DfE seeks candidates for ‘pivotal’ roles in Sunak’s skills agenda

Adverts go live for new directors of funding, technical qualifications and skills strategy

Adverts go live for new directors of funding, technical qualifications and skills strategy

The Department for Education is looking for three new high-level directors to lead on funding, technical qualifications and skills strategy.

Job adverts for the posts went out this week, stating that the roles are “pivotal” in delivering the government’s skills agenda which is a “top priority” for the prime minister.

A permanent director of funding is sought to lead a team of 300 in the DfE’s Education and Skills Funding Agency.

The successful applicant, who will earn £95,000 a year, will take over from interim director of funding Owen Jenkins who has held the post since August 2021 after John Edwards stepped up to be the ESFA’s interim chief executive.

The funding director leads a “multi-disciplinary directorate made up of teams of experts within their field”, according to the job advert.

It states that the director will approve around 500,000 funding payments totalling £67 billion to training providers in all areas of the education sector, ensuring payments are “timely and accurate”.

They will have an important part to play in the ESFA’s drive to simplify the funding system and to oversee the implementation and management of the agency’s Digital Funding Service to drive improvement across a “complex landscape”.

Applications for the director of funding close on February 6, 2023. The DfE is also hiring a director for technical qualifications who will be responsible for three “critical” pieces of work: the policy and delivery of T Levels; completion of the post-16 qualifications review; and higher technical education at levels 4 and 5.

The director will lead about 120 staff based across six sites and earn a salary of £95,000.

They will be tasked with ensuring “strategic links with other key parts of the skills strategy and other departmental policy such as the reforms to higher education, the lifelong loan entitlement, exams and awarding, and digitisation and acting a leader across the skills group”.

Applications for the director of technical qualifications close January 30.

The DfE is also seeking to appoint a new deputy director for skills strategy who will be responsible for setting “direction, objectives and workplans for the division as a whole” as well as “managing relationships with No.10, the Treasury, and across the Department for Education on the skills portfolio”.

The successful applicant, who will earn £73,000 a year, will manage a “flexible resource unit” of 10 staff who are “deployed on shortterm, high priority projects across skills group and support capability building across the group”.

Applications for the deputy director for skills strategy close on January 30.

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One comment

  1. Bob Smith

    What is the betting that they re-cycle again one of the existing members of staff from within the ESFA who have caused the debacle we have in the current funding system.

    There is nothing wrong with the policy, it’s the interpretation and implementation that is to blame and that lies at the door of the ESFA officials. The department needs some new blood- why not second someone from a College or indeed a PTP to put something new into the agenda.

    But guess what, a pay increase for someone nearing retirement to enhance their pension pot and the system continues to fail