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Policy

Economy Team Policy Officer – 44691
£26,553 - £38,373
Multiple Locations

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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

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

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:

This role is located in the Economy Group within the Northern Ireland Office – which aims to drive growth and prosperity in Northern Ireland, working with other Government departments, the NI Executive and wider stakeholders. This reflects the Government’s goals of strengthening the Union, levelling up, economic recovery following Covid-19, and the increasingly proactive stance the Department is taking on the economy. Our Economy team is the interface between Whitehall departments and the Northern Ireland Civil Service (NICS) departments on both long term reform and short term pressures, including dealing with Northern Ireland’s fiscal position, the economic implications of and opportunities arising from exiting the EU and how best to create a stronger society in Northern Ireland.

The Economy Group leads on the UK Government’s strategy for the Northern Ireland economy. It influences public expenditure in Northern Ireland, managing the NIO’s policy relationships with the Treasury and the Northern Ireland Department of Finance. Increasingly it also drives forward the delivery of targeted UKG spending in Northern Ireland to help deliver on our economic objectives. These include delivery of City and Growth Deals, the New Decade, New Approach financial support package, the New Deal for Northern Ireland, the Shared Prosperity Fund, Levelling Up Fund and the Community Renewal Fund.

The specific Band C role

This job will be working across the Economy Group to support the overall policy delivery and support on a range of high-profile policy issues, as well as leading on the overall monitoring, governance and core business as usual operation of the wider team. The successful candidate will also play a policy support role in ensuring the delivery of, and engagement on, our growth-oriented funding programmes such as the UK Shared prosperity Fund and the New Deal for Northern Ireland. The post-holder will also provide support on key policy areas in the Delivery Team, including the green economy and the cyber sector. In addition, support and resilience will be provided across the wider Economy Group, working with the Fiscal, Strategy and Delivery teams to provide surge support on key priority work to contribute to, and support the work of, Ministers through providing comprehensive advice on key policy issues, in engaging with cross-government and external stakeholders, and collaboration within the department and cross-government to achieve key priorities and deliverables.  The successful applicant will also have the opportunity to work with a range of stakeholders, internally, across-government, and externally, on a range of issues the team drives forward.

Duties and Responsibilities: 

If your application is successful, responsibilities are likely to include:

  • Provide support on key policy questions within your area/s, supporting departmental and governmental priorities;
  • Monitor relevant developments in Northern Ireland, including activities of the Northern Ireland Executive, Assembly and key stakeholders concerning the Economy Group’s key policy area/s;
  • Managing the day to day processes involved in ensuring successful delivery of key work across the Economy Group;
  • Working collaboratively with colleagues within the department and cross-department to ensure ensuring Northern Ireland considerations are properly reflected in the design and delivery of policy, programmes and legislation;
  • Briefing ministers and senior officials by writing short submissions which summarise the issues and seek their advice, approval or action as well as briefings for engagements; and
  • Supporting your own professional development, promoting a culture in which talent and developmental opportunities are recognised and encouraged.

Essential Criteria: 

  • Strong written and oral communication and interpersonal skills and ability to present information appropriately tailored for different audiences, including senior officials.
  • Good fundamental policy support and delivery skills to support key objectives.
  • The ability to develop and maintain effective relationships with internal and cross-government colleagues and a broad range of stakeholders.
  • The ability to work collaboratively with internal and external stakeholders and facilitate solutions to a range of issues. 

Desirable Criteria:

  • Ability to see the bigger picture and to weigh up the pros and cons of various factors to give robust and accurate advice to senior leaders and ministers.
  • An understanding of the political environment in Northern Ireland, including the devolution settlement; and
  •  A good understanding of the economic environment in Northern Ireland.

Selection Process

The process for selection will be in two stages: application and interview.

Application

The application is made up of 2 parts:

  • A suitability statement of no more than 500 words setting out how you meet the essential/desirable criteria listed above.
  • Evidence statements of no more than 250 words for each of the following Civil Service Behaviours listed below.  

Behaviours

We will assess you against the following Success Profiles behaviours at Level 3 during the selection process, including both the application and if successful for an interview   

  • Communicating and influencing
  • Working Together
  • Making Effective Decisions

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

The interview will be of a blended nature consisting of behaviours and experience. 
Please note that in the event of a large number of applications being received we may run the initial sift on the lead behaviour of “Communicating and influencing”.

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 raphaela.thynne@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 an interview.

Additional Information 

Further information about us

We are a small and friendly department of approximately 175 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

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.

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 any moves across the Civil Service may have implications on your ability to carry on claiming childcare vouchers
•    Paid paternity, adoption and maternity leave. 
•    Free annual sight tests for employees who use computer screens. 

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.

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

4-    To Shared Service Connected Ltd (0845 241 5358 (Monday to Friday 8am – 6pm) or e mail Moj-recruitment-vetting-enquiries@gov.sscl.com);
5-    To Ministry of Justice Resourcing (resourcing-services@justice.gov.uk);
6-    To the Civil Service Commission (details available here)

The Civil Service embraces diversity and promotes equality of opportunity.

There is a guaranteed interview scheme (GIS) for candidates with disabilities who meet the minimum selection criteria.

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.