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Head of Employability Improvement and Design Unit

This job is closed and is displayed for reference only. 

Job summary

Grade - C2
Around 37.00 per week
Closing Date
03 December 2021 at midnight
Employment Type
Permanent Employee

Eligible Grades – All
Location – 5 Atlantic Quay, Glasgow, G2 8LU
Further Information – Staff on any working pattern may apply

Employability has a pivotal role to play in addressing existing social and economic inequalities, and can act as a significant lever in progressing key Scottish Government ambitions including our efforts to halve the Disability Employment Gap, eradicate Child Poverty and move to a Just Transition and a society which prioritises Fair Work.

This post offers an exciting challenge to lead the development of the Scottish employability agenda, including our strategic response to tacking labour market inequalities. The Division has a strong focus on developing an individualised approach to employability support which is built around the needs of those who use services to deliver effective and aligned public services, and a smooth and effective interaction between reserved and devolved responsibilities. We are increasingly looking to take collaborative, design-led approaches to coordinating a wide ranging system reform, integrating and aligning activity across employability support and other related services, requiring a greater level of collective leadership across the bodies which fund employability provision. Through No One Left Behind, the Employability Division is driving this reform by establishing a more collaborative approach with Local Government and other delivery partners across the third, public and private sectors. Whilst No One Left Behind will see the transfer of significant investment from national to local governance, this must be supported by a shift towards increased user engagement, enhanced partnership working and development of a shared measurement framework. No One Left Behind builds on the successful implementation of Fair Start Scotland, Scotland's devolved employability service which was launched in April 2018, using new powers devolved through the Scotland Act 2016. Under these powers, Scottish Ministers have a statutory duty to provide employment support for disabled people and those at risk of long-term unemployment.

This C2 post is integral in ensuring delivery of a range of outcomes and impact from Scottish Ministers investment in employability services, in particular in ensuring employability supports the NPF and broad range of key SG priorities such as Tackling Child Poverty, National Strategy for Economic Transformation and the Covid Recovery Strategy.

Reporting to the Deputy Director, the post holder will be a key member of the Division's leadership team. The post currently manages five C1 Team Leaders with a unit of approximately 30 staff, including secondees and specialist staff from the DDAT framework. You will be expected to function independently and take full responsibility for your work and that of your teams. This will include keeping up-to-date with relevant developments concerning the policies and services you manage in a dynamic and changing environment, building effective relationships to help you do so, and to produce and broker solutions for submission to senior staff and Ministers. You must be able to see ways to adapt precedents/principles, to work with complex ideas and arrive at evidence based decisions.

Main Duties
• You will contribute to the collective leadership of the Employability Division, building strong networks with external partners, applying and championing agile programme management approaches to our work and providing support and coaching to colleagues within the Unit.
• You will lead the No One Left Behind programme of transformational change, holding direct responsibility for the following workstreams:
1. Service Design;
- You will use the Scottish Approach to Service Design to co-produce a robust national framework which establishes an all age employability system that is person centred, more joined up, flexible and responsive to individual needs
2. Shared Measurement Framework;
- You will establish a national outcomes and shared measurement framework, developing and implementing a minimum viable product by April 2022.
3. Policy & Finance;
1. You will develop a strategic financial approach that reflects an overall national coherence and balances this with appropriate levels of local and regional flexibility, evidenced by the needs of individuals and local/regional geographies.
4. Alignment and Integration;
You will work across a range of key public services to align public policy and practice to improve outcomes and value from public expenditure. The current Critical Path timeline comes to an end in April 2022 and you will lead development of the next phase of reform, building consensus on the agenda with partners ahead of seeking joint agreement from Ministers and COSLA.
• You will play a key role in managing the Division's relationship with Local Authorities, COSLA and the third sector, chairing the Employability Operational Group. This is a high profile group which reports directly into a newly established Transforming Employment Support Services Group co-chaired by Ministers and COSLA and including independent expert members to provide scrutiny and challenge on delivery of the No One Left Behind.
• You will establish and lead The Role of Labour Market Policies in tackling Child Poverty project, a cross portfolio-project attracting significant stakeholder, senior official and ministerial interest to develop and take forward key proposals as part of the next iteration of the Tackling Child Poverty Action Plan.

Essential Criteria
1. You will have the ability to build strong, credible relationships with people, including senior leaders, and operate with political astuteness. You will be comfortable developing networks based on trust and working collectively with a wide range of stakeholders such as local authorities, public bodies and the third sector to secure collective commitment/key decisions in an environment
2. You will be confident managing change and achieving impact, with the ability to ensure priorities are achieved on time. You will understand the importance of, and be able to nurture, a positive culture for improvement. The ability to develop policy, advocate change and constructively challenge the status quo, bringing others with you, is key.
3. You will have excellent leadership and management skills and the ability to motivate and develop high performing and resilient teams which work collaboratively across the unit and beyond, with a focus on delivering outcomes that support the ambitions of the national performance framework. Given the size of the unit, you will be confident in having difficult conversations with staff when necessary and ensuring that poor performance is tackled constructively.
4. You will have strong experience of using evidence, political acuity and creative thinking to develop and deliver strategic policy priorities, building consensus across key stakeholders and gaining ministerial agreement to evidence based decisions.

People Management
Leading Others
Analysis and Use of Evidence
Improving Performance

Provisional Dates for Sift and Assessment
To be confirmed.

Minimum Time in Post
The successful candidate will be expected to remain in post for a minimum of three years unless successful at gaining promotion to a higher Band or Grade.

In the event that further posts are required, a reserve list of successful candidates will be kept for up to 9 months.

Additional Information
Applicants must discuss their intention to apply with their current line manager to help ensure release dates can be agreed.

Important Information Regarding Interviews
In recognition of the Scottish Government's ongoing measures and guidance in its response to Covid-19 (Coronavirus), we would like to advise applicants that a decision has been taken that all interviews must be conducted in a virtual/remote setting.

In order to facilitate this new way of working, we are asking all applicants to ensure that they have a suitable space to complete the virtual interview. In addition, a personal device of choice, which has the interview application downloaded. This could be MS Teams or Webex for example. This will allow candidates to undertake the interview/assessment if selected. We are also asking you to ensure that your personal Wi-Fi/Broadband capacity will be sufficient to carry both audio and video feeds.

For information on this post please contact Joanne Farrow via email at joanne.farrow@gov.scot

The Scottish Government is a diverse and inclusive workplace and we want to help you demonstrate your full potential whatever type of assessment is used. If you require any adjustments to our recruitment process, please let us know via recruitment@gov.scot

Further information for this job


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