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We are immersed in an exciting period of change. At the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) our work ranges from supporting the UK’s world-leading food, farming and fishing industries to protecting the environment and providing robust defences against natural threats. Leaving the EU will fundamentally transform the work we do and how we deliver it. We are embracing this opportunity to become even more efficient, focused and innovative. Join us, and you will be at the heart of this change - helping us to secure a more sustainable future for the UK.

Taking responsibility for a particular policy area or a wider range of topics, you will:

  • Contribute towards the drafting of policies and strategies that will support the UK’s exit from the European Union. The workstreams that you could potentially join are: Agri-Food Chain; Animal and Plant Health and Welfare; Biosecurity and Food Projects; Environmental Regulations; EU and International Trade; EU Exit Domestic and Constitutional Affairs; EU Exit Overview; Future Farming and Countryside; Marine and Fisheries or Strategy;
  • Plan and prioritise your own workload effectively, self-managing challenges as they arise and taking responsibility for delivering your allocated objectives;
  • Thrive in a constantly-changing environment, seeking out the most up-to-date information and analysing this to deliver comprehensive advice relating to the development and delivery of strategies. You will also identify any potential issues and suggest ways to address them;
  • Develop strong relationships with a variety of stakeholders including Directors and Ministers, colleagues across Defra, industry bodies, non-governmental organisations and UK citizens;
  • Be flexible and adaptive, open to taking on additional tasks as required. This could include the opportunity to line-manage a small team of Higher Executive Officers and Executive Officers. 

To make the most of this career-defining role, you will be a problem-solver with plenty of initiative. As you will be briefing Ministers and senior officials on the progress of your work, you will need excellent communication and report-writing skills. People management skills would be a distinct advantage, and you will be keen to help us deliver a quality service. With the capacity to make effective decisions in a fast-paced environment, you will be calm under pressure and you will learn from any setbacks. Naturally, you will also have good situational judgement skills, as well as exceptional planning and prioritising capabilities. While you may not possess specific policy experience, you will have a proven track record of taking an innovative approach to complex work challenges, coming from an alternative background with transferable skills such as project management, research or analysis.

Candidates who are interested in this opportunity will be assessed against the ‘Success Profile Framework’ in which your suitability for the role will be matched against a variety of elements. This flexible framework is the new and improved application process for all civil service roles, and will look at your ability to perform the role, your relevant experience, your strengths and behaviour, as well as your technical skills, knowledge or qualifications.
We aim to support the professional and personal wellbeing of everyone in Defra. Our benefits include generous annual leave, a contributory pension, staff bonuses and recognition, salary sacrifice benefit options, and an employee discount scheme. We also offer flexible working and a variety of learning and development opportunities.

Grade: SEO.

Two-year fixed-term appointment with the potential for extension or permanency.

Closing date

Applications for this post closed 11:59pm on Sunday 17th February 2019