Deputy Director: Maritime, Policy and Strategy

Contract Type
Birmingham, Leeds, London
Expiry Date
This is an exciting time to join the Department for Transport. Our role is to ensure we help connect people and places, an agenda which has never been more important.

Job Description


This is an exciting time to join the Department for Transport.

Our role is to ensure we help connect people and places, an agenda which has never been more important.

It is through improved transport connectivity that we can help connect people to jobs, and businesses to customers.

Now we have left the European Union, our future prosperity depends on our ability to connect to the rest of the world. This connectivity is the life-blood of trade and inward investment.

Maritime trade and the UK maritime sector are at the heart of the government’s plans for economic growth and the UK’s position as a global trading nation. This is an opportunity to help lead a vitally important and hugely successful sector through a period of significant change.

We are rightly proud of the UK’s position as a global maritime leader and the Department’s expertise and influence on maritime matters around the world.

The UK remains the world’s most important maritime centre, servicing the majority of the world’s shipping on which the global economy depends. The UK is dependent on maritime trade to move much of the food, energy, goods and commodities on which we depend, moving 95% of everything that enters or leaves the United Kingdom. UK ports are also the crucial link in our export chain.

Job description

As Deputy Director responsible for Policy and Strategy you will drive the UK government’s work in delivering its ambitious programme of activity to deliver the Maritime 2050 strategy as well as helping the sector respond to the demands of COVID-19. This is a great high-profile role with an opportunity to make a real difference to both the industry, and the future prosperity of our country.

The UK has a dynamic maritime industry with a highly privatised and liberalised ports sector and world leading clusters of maritime professional services (insurance, ship brokering, legal services etc). The global shipping sector carries over 80% of world trade, the volume of which is expected to double by 2030. The UK is therefore ideally positioned to exploit this and drive growth in the maritime sector.

The UK’s maritime and marine sectors are key to Britain’s economy contributing at least £14 billion gross value added (GVA) and directly supporting 168,000 jobs. This means that the sector is of the same scale as other high value industries like pharmaceutical manufacturing, aerospace and the road freight industry.

With the publication of Maritime 2050 in early 2019, we have an ambitious programme of activity to deliver in the coming years. We are also responsible for helping the sector respond to the demands of COVID-19.


The role-holder will be accountable for:

• Immediate policy response to secure short-term recovery of the sector from COVID-19, including driving cross- Government and other stakeholders support.
• Implementing the policy vision and strategy for Maritime development and investment into the medium and long term, reflecting recovery and different growth paths resulting from COVID-19.
• Setting the direction for how Maritime will deliver the UK’s economic priorities across trade and levelling up.
• Overseeing the strategy engagement of Maritime with the sector and across Government and ensuring teams work with stakeholders collaboratively to develop and deliver policy.
• Overseeing business planning and programme management (to include the Directorate’s plans for the forthcoming Spending Review)
• Leadership responsibility across Maritime and wider SMT, being a visible member of the management team, with responsibility for a team of c30.

Who are we looking for?

• A natural leader capable of growing and nurturing a high-performing, diverse and inclusive team; motivating and engaging team members across the Directorate, supporting their development and managing performance against a background of a high profile and political programme.
• You will also be responsible for ensuring that these critical programmes have the right resources, skills and partners.
• You will lead relations with the sector to design policy collaboratively and innovatively with a range of stakeholders including ports, operators, investors, Local and Devolved Administrations, business groups and regulators.
• The roles will involve working in close partnership with wider DfT colleagues and HMT. You will also work closely with the Secretary of State and Maritime Minister, their offices and Special Advisers

Person Specification:

We are looking for a Deputy Director who is capable of progressing complex policies and programmes with energy and pace; can deal flexibly with uncertainty and change; adeptly work with external and Whitehall partners to deliver outcomes collaboratively; and excel at leading and building high performing teams. The successful candidate must therefore be able to demonstrate their capabilities and experience in the following areas:

• Proven ability to negotiate and influence at the highest level. Able to build credibility and solid relationships with influential stakeholders across organisational boundaries including industry partners, Ministers and cross Government officials to deliver successful outcomes.
• Proven leader, able to lead diverse and highly motivated teams through transformational change with exceptional emotional intelligence. Able to build a resilient team who thrive under pressure and uncertainty.
• Proven financial leader, experienced in managing complex funding streams and able to use interdisciplinary evidence to influence decision making.
• Able to effectively analyse complex and inter-related issues and deliver information in a clear and concise manner.
• Proven ability to implement and deploy policy, addressing complex commercial and economic issues with clear strategic direction whilst also delivering policy outcomes effectively using governance, project and risk tools.