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Deputy Director (Opportunities Across Government)


East Midlands, Eastern, London, North East, North West, South East, South West, West Midlands, Yorkshire and the Humber



In what is a uniquely difficult time for the nation, the Civil Service has again proven its ability to mobilise itself and adapt quickly to support the Government’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

This is your opportunity to play a leading role in work that is vital for both the UK and international response to the pandemic. The Civil Service is urgently seeking a diverse range of talented individuals to work in a variety of senior leadership roles. We particularly welcome applicants from ethnic minority backgrounds or those with disabilities, as these groups are underrepresented at senior grades.

This is a time of new challenges which requires diversity of thought and experience. We are seeking applications from a broad range of candidates who are able to adapt quickly to a large scale and complex environment, can showcase their inspirational leadership qualities and bring fresh and diverse skills and perspectives into what will be a fast paced and dynamic situation. You will be working on a multitude of emerging challenges and priorities as the Government’s response to the pandemic moves forward and matures over time.

You will play a leading role in ensuring the government is able to respond effectively to these challenges on a cross department and fully collaborative basis. We are looking for outstanding individuals to work as key members of departmental senior leadership teams, who will help set the strategic direction and develop new policy, deliver operational responses and bring high quality insight from a multitude of different data sources to inform strategy, policy and operations.

The roles will suit self-starters, who are outward facing, capable of working within and across teams and who are able to build strong and collaborative relationships with a diverse mix of people at all levels. The Civil Service is an organisation that values its people and we work hard to create a supportive and inclusive environment for all staff to grow and perform to the best of their ability. So if you have a strong track record of leadership, have the resilience to operate in a high profile and often high scrutiny environment, can communicate and influence effectively and are able to see the big picture, then we look forward to receiving your application.

Job description

The need for additional resource across government to support the Government’s response to COVID-19 (Coronavirus) and other priorities is expanding quickly as civil service departments continue to roll-out their emergency response.

This is your opportunity to make a real difference and be involved in critical work that is vital for both the UK and international response to the pandemic.

The civil service is urgently seeking a diverse range of talented individuals to work in a variety of senior leadership roles across government.

We anticipate needing individuals across all professions/functions but that the key areas of demand are likely to be for (but not limited to) policy, programme and project delivery, operational delivery and analytical roles.

We would welcome a diverse pool of applicants, including those from ethnic minority backgrounds and/or those candidates with a disability.

At this stage we are unable to say specifically where successful candidates may be posted but roles are likely to be available in a range of departments including (but not limited to):

- Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC);
- Ministry of Housing, Communities & Local Government (MHCLG); and
- Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy (BEIS).
- Department for Transport.

Successful candidates will be working on emerging priorities and as such the exact responsibilities and reporting structures for these posts will reflect the evolution of the Government’s response to the pandemic and new challenges over time.

The roles will suit self-starters who are outward facing, capable of working within and across teams and who are able to build strong and collaborative relationships with people at all levels of the organisation.

Successful candidates will also need to be personally comfortable operating in complex, challenging, ambiguous and fast paced environments and leading teams through uncertain times.


Successful candidates can expect to be involved in a range of the following:

• Quickly building effective relationships and networks with ministers and senior colleagues across own and other teams/organisations.

• Horizon scanning – identifying and responding to emerging issues and their potential impacts.

• We welcome, and indeed encourage, flexible working and are keen to be inclusive to all, including individuals who work part-time, those who are in a job-share arrangement and / or have caring responsibilities.

• Accurately articulating ongoing and rapidly emergent issues, verbally and in writing;

• Liaising with partners / suppliers in relation to key resources.

• Delivering front line services and anticipating and responding to internal logistical / organisational issues, at pace.

• Bringing together experts from different disciplines to provide advice to ministers that is based on the best available evidence and research, at pace.

• Working in partnership with internal / external stakeholders to protect / support vulnerable people.

• Working on new interventions to support local business / residents.

This list should be considered as indicative rather than exhaustive.

For further details of the skills and experience we are looking for in successful candidates, please refer to the Person Specification section in the pack.

It is important in your application that you provide evidence and examples of proven experience in each of the following essential criteria:

• Using data and evidence to make decisions and influence - experience of analysing complex problems and interpreting complex data to create and present evidence based insight and recommendations. Using data to effectively drive recommendations, consider the impact on a vast range of customers from diverse backgrounds, understand and highlight risks to customers, and add value to the business. Encouraging others to do the same.

• Building and managing relationships and partnerships – experience of using models of influence to shape strategy, policy and operations, gain the confidence of both internal and external senior stakeholders from a broad range of diverse backgrounds throughout problem-definition and solution – generating phases at a strategic level. Provide challenge and influence at ministerial/executive/board/committee level to deliver on functional priorities. Experience of navigating diverse, conflicting views and priorities.

• Project and Programme Leadership – experience of leading and delivering large-scale projects and programmes, using different project methodologies to impact organisational culture and performance, resourcing and managing risks for broad, complex programmes of work. Managing throughout the project cycle on time and on budget, resulting in sustainable impact.

• Capability building – experience of developing, designing and embedding capability and performance approaches through future horizon scanning. Experience of leading and coaching others, of building diverse teams and of sharing personal experience to build capability.

• Communication and interpersonal skills – expertise in working at a senior executive level with diverse internal and external stakeholders, across organisational and sectoral boundaries.

• Personal Resilience – experience of working effectively and of leading a team successfully during periods of sustained pressure, scrutiny and ambiguity.

Apply today!