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Office of the Secretary of State for Wales
Job Description for Policy Advisor – Innovation and Education
Job Title: Policy Advisor – Innovation and Education
Pay Grade: HEO
Salary: £30,451(National) – £34,262 (London)
Location: London or Cardiff
Clearance: CTC (See additional information)
About the Office of the Secretary of State for Wales (OSSW):
The Office of the Secretary of State for Wales is the face of the UK Government in Wales and the voice of Wales in Westminster. We support the Secretary of State (SoS) for Wales and the Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Wales (PUSS) in representing Wales at the heart of Government. The department plays a central role in shaping key Government priorities such as levelling up, the Union and net zero. We work in partnership with other UK Government departments and stakeholders to deliver a stronger Wales within a strong United Kingdom.
Our departmental values are Commitment, Collaboration and Quality. These shape how we operate in a challenging, demanding and fast paced environment which requires flexibility, transparency and professionalism.
The Office is based over two sites, in Cardiff and London, and, as an accredited smarter working organisation, we offer considerable flexibility around ‘the way we work’. We have a great technology and an attractive employee benefits package which includes a commitment to investing in the learning & development of our staff.
The expectation is that the postholder will spend some time travelling around Wales engaging and working with stakeholders. (This is subject to UK and Welsh Government Covid-19 guidance on travel).
About the team:
The role is within the Policy Team in OSSW, which currently consists of approximately 12 people. The Policy Team operates across a wide range of reserved and devolved policy areas, working to identify opportunities to benefit Wales within emerging UK Government policy, and acting to identify and resolve issues that affect Wales. The day to day work of the team involves engagement with senior stakeholders inside and outside of Government as well as advising ministers, officials and regional partners responsible for City and Growth deals, on a broad range of topics.
As the Wales Office is not a direct policy delivery department, we rely on our ability to influence to deliver Ministerial priorities. You will need to quickly establish and maintain relationships with stakeholders both within Whitehall and outside. You will also need to be prepared to challenge and stand your ground or push back when under pressure as you deliver Ministerial priorities. You will need to work at pace to often challenging deadlines with an ability to draw together different sources of information and make sense of it for busy Ministers.
There will be a need for an excellent political antenna and so you will be proficient in keeping abreast of the latest developments in Wales and the rest of the UK. You will need to show leadership in the way you drive forward progress on your area of expertise.
The successful candidate will join the Economy and Trade team as the policy lead for innovation, education and skills. The UK Government is committed to levelling-up across the UK, reaching net-zero and strengthening the Union. This is a large portfolio allows the successful candidate to play an important role across all three Government agendas, with the scope to drive multiple workstreams, as well as engage with a broad range of stakeholders, both domestic and international.
The role will involve:Working with UK Research and Innovation to ensure Wales benefits from the UK Government target of 2.4% of GDP being spent on R&D across the UK economy and supporting Wales’ industries of the future.Working with Higher Education Institutions and innovative businesses based in Wales to build up a strong understanding of the innovation landscape of Wales.Considering the implications for Wales of proposed UK Government policy initiatives or legislation.Briefing the Secretary of State or Parliamentary Under Secretary of State in advance of important meetings with external stakeholders.Replying to written correspondence from Parliamentarians, external groups or members of the public, for example, and supporting the SoS/PUSS to prepare for Parliamentary engagements, such as Welsh Affairs Committee appearances and Welsh Orals sessions in the House of Commons.Meeting with the Welsh Government and external stakeholders to establish working relationships and to understand a broad range of views on emerging Welsh innovation, education and skills proposals.
You will be an experienced policy official and effective at briefing others. You will be well organised and able to deliver at pace. You will be capable of learning new policy areas quickly. You will have well-honed interpersonal skills to establish rapport with stakeholders quickly and have the confidence to provide challenge to colleagues where appropriate.
Please evidence in your Statement of Suitability, how closely you match the following:
Essential:Given the need to cover multiple policy portfolios you will need to show experience of working in an environment where a multi-tasking approach and the need for prioritisation has been required.Demonstrable experience of giving effective policy advice to Senior Officials or Ministers through both oral and written briefing and correspondence.Clear evidence of experience of working in a time pressured environment.Excellent written and oral communication skills.
Desirable:Welsh Language skills.Knowledge of the innovation landscape in Wales.
This campaign will be undertaken using the Civil Service Success Profile framework. You will need to provide evidence in your application to cover the following behaviours:Communicating and Influencing (Lead Behaviour) (Application & Interview)Making Effective Decisions (Application & Interview)Seeing the Big Picture (Application & Interview)Delivering at Pace (Application)
Successful candidates who make it to the interview stage will also be asked to provide a five-minute presentation on the key opportunities and challenges for innovation in Wales.
The Office of the Secretary of State for Wales is not an employer in its own right. Staff recruited to work at the OSSW will be employees of the Ministry of Justice who provide employment services on our behalf.
This role requires CTC level clearance. Applicants for National Security Clearance (CTC) must be resident in the UK for 3 years immediately prior to their application for Security Clearance.