Data experts sought as government recruits 30 deputy directors for coronavirus response

Written by Beckie Smith and Sam Trendall on 1 June 2020 in News

Cabinet Office advertises for cross-government positions 

Credit: justgrimes/CC BY-SA 2.0

The Cabinet Office is seeking 30 deputy directors to work across government to bolster departments’ pandemic response.

In a job advert posted yesterday, the Cabinet Office said it was “urgently seeking a diverse range of talented individuals” to join departments’ senior leadership teams.

The deputy directors will earn between £70,000 and £117,800 and will work on a “multitude of emerging challenges and priorities as the government’s response to the pandemic moves forward and matures over time”, it said.

Top of the list of desired expertise is a demonstrable track record of “using data and evidence to make decisions and influence [and] experience of analysing complex problems and interpreting complex data to create and present evidence based insight and recommendations”.

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Government is also keen to those with experience of “using data to effectively drive recommendations, consider the impact on a vast range of customers from diverse backgrounds, understand and highlight risks to customers, and add value to the business”.

The successful candidates will ultimately contribute to setting strategic direction and developing new policy, delivering operational responses and bringing “high quality insight from a multitude of different data sources to inform strategy, policy and operations”.

The Cabinet Office said it was unable to say where successful applicants would be placed, but postings were likely to be in several departments including the Department of Health and Social Care, the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government, the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy and the Department for Transport.

“Successful candidates will be working on emerging priorities and as such the exact responsibilities and reporting structures for these posts will reflect the evolution of the government’s response to the pandemic and new challenges over time,” the ad said.

Responsibilities will include working with suppliers to obtain critical resources; bringing together experts to advice ministers and provide relevant evidence and research; delivering frontline services; and working on programmes to support businesses and citizens.

The Cabinet Office said it was seeking applications from a “broad range of candidates who are able to adapt quickly to a large scale and complex environment, can showcase their inspirational leadership qualities and bring fresh and diverse skills and perspectives into what will be a fast-paced and dynamic situation”.

They must have a track record of leadership, the ability to create strong relationships with a diverse mix of people, the “resilience to operate in a high profile and often high scrutiny environment” and good communication skills.

“The need for additional resource across government to support the government’s response to Covid-19 (coronavirus) and other priorities is expanding quickly as civil service departments continue to roll out their emergency response,” the job ad said.

“This is your opportunity to make a real difference and be involved in critical work that is vital for both the UK and international response to the pandemic.”


About the author

Beckie Smith is a reporter for PublicTechnology sister publication Civil Service World, where a version of this story first appeared. She tweets as @beckie__smith.

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