Join our Policy Teams and Shape a Better Tomorrow

Would you like to play your part in connecting the UK and growing our economy? Then take a look at the exciting and challenging opportunities that are currently available in the Department for Transport’s hubs in Birmingham and Leeds. 

At DfT, our job is to support the transport network that keeps people, goods and businesses moving around the country. We deliver multibillion-pound infrastructure projects across our road and rail networks, helping to connect our towns and cities more effectively to level up and grow our economy. We set the policy framework for our transport network to run smoothly and safely. We support and fund research and innovation in cutting-edge areas such as automated vehicles, spaceflight and green transport technologies. And we’re offering people more choices on how to stay connected while delivering the carbon reductions needed to achieve net zero. 

Our policy teams are at the forefront of delivering key transport initiatives that will have a transformative impact on the country. We need exceptional people from all backgrounds to deliver on our ambitious transport agenda in the coming years. That’s why we’d love to hear from you.  

Whether you have experience in making and influencing policy, or have the right skills and are looking for a new opportunity to deliver change, you’ll be warmly welcomed to our team. 

Now’s your chance to join DfT! 

Apply for a Senior Policy Lead Role in Birmingham or Leeds!

We are recruiting for Senior Policy Leads (Grade 7) across several roles, based in our Birmingham or Leeds offices. We are keen to talk to people who share our passion for improving the transport system. 

What we do at the Department for Transport

You might think of DfT as a Department that’s only focused on building and maintaining transport infrastructure. But behind all our investment in the UK’s transport systems lies years of policy work. Whether it’s our work to decarbonise the transport system, or setting the right rules and regulations for the transport of the future, the security we put in place at our borders, ports and airports, or our engagement and partnerships with local authorities to ensure transport meets local needs – all of this requires policy expertise.

Explore the Department for Transport Offices

DfTc Leeds

Wellington Place is located right at the heart of the city centre.

DfTc Birmingham

The Colmore Building is located in Birmingham’s business district.

About Policy at DfT 

Every civil servant belongs to a “profession”. The Policy Profession is one of over 20 of these professions within the Civil Service. As a policy professional, your job is to design, develop and propose appropriate courses of action to help meet key government priorities and ministerial objectives. You will provide ministers with honest, impartial, objective and accurate advice so they can make the right decisions for the country, shaping our transport system for the present and the future. You’ll be working on exciting challenges at the cutting edge of government policy and the ideal platform to develop an immensely rewarding career.  

We are recruiting for several Senior Policy Leads (Grade 7) across the Department. The specific focus of duties and responsibilities will vary between each role. However, all Senior Policy Lead can expect to: 

  • Gather and analyse data and information to develop policy options and recommendations on transport’s most important policy issues; 
  • Work closely with other teams across the Civil Service, and with industry, consumer groups, civil society and other external stakeholders to work towards shared goals; 
  • Communicate policy options and recommendations through high-quality advice and guidance to decision-makers, with regular exposure to senior civil servants and ministers; 
  • Lead a small team that collaborates to solve complex problems which affect multiple policy areas, building relationships with internal and external stakeholders across Government and beyond. 

Hear more at one of our Open Events 

We’re holding three online open events where you can find out more about the Department, what it’s like to work in policy, and the application process. There will be one session aimed at candidates for our Birmingham office, one for candidates for our Leeds office, and a final one for candidates in both locations towards the end of the application window.  

You’ll have the opportunity to hear from existing DfT employees in our Birmingham and Leeds offices who are working on some of the Department’s most high-profile projects. You’ll also find out more about the application process, including the experience and skills we look for in candidates, how to approach personal statements, success profiles and the policy exercise which you’ll need to do if you’re invited for an interview. And you’ll of course be able to ask any questions. 

Follow the links below to register for your spot:

Why should you work at DfT? 

We look after our people! You’ve got lots to offer us – and we’ve got lots to offer you in return.

As an employee at the Department for Transport you’ll have access to one of the most competitive pension schemes in the UK. We also offer lots of incentives to help you maintain a good work-life balance.

Keep reading to find out what DfT can offer you!

  • Benefits

    Being part of our brilliant Civil Service means you will have access to a wide range of fantastic benefits. We offer generous annual leave, attractive pension options, flexible working, inclusive working environments and much more to support a healthy work/life balance. 

  • A truly diverse and inclusive workplace

    Our people are at the heart of everything we do. We’re proud to be a great place to work, and that’s why we’re working to become one of the most diverse and inclusive in the Civil Service and the transport sector.  

