Head of Engineering

Discipline: IT

Sector: Central Government

Location: Birmingham, Blackpool, Leeds, Manchester, Newcastle or Sheffield

Type: Permanent

Date posted: 23/05/2022

Start: ASAP

Duration: Permanent

Salary: Up to £100,000 per annum


The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) is undergoing an unprecedented change to the welfare system, and to the products and services delivered by around 100,000 employees to some 22 million customers. The DWP are seeking the addition of an outstanding leader as Head of Engineering on a permanent basis.

This senior role represents a unique opportunity to join the leadership team at DWP Digital, one of the most rewarding places to work in digital in the UK today. Our goal is to help DWP to transform the welfare state by delivering simpler, faster and easier to use services that meet the diverse needs of our citizens. This role will allow you to shape and deliver engineering excellence, ensuring our capability, processes, tools and standards are market leading.

We are looking for a driven and passionate digital leader, an excellent coach who can collaborate with others across a diverse range of engineering disciplines and teams, and is not afraid to challenge current thinking, offer innovative ideas and encourage change.

DWP Digital is seeking a Head of Engineering to drive the continued maturity of the Engineering Practice. You will define engineering standards, processes and tools and ensure they are adhered to by over 50 teams working in parallel. This role will allow you to operate across the UK Government and beyond.

The role offers the chance to lead a vast community of DWP engineers, facilitate cross-government engagement and drive excellence as Head of Practice through the new Application Reference Architecture (ARA). This is a key role that supports the engineering strategy and delivery of all Digital Group’s systems and services, including UK Critical National Infrastructure and ambitious transformation plans.

The post holder will report directly to the Director Sponsor of Engineering and be accountable for oversight of engineering changes to CNI (Government Critical National Infrastructure) assets. They will also be pivotal in building and developing the engineering capability across DWP Digital, including apprenticeships, Learning and Development and acquiring new skills from the market.

As Head of Engineering, key responsibilities include:

  • Managing, leading, and developing engineering capability to ensure the knowledge, skills and capacity to meet our objectives
  • Building and maintaining strong relationships across DWP Digital Group, our Engineering community and Engineering communities across UK Government
  • Setting and maintaining a clear direction for the Engineering Practice, with highly focused priorities and project/programme outcomes aligned with the Department’s Digital strategy and goals
  • Setting standards and assessing delivery of engineering excellence for all DWP Digital
  • Actively promote the Application Reference Architecture (ARA) and new ways of working to develop great collaboration across delivery teams
  • Specific accountability for ensuring all aspects of the ARA across Digital Group is correctly engineered, setting engineering standards and measuring effectiveness of these across Digital Group
  • Active participation in Senior Leadership Teams and wider community, learning, sharing, and re-applying skills and knowledge to bring in good practice, specifically across engineering disciplines
  • Contributing to and influencing organisational transformation to support the ARA and delivery at pace
  • Leading by example to help transform the culture of our organisation, fostering a high trust, empowered environment, within guiderails
  • Be the DWP Digital voice of engineering across UK government
  • As Head of Practice the postholder will use their domain expertise to define and uphold the standards required for delivery, promoting consistency, and driving excellence and professionalism across Engineering. Judgement will be required on adoption of standards while meeting DWP aims and ambitions in the short, medium, and long term.
  • Undertaking specific engineering reviews of products and services to ensure they are fit for purpose with requested.
  • Using sound judgement to bring together deep engineering experts with diverse views to finding a unified way forward for the betterment of DWP, drawing on engineering skills from internal and external sources as needed.

To be successful in this role, you will need extensive breadth and depth of digital engineering experience built though a variety of roles, and ideally in a number of organisations.

As the focus of Digital Group’s engineering excellence, you will need to have the depth of knowledge and experience to speak with authority on all engineering related matters, be an expert in your own right and be able to lead other experts in the engineering field.

A significant element of the role should be conducted via coaching / mentoring and therefore deep experience (and preferably qualifications) of this approach is required

In addition, the successful candidate will have:

  • The ability to influence, manage and challenge complex senior stakeholder relationships in order to best deploy engineering capability across Digital Group, including at Director level.
  • High levels of personal resilience, remaining calm under pressure with the ability to think and act strategically, developing practical, creative, and innovative solutions and approaches, and driving these forward through others.
  • The ability to communicate effectively and build strong credible relationships at all levels with varying stakeholders without relying on line management structure.
  • The ability to lead delivery in a matrixed environment with distributed teams with competing priorities.

Throughout the application process we will be considering the following Behaviours:

  • Leadership
  • Communicating and Influencing
  • Working together
  • Changing and Improving

Please view the candidate pack for further details on the role and additional information on DWP Digital.

DWP Digital are open to applicants from all backgrounds and sectors. Prior Civil Service experience is not a pre-requisite, however, applicants must demonstrate the ability to operate a scale in a complex environment. DWP Digital are an equal opportunity employer and value diversity in our organisation.

Applicants will be required to provide an up to date CV and supporting statement (up to 2 pages) detailing how you meet the role’s requirements. You will also provide a completed diversity form.

The closing date for applications is Sunday 19th June at 23:55.

To apply, please email DWP@allenlane.co.uk.

The successful candidate will be required to obtain security clearance (SC) level clearance before taking up post. This role can be based in the following DWP Hub locations:  Birmingham, Blackpool, Leeds, Manchester, Newcastle or Sheffield. This role is suitable for hybrid working, which is where an employee works part of the week in their DWP office and part of the week from home.

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London, SW1Y 6RJ

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