northern Ireland Office strives to be an inclusive employer and is recognised by its staff and externally as being an employer where Diversity and Inclusion are valued.

We hold a Diversity & Inclusion Charter Mark and are an accredited Disability Confident Leader organisation.

In March 2018 we won the award for Best Employer for Diversity & Equality in Northern Ireland (small employer category) in a Gala Award ceremony hosted by Legal-Island, a multi-award winning workplace compliance company based in Northern Ireland.

We have an active D&I network supporting colleagues through D&I Advocates, championed by our Directors.

We want all our people to feel valued for who they are and we are confident that you will find the NIO a warm, welcoming and inclusive place to work.

What we do

Background

The Northern Ireland Office represents Northern Ireland interests at a UK Government level and UK Government interests in Northern Ireland.  We have a wide range of responsibilities, including: underpinning political stability in Northern Ireland; overseeing the Northern Ireland devolution settlement; leading on national security policy in Northern Ireland; addressing the legacy of Northern Ireland’s past; delivering elections and constitutional reform in Northern Ireland; playing a key role in rebalancing the NI economy; representing NI interests, including  on the border with Ireland, as the UK exits the EU.  Our small size and diverse portfolio create a stimulating, fast-paced and challenging working environment, with regular engagement with a range of Ministers and senior officials.  We support flexible working and have a modern, flexible IT system which helps enable this.

ABOUT THE ROLE:

An exciting opportunity has arisen to work as the Assistant Private Secretary to the Special Advisers in the Office of the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland.

This fast-paced post is an integral role in the wider Private Office team and directly supports the delivery of ministerial priorities. It also provides an excellent opportunity for anyone who would like to gain a real insight into the work of Ministers, how the department and the wider Government operates, and how the UK Government works collaboratively with the Northern Ireland Executive.

The successful candidate will need to be assertive and confident in their ability to prioritise a busy workload and work with Ministers, Special Advisers and colleagues at all levels. Excellent communications skills, sound judgment, and the ability to remain calm and reliable under pressure are also essential skills. In return, this role offers the opportunity to be at the heart of a busy, friendly team and gain valuable core experience of departmental working at the centre of Government.

DUTIES AND RESPONSIBILITIES:

Duties Include:

  • Effective inbox management and triage of incoming queries;
  • Processing of invoices and general financial management of the SpAds office.
  • Using initiative to actively manage the diary including scheduling internal and external meetings, visits, attendance at events and managing time effectively;
  • liaising with the Secretary of State’s office to ensure SpAds’ diaries are appropriately aligned and that they are provided effective support.
  • Ensuring the office adheres to proprietary guidelines through managing Transparency Returns and expenses.
  • Supporting the Private Secretary to the Special Advisers in ensuring that views/comments from Special Advisers are promptly and accurately conveyed to relevant officials within and outside the department through both oral and written communication.
  • Building effective, collaborative working relationships with departmental & Whitehall colleagues.

ESSENTIAL CRITERIA:

  • Ability to manage competing priorities
  • Excellent oral and written communication skills
  • Ability to work effectively within a team
  • Strong planning and organisational skills
  • Willing to undergo SC clearance

DESIRABLE CRITERIA:

  • Previous experience of working within a Private Office

SELECTION PROCESS:

Sift/Interview

We will assess you against the following Success Profiles behaviours at Level 2 during the selection process.

  • Working Together
  • Making Effective Decisions
  • Seeing the Bigger Picture
  • Delivering at Pace

More information on behaviours and success profiles can be found here.

Please note that in the event of a large number of applications being received we may run the initial sift on the lead Behaviour “Making Effective Decisions”.

SECURITY CLEARANCE

Security clearance to SC level will be required for this post.

ELIGIBILITY SIFT

An eligibility sift will be carried out on the basis of the information contained in the application form.  It is therefore important that all applicants demonstrate in their application how and to what extent their behaviours are relevant to the above criteria.  Those candidates who do not clearly demonstrate that they meet the experience and behaviours will not be invited to interview.

PAY AND ALLOWANCES

The successful candidate will adopt the terms and conditions of the NIO for the length of their appointment.

Neither Detached Duty terms nor relocation costs will apply to this post.

FURTHER INFORMATION

Further information about the post may be obtained from Rory O’Donoghue – rory.o’donoghue@nio.gov.uk

APPLICATIONS

You can apply for this post through the Civil Service website at: civilservice.gov.uk.  Once logged onto the site go to the civil service jobs page and then search for jobs in the Northern Ireland Office where the application form can be found.

Additional information received after the closing date will not be considered.  Failure to provide sufficient information in support of an application prior to the closing date will not be considered as grounds for an appeal if an applicant is not shortlisted for interview.

Home Civil Service applicants who, because of disability, need assistance in completing the application form should contact MoJ Shared Services on 0845 010 3512.

All applications for employment are considered strictly on the basis of merit.

This job description should not be taken as constituting conditions of employment.

Please note that due to the high interest in NIO opportunities, feedback cannot be given if you are unsuccessful at sift stage. Feedback is available on request if unsuccessful following interview.

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

Further information about us

We are a small and friendly department of approximately 180 staff.  Due to our size we are able to offer staff more exposure to ministers and the opportunity to work on a far wider portfolio of responsibilities than might be the case in a larger department.  This creates an interesting, though often challenging, work environment.

