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Policy Advisor, Economy Team

Category : Government
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Location : Belfast , London
Salary : £ 30,989 - £ 47,591
Type : Fixed Term , Loan
Closing Date : 2020-10-09
Date Posted : 2020-09-27
Reference : 37455  

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

Inclusion and diversity

The Northern Ireland Office is committed to being an inclusive employer with a diverse workforce. We encourage applications from people from the widest possible diversity of backgrounds, cultures and experiences.

We particularly welcome applications from Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) candidates, as they are under-represented within the NIO at this level.

The Northern Ireland Office strives to be an inclusive employer and is recognised by its staff and externally as being an employer where Diversity and Inclusion are valued.

We hold a Diversity & Inclusion Charter Mark and are an accredited Disability Confident Leader organisation.

In March 2018 we won the award for Best Employer for Diversity & Equality in Northern Ireland (small employer category) in a Gala Award ceremony hosted by Legal-Island, a multi-award winning workplace compliance company based in Northern Ireland.

We have an active D&I network supporting colleagues through D&I Advocates, championed by our Directors.

We want all our people to feel valued for who they are and we are confident that you will find the NIO a warm, welcoming and inclusive place to work.


The Northern Ireland Office represents Northern Ireland interests at a UK Government level and UK Government interests in Northern Ireland. We have a wide range of responsibilities, including: underpinning political stability in Northern Ireland; overseeing the Northern Ireland devolution settlement; leading on national security policy in Northern Ireland; addressing the legacy of Northern Ireland’s past; delivering elections and constitutional reform in Northern Ireland; playing a key role in rebalancing the NI economy; representing NI interests, including on the border with Ireland, as the UK exits the EU. Our small size and diverse portfolio create a stimulating, fast-paced and challenging working environment, with regular engagement with a range of Ministers and senior officials. We support flexible working and have a modern, flexible IT system which helps enable this.

About The Role:

The NIO’s Economy Group are recruiting for a Band B/SEO to join a dynamic and fast-paced team, working on a varied policy portfolio to develop and implement the UK Government’s economic priorities in Northern Ireland.

The Economy Group’s role is to work with other Whitehall departments and the Northern Ireland Executive to strengthen the economy, boost innovation, drive investment and promote Northern Ireland as a place to do business. The Economy Group consists of the Economic Strategy team, the Economic Delivery team and the Fiscal Policy team. Although the two roles are being recruited into the Fiscal Policy team, opportunities may arise to work across the Group, supporting ministerial priorities. These roles are located in the Fiscal Policy Team within the Northern Ireland Office’s Economy Group.

The Fiscal Policy Team supports the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland in making the best use of the range of spending levers at their disposal to achieve the UK Government’s strategic objectives in Northern Ireland. Key areas of work include:

Delivery of the £2bn New Decade, New Approach financial package to improve the lives of the people of Northern Ireland;

Delivery of the £562m City and Growth Deals programme to boost innovation and turbocharge the economy;

Working closely with the Treasury and the Northern Ireland Department of Finance to support the NI economy and deliver long term budget sustainability;

Influencing the allocation of investment in Northern Ireland through fiscal events, including the Budget and Autumn Statement to deliver UK Government objectives in Northern Ireland.

Communicating UK Government support and investment to NI businesses and wider stakeholders.

This post will require close working with Special Advisers and Ministers. As such there will be regular opportunities to lead on ministerial engagements. The successful candidate will be required to work independently, owning high-profile policy areas in order to drive forward a number of strategically important programmes for the department.

Duties And Responsibilities:

In this role you will lead on priority areas for the department, working independently to drive forward and deliver on major financial commitments. This is a small team with a high-profile portfolio and there will be opportunities to lead on major programmes of work which will have a real-world impact.

