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Policy

Engagement Officer – 37136
£30,989 - £41,095
Belfast

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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

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:

As an Engagement Officer you will work closely with the Northern Ireland Ministerial Team in planning and delivering its engagement programme in Northern Ireland. This programme will reflect the strategic objectives of the Northern Ireland Office and the broader UK Government’s goals for the sustainability and success of Northern Ireland. You will also provide important comms support to the communications team for Ministerial external engagement, as well as providing a wide variety of comms functions to the many VVIP visits to Northern Ireland. This is an exciting opportunity to work in a very important area of the UK Government. As a successful candidate, you will be joining a small dedicated team focused on delivering a quality service for Ministers and stakeholders. We are currently seeking a highly motivated individual to join the NIO’s External Relations Group to fill a vacancy that has become available due to staff transfer.

DUTIES AND RESPONSIBILITIES:

The post is part of the NIO’s External Relations Group and is based in Belfast. The business area 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. External Relations is also responsible for policy on commemorations. The business area works closely with a range of senior stakeholders in Whitehall and NI Departments, Royal Households, the Irish Government, local authorities and civil society organisations. As part of the Communications & External Relations Directorate, the Group works closely with the NIO’s strategic communications and press office functions, as well as the Secretary of State and Ministerial Private Offices.

External Relations Group is a busy and varied area of work, requiring outstanding collaboration and partnering skills. These are challenging and exciting posts which require 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 External Relations Group, which will include responsibility for some of the following priority areas of work:

  • Planning and delivering a programme of external ministerial engagements, which supports the NIO’s business priorities.
  • Developing and maintaining a network of senior stakeholders to deliver External Relations Group’s remit, including our support for Ministerial/VVIP visits.
  • Alongside Comms colleagues, developing media plans for Ministerial external engagement events, and working with external stakeholders to ensure that messages are amplified across a wide range of outlets.
  • Providing research, analysis and reporting on key policy issues that fall within Engagement Group’s scope, including commemorations and major planned public events.
  • Design and delivery of programmes of high-profile VVIP visits, which support NIO objectives and enhance the UK Government’s profile in NI.
  • Providing support to the Head of News leading up to and throughout the delivery of VVIP visits and helping deliver positive and engaging content to maximise publicity for the visit.
  • Work with partners in DCMS, the Irish government and civil society on supporting commemorations in NI, as well as a wider programme of upcoming anniversaries.
  • Cross-Whitehall co-ordination and liaison on NI-related public events and other matters.
  • Undertaking a co-ordination role for External Relations Group’s corporate reporting responsibilities, including risk registers, business planning and budget monitoring.
  • Providing resilience and flexible support for wider demands which may arise in External Relations, and across the Department.

Travel within Northern Ireland and occasional travel to London will be required.

ESSENTIAL CRITERIA:

  • Proven ability to develop and maintain networks with senior stakeholders across a range of sectors to deliver business objectives.
  • Experience in planning and delivering major events and/or visits, using project planning and risk management skills.
  • Experience of working with Ministers and senior officials.
  • Experience of drafting high-quality, accurate written briefing to tight deadlines, and of providing effective oral briefing to Ministers/senior 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.

DESIRABLE CRITERIA:

  • A good understanding of the political environment in NI.
  • 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]

BEHAVIOURS:

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

  • Communicating and Influencing
  • Making Effective Decisions
  • 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, experience and strength-based questions. The strength-based questions will require natural responses from the candidates; responses that should be rapid, allowing the interviewer to hear a candidate’s first, unrehearsed and natural response, no longer than 2 minutes per question.

Please note that in the event of a large number of applications being received we may run the initial sift on the lead Behaviour “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 David McCreedy on telephone number 07789 757363 or e-mail to david.mccreedy@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 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 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/

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

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 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.