Other Benefits

The NIO offers a pleasant, modern work environment which allows consideration of a range of flexible working arrangements which support a good work/ life balance. These include flexible/ alternative working patterns, part-time and job-share options.

Benefits include:

            interest-free season ticket and bicycle loans

            Reward & Recognition scheme

Guaranteed Interview Scheme

The Northern Ireland Office operates the Guaranteed Interview Scheme, details of which are attached to the application form for this post.

In the event that we identify more appointable candidates than we currently have posts available, we will hold applicant details on a reserve list for a period of 12 months from which further appointments can be made. This may include roles at a lower grade. Candidates placed on a reserve list will be informed of this. Those candidates who do not wish to remain on the reserve list should contact MoJ-recruitment-vetting-enquiries@gov.sscl.com to be removed from the reserve list. 

Further information on civil service careers can be found at  www.civil-service-careers.gov.uk

The Civil Service Code sets out the standards of behaviour expected of civil servants.  

Appointment to the Civil Service is governed by the Civil Service Commission’s Recruitment Principles. You have the right to complain if you feel a department has breached the requirement of the Recruitment Principles. 

Please contact SSCL (Moj-recruitment-vetting-enquiries@sscl.gse.gov.uk) in the first instance.

If you are not satisfied with the response, you may bring your complaint to the Commission. For further information on bringing a complaint to the Civil Service Commission please visit their web pages:

http://civilservicecommission.independent.gov.uk/civil-service-recruitment/complaints/

https://civilservicecommission.independent.gov.uk/code/

Additional Information

Support

  • A range of ‘Family Friendly’ policies such as opportunities to work reduced hours or job share.
  • Access to flexible benefits such as voluntary benefits, retail vouchers and discounts on a range of goods and services.
  • For moves to or from another employer or moves across the Civil Service this can have implications on your eligibility to carry on claiming childcare vouchers. You may however be eligible for alternative government childcare support schemes, including Tax Free Childcare. More information can be found on GOV.UK or Childcare Choices. You can determine your eligibility at https://www.childcarechoices.gov.uk/.
  • Paid paternity, adoption and maternity leave.
  • Free annual sight tests for employees who use computer screens.

Working for the Civil Service

The Civil Service Code sets out the standards of behaviour expected of civil servants.

We recruit by merit on the basis of fair and open competition, as outlined in the Civil Service Commission’s recruitment principles. Should you feel that the recruitment process has breached the recruitment principles you are able to raise a formal complaint in the following order

1- To Shared Service Connected Ltd (0845 241 5358 (Monday to Friday 8am – 6pm) or e mail Moj-recruitment-vetting-enquiries@gov.sscl.com);

2- To Ministry of Justice Resourcing (resourcing-services@justice.gov.uk);

3- To the Civil Service Commission (details available here)

The Civil Service embraces diversity and promotes equal opportunities. As a Disability Confident employer, MoJ are committed to providing everyone with the opportunity to demonstrate their skills, talent and abilities, by making adjustments throughout all elements of the recruitment process and in the workplace. MoJ are able to offer an interview to disabled candidates who meet the minimum selection criteria, except in a limited number of campaigns.

You will be able to request reasonable adjustments to the recruitment process within the application form. If you need additional help completing the application form, please contact the SSCL Recruitment Enquiries Team.

We encourage applications from people from all backgrounds and aim to have a workforce that represents the wider society that we serve. We pride ourselves on being an employer of choice. We champion diversity, inclusion and wellbeing and aim to create a workplace where everyone feels valued and a sense of belonging. To find out more about how we do this visit: https://www.gov.uk/government/organisations/ministry-of-justice/about/equality-and-diversity.

Working Arrangements & Further Information

Some of MoJ’s terms and conditions of service are changing as part of Civil Service reform. The changes will apply to staff joining MoJ who are new to the Civil Service. Staff joining MoJ from other civil service employers will transfer onto the new MoJ terms if they are already on ‘modernised’ terms in their current post or onto ‘unmodernised’ MoJ terms if they are on ‘unmodernised’ terms at their current post. Details will be available if an offer is made.

Flexible working hours

The Ministry of Justice offers a flexible working system in many offices.

Benefits

The MoJ offers a range of benefits:

Annual Leave

Annual leave is 25 days on appointment and will increase to 30 days after five years’ service.

There is also a scheme to allow qualifying staff to buy or sell up to three days leave each year. Additional paid time off for public holidays and 1 privilege day. Leave for part-time and job share posts will be calculated on a pro-rata basis.

Pension

The Civil Service offers a choice of pension schemes, giving you the flexibility to choose the pension that suits you best.

Training

The Ministry of Justice is committed to staff development and offers an extensive range of training and development opportunities.

Networks

The opportunity to join employee-run networks that have been established to provide advice and support and to enable the views of employees from minority groups to be expressed direct to senior management. There are currently networks for employees of minority ethnic origin, employees with disabilities, employees with caring responsibilities, women employees, and lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender employees.

Grading Structure Review

The Ministry of Justice is currently undergoing a review of posts which are currently graded at Band A to realign our grading structure with the majority of the wider Civil Service.

Posts advertised at Band A may be graded at either Grade 6 or Grade 7 once the review has taken place.