    We have a multitude of staff network groups and are proud to be a Disability Confident Employer and a signatory to the Care Leaver Covenant. We have been ranked in The Times Top 50 Employers for Women and the Social Mobility Foundation’s top 75 employers for social mobility. Wherever possible, we offer flexible and variable working hours to help our staff have a healthy work/life balance.

  • Continuous Learning and Growth

    We are committed to supporting talented people from all backgrounds to deliver and to develop themselves. We prioritise learning and development throughout your career at DfT, both through formal and informal learning, and will help you grow as a manager and leader.  

    These are demanding, stretching and complex jobs – and it’s this that makes them so rewarding and enjoyable. You’ll be surrounded by enthusiastic, committed teams who will help you to thrive in these roles. 

Be a part of something important

Wondering what life as a Senior Policy Lead looks like? Hear what our colleagues have to say!

Emma, Senior Policy Lead

“Being a Senior Policy Lead is a great role which offers so many opportunities to learn and develop as a Civil Servant. You will become the expert on your policy area and be responsible for delivering real change for the public.”

Lauren, Delivery Lead, Accessible and Inclusive Travel Division

“I love the blended approach of theory learning and having the chance to apply my skills in the work environment.”

A day in the life of the Maritime Team

Kate, Head of UK Shipping Office for Reduced Emissions, and Dominic, Head of Promotions and Partnerships, talk about their experiences at London’s International Shipping Week 2023.

“In a typical week, I mix working from home and the Leeds office, as well as regularly visiting colleagues in Birmingham and London, and visiting projects across the UK.” – Kate, Head of UK Shipping Office for Reducing Emissions (SHORE) R&D Projects

What we’re looking for in a Senior Policy Lead

We need people from all walks of life to deliver our ambitious transport agenda. You don’t need to have specific transport knowledge or sector experience, and you don’t need to have direct experience working in a policy role. 

  • You should have experience using and analysing data and evidence from various credible sources to inform decision-making.
  • You should be able to demonstrate strong communication skills and be able to write clearly and logically, with experience in drafting briefings or papers that explain complex topics.
  • We’re looking for people who have led and managed successful teams, whether through direct line management or not, supporting people to develop and grow.   
  • Regardless of your background, work at the heart of government is ever-changing so it’s important that policy professionals are proactive and comfortable working in a dynamic environment. 

How DfT hires  

To recruit fairly, openly and accessibly, we use Success Profiles to assess candidates. This allows us to make sure how we hire is fair and inclusive, and that everyone gets the chance to show how they have the skills and experience for the job. 

Over the course of the application process, you’ll need to demonstrate how your experience, technical skills and behaviours relate to the role. We mark on a merit basis and use a Civil Service rating scale between 1 and 7 to score each assessment on the job advert.

Top tips for candidates

CV and Personal Statement

The panel reviewing your application want to know why you’re the best person for the job.

You should carefully read the role profile, so you are clear what skills and experience are required for the role. You should tailor your CV and personal statement to provide evidence and examples on how you meet the criteria; your personal statement should be up to 1,000 words and cover all of the Experience criteria set out in the role profile, and your CV should be a maximum of two sides of A4 (although note you will be required to upload it in plain text).

In both the CV and personal statement, the assessor will be looking for information on what you did, how you did it and why. Keep the focus on you – use “I” rather than “we” to explain your actions that led to the result. Don’t be afraid to take credit for your work – we want to know what you’ve achieved and what impact you made.

Policy Exercise

We use a Policy Exercise to assess your ability to write clearly and logically. You will have 75 minutes for the exercise. You will need to draw on relevant information from the materials provided, to develop a full and balanced assessment of a policy issue and set out a clear recommendation for what action the Government should take to address the issue. You should use clear, direct and concise language without jargon or acronyms. You will be sent a practice exercise in advance to familiarise yourself with the process.

Preparing for your Interview

If you are invited to interview, assessors will be looking for you to demonstrate evidence against the Behaviours outlined in the role profile.

Please take your time to read and understand the Civil Service Behaviours.  This will provide you with an overview of the behaviours and give you a greater understanding about what we are looking for in the job. Think about the work you’re proudest of and how you’ve demonstrated the core behaviours through that. You should choose examples that will allow you to explain in some detail what you personally did. You should use examples that had positive results, although you can also examples that had a less successful outcome, if you can demonstrate the lessons learned and how errors would be avoided in future.

Apply for a Senior Policy Lead role!

Follow the link below to view current vacancies at the Department for Transport.