Deputy Director for Devolution


Birmingham, Cardiff, Edinburgh, London, Manchester


About the job



The Economic Partnerships Directorate is one of the core Directorates in BEIS responsible for leading BEIS’s interests in trade negotiations with the EU and rest of world, working closely alongside the Trade and Europe Portfolio Directorate as well as policy colleagues in the Trade Europe and Analysis Group and across BEIS.
EPD covers a wide and diverse portfolio including:

• Managing our relationship with the Devolved Administrations, Crown Dependencies and British Overseas territories across the whole of BEIS’s portfolio

• Developing the strategy, evidence and analysis to inform our approach to UK-EU negotiations

• Dealing with the implications of leaving the EU for the UK Internal Market including managing the progress of the UK Internal Market Bill through Parliament

• Driving forward our EU engagement strategy post-Exit and supporting its implementation

• Developing frameworks and policies for operating post-EU Exit, including focusing on a new international trade policy.

We collaborate effectively with colleagues across BEIS, working with them on a range of policy areas including preparation for Transition at the end of 2020, economic recovery and industrial strategy. We invest in and develop partnerships beyond BEIS: with third countries through trade and international policy, with the Devolved Administrations, within Whitehall and with UKREP in Brussels. Everything we do requires working collaboratively with stakeholders and we take pride in our ability to work with and through others – and to influence them to achieve better outcomes.

We are committed to building an inclusive and supportive environment for all our members. We want to attract, develop and retain people who are motivated and supported in their work, and challenged with stretching development opportunities, consistent with the BEIS values (Brilliant, Enterprising, Inclusive and Skilled). In this period of unprecedented change we have a particular focus on maintaining well-being and resilience.

Job description

This is an exciting opportunity to operate at the centre of the department and lead a rapidly growing programme of work.

The postholder will act as the strategic centre for devolution and union advice in BEIS with the aim of meeting the Government’s ambition of strengthening the Union. You will be responsible for driving forward engagement with the Devolved Administrations (Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland), the Crown Dependencies and British Overseas Territories across the full range of BEIS’s priorities.

You will work closely with the Devolved Administrations, the Territorial Offices and other government departments – most notably the Cabinet Office Constitution Group and the FCDO - as well as BEIS policy colleagues and Partner Organisations, to take forward and develop BEIS strategy and engagement on devolution issues. You will help to build departmental capabilities in this area too.

Key responsibilities include:

• Shaping the department’s strategy to achieve the Government’s ambition of strengthening the Union

• Building and maintaining effective bilateral relationships with the Devolved Administrations

• Responsibility for ministerial engagement with the Devolved Administrations, and citizens and businesses in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland

• Responsibility for running the BEIS Devolved Administrations senior officials Forum, ensuring that it operates effectively to strengthen collaboration and deliver BEIS’s objectives

• Oversight of BEIS’s ‘Common Frameworks’ programme, ensuring that there are appropriate governance structures where UKG and the Devolved Administrations can collaborate and, where possible, reach shared positions on areas of returning EU law within devolved competence

• Leadership of a team of approximately 18 staff, in line with BEIS objectives and values

• Building strong and effective working relationships with senior representatives across Whitehall and externally, for example in business organisations and think-tanks.

• Building BEISs’ sknowledge and capability on devolution issues

• Working with colleagues, building a friendly, inclusive, resilient and capable Directorate, including personal leadership of at least one key corporate objective

Please take time to read the attached Candidate pack for further information about this role and the recruitment process.


Skills, experience and qualifications

The successful candidate will be able to demonstrate their potential and capability in the following areas:

• Outstanding leadership skills with the ability to build and develop team capabilities and strengths in a changing environment

• Able to navigate a complex political landscape to deliver positive outcomes and promote BEIS’s interests

• Operating strategically from the centre and providing clear direction to enable successful delivery through others

• Able to persuade and influence others, and establish collaborative relationships with a wide range of people and organisations

Experience of working with the devolved administrations and knowledge of the devolution settlements would be desirable but not essential

Successful candidates would be expected to travel to London on a regular basis.


BEIS offers a competitive mix of benefits including:

A culture of flexible working, such as job sharing, homeworking and compressed hours.
Automatic enrolment into the Civil Service Pension Scheme.
A minimum of 25 days of paid annual leave, increasing by 1 day per year up to a maximum of 30.
An extensive range of learning & professional development opportunities, which all staff are actively encouraged to pursue.
Access to a range of retail, travel and lifestyle employee discounts.

Apply today!