You will be responsible for leading briefings with Ministers and Special Advisors and engaging with external stakeholders. You will need to provide clear, compelling and straightforward verbal and written advice to ministers and senior officials. This role will involve building relationships across the NIO and other Government departments, and to own the department’s relationship with HM Treasury, You will need to link up relevant work across the department, ensuring a consistent and clear voice is presented across Whitehall and externally across a range of interconnected issues;

You will also be expected to monitor relevant developments in Northern Ireland, including activities of the Northern Ireland Executive and Assembly concerning your policy areas and take political developments into account in providing advice to Ministers. This will involve developing relationships across the Northern Ireland Civil Service, particularly with the NI Department for Finance.

This advert is open to both officials already at Band B/SEO level, and also to Band C/HEO who are applying on promotion. This is also open to external candidates with comparable skills or experience.

Essential Criteria:

To be successful you must be able to demonstrate that you have:

  • Good policy-making skills, with strong written and oral communication; and
  • Strong political awareness, with the capacity to understand the wider implications of both your work and that of others, across Government and externally.
  • A demonstrated ability to work independently in order to deliver significant projects or departmental priorities.

Desirable Criteria:

It would be desirable, but not essential, for applicants to have one or more of the following:

  • An understanding of Northern Ireland political and economic issues, including how devolution works;
  • Previous experience of working with Ministers (or equivalent senior decision-makers) and senior officials
  • Project Management experience; 

For the essential and desirable criteria please upload a suitability statement of no more than 250 words setting out how you meet the essential/desirable criteria.


We’ll assess you against the following Success Profile behaviours at Level 3 during the selection process:

  • Delivering at Pace
  • Making Effective Decisions
  • Working Together
  • Seeing the Big Picture
  • Communicating and Influencing

More information on behaviours and success profiles can be found here.

Please note that in the event of a large number of applications being received we may run the initial sift on the lead Behaviour, Delivering at Pace.

Security Clearance

Security clearance to Security Check (SC) level will be required for this post.

Pay And Allowances

The successful candidate will adopt the terms and conditions of the NIO for the length of their appointment.

Neither Detached Duty terms nor relocation costs will apply to this post.

Further Information

Further information about the post may be obtained from Eamon Graham on telephone number (07557139190) or e-mail to Eamon.Graham@nioo.gov.uk.


You can apply for this post through the Civil Service website at: civilservice.gov.uk. Once logged onto the site go to the civil service jobs page and then search for jobs in the Northern Ireland Office where the application form can be found.

Additional information received after the closing date will not be considered. Failure to provide sufficient information in support of an application prior to the closing date will not be considered as grounds for an appeal if an applicant is not shortlisted for interview.

Home Civil Service applicants who, because of disability, need assistance in completing the application form should contact MoJ Shared Services on 0845 010 3512.

All applications for employment are considered strictly on the basis of merit.

This job description should not be taken as constituting conditions of employment.

Please note that due to the high interest in NIO opportunities, feedback cannot be given if you are unsuccessful at sift stage. Feedback is available on request if unsuccessful following interview.

Additional Information

Further information about us

We are a small and friendly department of approximately 203 staff. Due to our size we are able to offer staff more exposure to ministers and the opportunity to work on a far wider portfolio of responsibilities than might be the case in a larger department. This creates an interesting, though often challenging, work environment.

Guaranteed Interview Scheme

The Northern Ireland Office operates the Guaranteed Interview Scheme, details of which are attached to the application form for this post.

In the event that we identify more appointable candidates than we currently have posts available, we will hold applicant details on a reserve list for a period of 12 months from which further appointments can be made. This may include roles at a lower grade. Candidates placed on a reserve list will be informed of this. Those candidates who do not wish to remain on the reserve list should contact MoJ-recruitment-vetting-enquiries@gov.sscl.com to be removed from the reserve list.

Further information on civil service careers can be found at  www.civil-service-careers.gov.uk

The Civil Service Code sets out the standards of behaviour expected of civil servants.  

Appointment to the Civil Service is governed by the Civil Service Commission’s Recruitment Principles. You have the right to complain if you feel a department has breached the requirement of the Recruitment Principles.

Please contact SSCL (Moj-recruitment-vetting-enquiries@sscl.gse.gov.uk) in the first instance.

If you are not satisfied with the response, you may bring your complaint to the Commission. For further information on bringing a complaint to the Civil Service Commission please visit their web pages:


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