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Business Management & Improvement

Business Engagement Adviser – 46099
£30,989 - £47,591
Multiple Locations


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:


Civil Servants – Available on loan initially for two years with the option of extension by mutual agreement or permanent transfer.

External candidates – Permanent


Existing Home Civil Service staff either at Band B or analogous grades on level transfer or at Band C on temporary promotion. External candidates with  comparable skills or experience. (Salary scale: Inner London – £36,798 – £47,591 and National £30,989 – £41,095)

New entrants to the Civil Service are expected to join on the minimum of the pay band advertised for the respective locations of the role. 

Who we are 

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 


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 creates a stimulating 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. 


As a Business Engagement Adviser you will work within  the External Relations and Communications Directorate, but engage and work closely with a range of teams within the department to support cross-delivery priorities.

As part of the role, you will look to build, develop and maintain relationships across the Northern Ireland (NI) business community, acting as a key point of contact for the department. In undertaking this role, you will need to coordinate engagement with the departments economy leads, colleagues in BEIS and the Government Communications Service NI team, who also engage across the NI business community. You will also support the delivery of set piece engagement, for example the departments Business Engagement Forum.

This role will not only involve direct business engagement, but you will also be responsible for supporting the Head of Business Engagement to set the strategic direction of the departments Ministerial Engagement with the business community and umbrella organisations. You will workclosely with policy advisers across the department as we seek to make Northern Ireland more prosperous. An exciting part of this role  will involve  supporting the planning and delivery of on the ground visits/engagements for the Northern Ireland Office Ministerial Team, this will involve working with some very senior officials and Ministers. 

This is a rewarding and varied role offering the opportunity to work in a very important area of the UK Government. As a successful candidate, you will be part of a dedicated team focused on delivering an exceptional service for Ministers and stakeholders.  We are  seeking a self-starter, who is committed to our team deliverables as well as supporting the Northern Ireland Office in achieving its business objectives.  


The post is part of the NIO’s External Relations and Communications Directorate based nationally, with regular travel to Belfast.  The Directorate has a broad range of responsibilities which include the strategic planning and delivery of Ministerial engagements, visit programmes for royal visits and visiting VVIPs, and major public events as well as delivering all the departments proactive and reactive communication activity including across our digital platforms.

The business area works closely with a range of senior stakeholders in Whitehall and NI Departments, Royal Households, the Irish Government, local authorities, businesses, and civil society organisations.

The External Relations and Communications Directorate is a busy and varied area of work, requiring  strong collaboration and partnering skills. This is a  challenging and exciting post which requires good judgement, strong interpersonal skills and the ability to prioritise competing tasks to challenging timescales.

If you are successful, you can expect to work across a number of areas in the Directorate, which will include responsibility for some of the following priority areas of work: 

  • Undertaking and delivering engagement which seeks to support NIO policy programmes and planning, in relation to Transition/Preparedness, Economic Strategy, and COVID response. 
  • Supporting the delivery of the Business Engagement Forum 
  • Undertaking engagement with the NI business community and umbrella organisations as well as supporting senior level engagement by PUS and Directors. 
  • Supporting the development of the department’s business engagement strategy to complement our economic strategy and priorities. 
  • Support Ministerial business visits, roundtables and calls including interfacing with policy teams, identifying business stakeholders and providing written and verbal briefing. 
  • Providing advice to other Government Departments on engagement with the business community in NI, including major government announcements. 
  • Advice on Cross Whitehall communications targeting NI businesses. 
  • Support the development and oversight of business contacts and engagement including championing adoption of a CRM system. 
  • Providing insight and analysis of business issues in NI to cross Whitehall stakeholders 

Travel within Northern Ireland including attending visits and occasional travel between Belfast and London will be required. 


  • Proven ability to develop and maintain networks with stakeholders across a range of sectors to deliver business objectives.
  • Experience of working in external relations/affairs.
  • Experience of working with senior executives/officials.
  • Experience of drafting high-quality, accurate written briefing to tight deadlines, and of providing effective oral briefing to senior executives/officials.
  • Excellent communication skills, including an acute news sense with the ability to anticipate and spot breaking news stories, as well as identifying opportunities to influence how Ministerial programmes can impact on the news agenda. 


  • An understanding of the NI business landscape and key stakeholders.
  • A good understanding of the political environment in NI.
  • Previous experience of the GCS External Affairs profession
  • Driving licence and access to a vehicle 

[For the essential and desirable criteria please upload a suitability statement of no more than 250 words setting out how you meet the essential/desirable criteria] 


We will assess you against the following Success Profiles behaviours at Level 4 during the selection process. 

  • Seeing the Big Picture
  • Communicating and Influencing
  • Working Together
  • Delivering at Pace 

More information on behaviours and success profiles can be found here

The interview will be of a blended nature consisting of behaviours and experience. Due to current COVID-19 restrictions all interviews will be held virtually. 

Please note that in the event of a large number of applications being received we may run the initial sift on the lead Behaviours “Delivering at Pace” and Communicating and Influencing. 


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


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.


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

A Recruitment and Retention Allowance is available for Belfast-based staff up to a maximum of £4,000 for Band B, bringing the effective band minima up to £34,989 (from £30,989)

This allowance is non-pensionable and subject to annual review in line with MoJ pay awards. 

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


Further information about the post may be obtained from Oliver Newton on telephone number 07866 058 470 or


You can apply for this post through the Civil Service website at:  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. 


Further information about us

We are a small and friendly department of approximately 200 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 to be removed from the reserve list.  

Further information on civil service careers can be found at

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 ( 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: 

Additional Information

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.


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.


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


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


  • 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
  • Paid paternity, adoption and maternity leave.
  • Free annual sight tests for employees who use computer screens.


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.

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;

2- To Ministry of Justice Resourcing (;

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.

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.