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Policy Advisor

Category : Government
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Location : Leeds , London
Salary : £ 30,989 - £ 47,591
Type : Permanent
Closing Date : 2020-09-21
Date Posted : 2020-09-13
Reference : 36920  

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

About the posts

The Prison Policy Directorate sits within the Ministry of Justice and is responsible for advising Ministers on all aspects of prison policy. One of our key priorities includes reducing the number of prisoners who reoffend on release from prison. This part of the directorate works with other government departments, wider public services and the third sector to promote the prioritisation of reducing reoffending and identify ways we can work together more effectively. Supporting offenders to rehabilitate and integrate into society is vital to breaking the cycle of crime. We are looking for talented and forward-thinking individuals to join the Prison Leavers team, within the Prisoner Outcomes, Resettlement and Reoffending Division.

The Prison Leavers Project aims to improve the outcomes of people leaving prison by testing innovative new approaches to complex challenges which ‘cut across’ multiple organisations. We know that when people leave prison they face a wide range of challenges, such as securing employment and financial security, obtaining safe and stable accommodation, and building positive relationships with family, friends and the wider community. This project focuses on working across the whole system, at both a national and local level, to establish joint ownership of the challenges faced by people leaving prison and the potential solutions.

This role provides the opportunity to work on an exciting, fast-paced policy area and play a key role in developing a cross-public sector initiative.

We are a small, enthusiastic and collaborative team, within a supportive Directorate which has a strong emphasis on ensuring team members feel happy, supported and engaged in their work. We are keen to make a difference, working closely with partners and supporting everyone to play their part to improve prisons and the outcomes for prisoners. We have a strong commitment to personal and career development, helping everyone to grow and fulfil their potential.

Once you’ve joined our team you will be expected to:

  • Work flexibly and independently in your own areas of work.
  • Develop and build strong partnerships with colleagues in HMPPS and MoJ, as well as external stakeholders.
  • Collect a wide range of sources of data and evidence to inform policy development.
  • Analyse, interpret and present evidence to form sound policy options for wider discussion.
  • Effectively organise and prioritise your time to meet agreed deliverables.
  • Provide high-quality briefing to senior officials and Ministers, showing excellent oral and written communication skills.
  • Have the ability to work under pressure to tight deadlines.
  • Be proactive in seeking and identifying opportunities to change and improve your area of work.

Essential Skills

Thinking strategically

We are looking for individuals who think beyond what already exists, challenge received wisdom and find innovative ways to improve our work. Successful candidates will question what we want, objectively consider evidence of what works, think about what could be, and work through the wider implications.

Leading in ambiguity

Candidates should be comfortable working through complexity, and able to bring enthusiasm and direction to a changing and evolving policy area.

Stakeholder engagement and communication skills

The team is focused on collaborative working, so candidates should be confident in working with and encouraging input from a wide range of people, each with different styles and approaches.

Delivery focus

A proactive and structured approach will be important to meeting expectations in this fast-paced team. Candidates should be able to establish clear aims and scope a project, then plan and deliver to key milestones.

Candidate requirements

In your application, you will need to demonstrate how you meet the following Civil Service behaviours:

Seeing the big picture

  • We want someone with the ability to bring together views and perspectives of a range of partners and stakeholders to gain a wider picture of the landscape surrounding the policy area and an understanding of how their role supports MoJ and wider HMG objectives.

Changing and Improving

  • We are looking for candidates who proactively seek and identify innovative opportunities to improve the way that we work, and collaborate with others to bring about positive change.

Working together

  • We want someone who can establish effective relationships and collaborate with other departments and external stakeholders to support the delivery of cross-departmental objectives. Who will be capable and confident in engaging with senior managers.

Delivering at pace

  • We want someone who is able to take responsibility for the delegated work areas to deliver the expected outcomes on time and to a high standard; to be able to plan ahead as well as reprioritise at short notice.

At interview, as well as assessing the above behaviours, we will also ask questions to understand your strengths.

If a high number of applications are received we will sift application forms on the ‘working together’ behaviour.

You can find out more about behaviours and strengths by looking at the Civil Service Success Profiles guidance at: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/success-profiles


If you would like further information about the roles, please contact:

Katie Hewitt


The successful candidates are expected to be able to take up posts as soon as possible, and, if joining from another Civil Service post, with agreement from your current line management. The posts are available on promotion as well as level transfer.

For those candidates who successfully meet the job criteria but are not assigned to the initial posts, a merit/reserve list will be kept open for 12 months.

Selection Process: application form, CV and interview

Interviews will be held in London and are expected to take place from 28th September.

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