Rail Policy Officer - West Yorkshire Combined Authority

West Yorkshire Combined Authority
37 hours per week
Leeds City Centre (Temporarily Remote)
Grade L: £41,216 (with progression in-grade to £47,724)

Kirklees Council are advertising this role on behalf of West Yorkshire Combined Authority.

We are seeking to appoint a Rail Policy Officer in our busy rail policy team, part of our economic and transport policy function.

You will shape the development of our rail and wider transport strategies, leading areas of our work. This includes influencing our work with Transport for the North and helping us to secure the best outcomes for West Yorkshire in rail investment programmes promoted by a whole range of partners, as well as our own schemes.

The Combined Authority brings together local councils and businesses across West Yorkshire including through the Leeds City Region Enterprise Partnership (LEP). It is an exciting time to be joining us, following confirmation of a £1.8bn devolution deal in 2020, and as we prepare for the election of a directly elected mayor in 2021. The deal will enable us to drive up living standards for local communities while tackling the climate emergency and help deliver our commitment to become a net zero carbon city region by 2038.

The Role

The role offers the right person a great opportunity to help shape and influence the way the railway contributes to our social, economic, and environmental objectives. This is a high-profile area of our work, often demanding a fast-paced and responsive approach, including briefings for elected members and working with our communications team.

You will be part of a team involved in several areas of strategy and implementation relating to the railway. We have just launched our Connectivity Infrastructure Plan and our Rail Vision. In the coming year we will be developing detailed rail policies that set out how we put these into effect. You can expect to be leading areas of this work, particularly in policy development.

As well as strategy development, we are actively working with our council and industry partners to develop and promote a pipeline of transport schemes. You should also expect to be working with colleagues in scheme development and delivery to shape these projects where the Combined Authority is taking a lead promoter role (such as new stations), and ensure we actively apply lessons from past projects to make our decisions more effective.

A fundamental part of the team’s work is influencing the work of others, including the rail industry (operators and Network Rail) and DfT, both directly and through Transport for the North. This means shaping the development of investment plans and priorities, including for important regional and national projects such as HS2, Northern Powerhouse Rail, and Transpennine Route Upgrade, as well as vital investment in the local network and services.

Fundamental reform of the rail industry is underway, changing the way the network and services are planned, funded, and delivered. This reform will generate exciting new opportunities for influence and working in partnership, underlining the importance of establishing a robust strategy proposition for West Yorkshire, and the importance of our relationships.

The Role Profile provides for more information about the responsibilities.

About You

You will have strong analytical skills, with the ability to interpret and communicate insights fluently to a range of audiences. You should be from a transport planning, transport economics or related discipline, educated to degree level or equivalent. You need strong project management skills and an attention to detail.

We are keen to hear from candidates with experience in one of more of the following areas:

  • Transport strategy and / or public policy development
  • Demand and / or revenue forecasting techniques
  • Investment planning and funding
  • Transport scheme development and appraisal

Direct rail experience will provide you with a head-start but is not essential if you can demonstrate how your expertise can be applied to the role. More important is a thorough understanding of the way that rail projects and services are developed, funded, and delivered, and as importantly, the ways in which the railway contributes to our economic, social, and environmental priorities.

We work in a complex multi-stakeholder environment, which relies on excellent partnership working to achieve our objectives. You should thrive on the challenges this generates and relish the opportunity to grow your skills in bringing a range of partners together both for establishing shared policy agendas and to effectively influence the policies, plans and decisions of others. You should be able to point to good examples of where you have used your skills to secure good outcomes in these environments.

A strong grasp of public policy making is essential in our work. You should be able to point to understanding of how public policy is developed and what it takes to be effective. This could be from a background in the private sector or industry where you would bring a valuable external perspective on how we influence partners.

Experience of working with elected representatives and with accountable democratic process will be an advantage but is not essential if you can demonstrate a good understanding of what this involves. The necessary technical training and advice will be available.

Our Role Profile provides more information about the knowledge and experience we are looking for.

If you combine a solid technical grounding with the tactical competencies we need to shape and deliver our objectives for West Yorkshire, then we want to hear from you.

Our Offer

Alongside a competitive salary, we offer an excellent benefits package including:

  • 28 days annual leave plus bank holidays
  • Generous employer contribution pension scheme
  • Fully funded travel in West Yorkshire on bus and rail with the MCard (currently under review)
  • Flexible working practices with Health and Wellbeing initiatives to ensure you achieve the best work / life balance and career goals.

Applicants are advised that the Combined Authority is currently in consultation with employees and Trade Unions to review the Terms and Conditions of Employment and Staff Benefits. The detail of the proposals for change, will be discussed with the successful candidate at the point of offer.

To Apply

If this sounds like your next role, please upload your CV to our online application form telling us why you would be a great fit for our role. Please visit Our Website for more information and details of how to apply. Please apply by 11:55pm on 28 February 2021.

Further Information

For further information about the role, please get in contact with Richard Crabtree, by e-mail in the first instance: richard.crabtree@westyorks-ca.gov.uk

Applicants with a disability are guaranteed an interview, subject to the minimum criteria being met.

The Combined Authority’s aim is to attract people from diverse backgrounds to build on our inclusive culture and represent the communities we serve. We welcome applications from everyone regardless of sex, race, disability, age, sexual orientation, transgender status, religion or belief, marital status, or pregnancy and maternity.

We are committed to inclusivity and will consider requests for flexible working including part time and job share arrangements.

Candidates will be notified of invitation to interview by e-mail and interviews will be carried out either by phone or video interview.

Please note that whilst it is our policy to recruit at SP1 for all appointments, which is the salary stated above, each role includes career salary progression, with incremental increases applicable in most cases, on an annual basis.

Due to the high volumes of applications we receive, we are unable to respond to every applicant. If you have not heard from us within four weeks of the closing date, please assume that your application has been unsuccessful on this occasion.

Candidate information will be retained by the Combined Authority for six months unless you make a request for this to be deleted.

28 February 2021, 11:55 PM