Principal Private Secretary

Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport
£65,000 - £80,000
29 Mar 2018
22 Apr 2018
Contract Type
Full Time

This role is an opportunity to work at the heart of government as the Principal Private Secretary to the DCMS Secretary of State, advising him on a wide range of issues, handling situations on his behalf, facilitating business between DCMS, Downing Street and other Government Departments, developing policies and setting strategy, organising and conducting meetings, events and visits. 

The successful candidate will be organised, strategic, have strong and concise communication skills, and be able to prioritise and handle multiple issues concurrently. 

Specific tasks include: 

- Working with teams across the Department and Government to develop new policy proposals that fit the Government's overall strategy — underpinning them with evidence, providing challenge and support, resolving differences, and negotiating solutions. 

- Ensuring that the Secretary of State’s priorities are being delivered and that he is fully supported across all his and the Ministerial teams work. 

- Ensuring that the Secretary of State’'s day-to-day business is transacted efficiently and in a timely manner, including overseeing the Parliamentary team, Freedom of Information team and Correspondence team. 

- Working closely with DCMS’ press office to prepare for announcements, speeches and comms opportunities. 

- The post holder will work with the Secretary of State, policy teams and other stakeholders on developing new policies, managing planned announcements, and dealing with day-to-day issues as they arise. 

- The post holder is responsible for ensuring that the Secretary of State is advised on all significant areas of the relevant Department’s business and that his views on how work is progressing are conveyed to teams and acted on. 

- Ensuring that the Secretary of State receives high quality and timely advice on the full range of issues and announcements is therefore critical. There is also an important role to play in liaising with other teams in Downing Street, the Cabinet Office and other government department. 

- As well as supporting the Secretary of State, the post holder is responsible for the private offices for the other five Ministers in DCMS, the Permanent Secretary’s office and the Ministerial Support team (approx 50 people) 

- Actively contributing to DCMS leadership as a whole, chairing Executive Sub Committees as needed and living our values: 

  • - “One DCMS” – we value & develop everyone, sharing success 
  • - Respect for all; celebrating diversity 
  • - We empower and challenge each other within a no blame culture 
  • - We are professional; prioritising work and taking responsibility to get the job done 
  • - Keep DCMS a great place to work, attracting the best people 

This post particularly requires strong leadership and communication as well as proven strategic thinking and analysis and use of evidence skills. Candidates should also be able to demonstrate partnership working and strong stakeholder management skills. 

In the selection process applicants will need to demonstrate how they meet the following essential skills and requirements: 

● Recent or prior experience of working in Whitehall 

● Strong leadership skills, both of high performing teams and corporately; and the ability to motivate and manage a team to deliver at pace on a challenging and complex agenda. 

● A proven track record of working closely and recently with senior ministers and special advisers, and the ability to get under the skin of political priorities and translate that into policy development. 

● The personal presence, effectiveness and credibility to operate at a very senior level across Whitehall, giving authoritative advice to the SoS and a strong lead to the Department. 

● The ability to work at pace in a complex cross-departmental environment, driving progress in the face of a range of competing views and priorities and being calm and resilient in pressurised situations. 

● Highly developed policy and strategic analysis skills to provide policy challenge and fresh ideas across a broad range of policy and in response to break in events. 

● Highly developed communication, networking and negotiation skills. 

A working knowledge of, and networks across DCMS’ sectors is highly desirable, although not essential. 

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