Policy Advisor – Building Safety – Department for International Development – Darlington

Department for International Development

Job summary

About HM Treasury

If you’re interested in making a difference to people’s lives across the country, the Treasury is the department for you! We sit at the centre of everything that the Government does and have provided advice on economic policy and decisions that affect the public finances throughout the country’s history. A Treasury career continues to offer an exciting opportunity to be part of the decision making that affects the whole of the UK.

Working at the heart of government, we collaborate with other departments to ensure public money is spent well and to drive strong and sustainable economic growth. Our work ranges from protecting customers through to the regulation of the financial sector, helping to reduce carbon emissions and creating a greener economy, supporting people across the country through the COVID 19 furlough scheme and Plan for Jobs as well as helping first time buyers buy their first home.

HM Treasury is proud of a diverse and inclusive work environment, committed to fairness and the promotion of equality of opportunity for all. We know that having a range of experiences, ways of working and thinking makes us a stronger organisation, better at developing policy that is reflective of the communities we serve. We embrace different views and experiences and value the fresh perspective that people from a variety of circumstances bring to the work we do. We welcome applications from candidates who have not previously worked for the Civil Service, mid- and late-career changers with transferrable skills, people from all backgrounds and circumstances regardless of disability, gender, age ethnicity, LGBT+ identity and socio-economic status.

The Darlington Economic Campus is a pioneering new cross-government hub which will bring people together across departments and public organisations to play an active role in the most important issues of the day.

HM Treasury in Darlington will be joined by the Department for International Trade, the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, the Office for National Statistics, the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, the Competition and Markets Authority, the Department for Education and the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport.

Job description

Public Services Group

The Public Services Group is at the heart of the Treasury’s work to secure strong and sustainable public finances. We manage public spending of more than £250 billion across key public services and departments, including health, education, the police, the criminal justice system, local government, housing, defence and the devolved administrations in Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland.

We do this by working with other government departments, ministers, and other Treasury teams to ensure that spending plans support high quality public services and provide value for money for the taxpayer.

Our roles offer a range of opportunities to work with senior leaders in other government departments, as well as helping to ensure the effective delivery of public services that so many people rely on.

About the Team

The Housing, Planning and Cities team is responsible for managing the spending for the Department of Levelling Up, Housing and Communities (DLUHC). This involves managing spending and working with DLUHC on policies to accelerate house building, make housing more affordable, and levelling up (reducing inequalities between different places in the UK). We work closely with DLUHC as well as many other teams in HMT, No10 and other departments. We are responsible for over £10bn of public spending each year, covering a huge range of government priorities including housing, homelessness, planning reform, local economic growth and levelling up opportunity across the UK.

We are a friendly and inclusive team of around 25, welcome people from all backgrounds and support flexible working patterns. This role offers an exciting opportunity to work on Government priorities across housing supply, regeneration and the role of the planning system – and includes the opportunity to work across the Treasury and DLUHC. 

Key Accountabilities

We are recruiting for a policy adviser to join the building safety and housing supply branch of the team.

This is a stretching role working at the heart of Government, which will give the post holder the opportunity to gain experience of policy development across building safety issues, ensuring that all buildings are safer, following the Grenfell tragedy.

The role will have a mix of public spending control and policy development. The post holder will help to manage major spending programmes such as the Building Safety Fund, as well as engaging with DLUHC and HMT colleagues on policy decisions on a new building safety regulator and industry levy.

The role may also involve strategic support to the wider team on housing supply issues.

We are looking for someone who will also make a contribution to the wider team alongside their day-to-day responsibilities (this could be by leading on an aspect of the team’s wellbeing, learning and development or diversity and inclusion initiatives, depending on your interests/experience).

Key responsibilities include:

Develop the HMT position on building safety policy and spending issues. This involves managing significant Government spending programmes to remediate unsafe cladding providing ministers with advice on delivery and value for money and ensuring that action taken is proportionate. Influence work as Government seeks to raise funds from industry to support remediation. Influence DLUHC as they set up a new building safety regulator.

Support the wider branch on strategic work to support house building market . This involves understanding the links between building safety policy and housing supply. It also involves feeding into wider strategy advice and briefing to ministers on housebuilding, representing HMT at governance boards and clearing relevant business cases where necessary.

Build and maintain excellent relationships with colleagues in the Treasury, DLUHC and Homes England, to partner in and influence policy development.

Work confidently with evidence to ensure decisions are made on the basis of the best available information and analysis.

The post would suit someone who is flexible and adaptable to shifting work priorities. Prior experience in housing or public spending is desirable but not essential. If you would like to discuss the role in further detail, please contact India Barker ([email protected]).

Person specification

Required Skills, Experience and Behaviours:

The below criteria will be assessed in your application form. 

The lead criteria is:

Analysing quantitative and qualitative information from a variety of sources and identifying key strengths and weaknesses, to inform strategic policy choices. ( Making Effective Decisions )

If we receive large volumes of applications, we will conduct an initial sift on the lead criteria only, which will usually be a behaviour. This may be an experience or technical skill, but only where critical to the position.   

We will assess the below further criteria in your application form:

Building and maintaining strong networks to achieve progress on shared objectives, including providing constructive challenge ( Working Together )

Excellent judgment and critical thinking skills, including an ability to prioritise effectively across a wide range of complex policy and technical areas ( Seeing the Big Picture )

Candidate Guidance on Completing your Application Form

Where will we assess success profiles across your application form.

Behaviours – these will be assessed individually with a 250-word statement per behaviour. The application form will indicate which behaviour is being assessed each time you provide a statement, and we are ideally looking for an example using the below STAR method to demonstrate this behaviour in line with the full criteria stated

All elements of the success profiles will be linked to a defined criterion that demonstrates the behaviour, experience or technical skills. It is beneficial to ensure your answer focuses on the full criteria, and not just the related success profile, to give you the best chance or providing the evidence the panel wants to assess.

In your statements, it is best to focus on one example in each section to allow you to provide enough detail in your answer and use all the words you have been allocated. Examples from a range of roles across your application will demonstrate that you have the skills, experience and behaviours we are looking for. We would also advise you to use examples that best meet the criteria, even if it is a few years old.

How to Structure your Answer

Please use the STAR (Situation, Task, Action, Result) approach when writing your application answers.

Situation – Describe the situation you found yourself in and what happened.

Task – The Hiring Manager will want to understand what you tried to achieve from the situation that you found yourself in.

Action – What actions did you take and how did you do it. Make sure to use “I”, not “we” to explain how your actions lead to a result.

Result – Use facts and statistics to demonstrate the results that your actions produced. Explain whether it was a succe

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