DIT offers £120,000 for communications chief as No.10 presses ahead with comms reforms

Comms director will “have a key role in leading [their] team through the changes to the Government Communication Service’s operating model”, job ad says
Photo: Kirsty O'Connor/PA Archive/PA Images

The Department of International Trade is offering up to £120,000 for a director of communications who will support the ministry through a major cross-government comms shakeup – as No.10 pushes ahead with plans to cull and centralise press officers across Whitehall.

DIT is seeking a seasoned comms professional to “set and sell the overall vision and ambition” for its communications directorate.

The job was posted the same week as the deadline set by No.10 for departments to submit details of their comms operations to Alex Aiken, the head of the Government Communication Service.

The Guardian reported that departments were given until yesterday to write to Aiken, who is overseeing the reforms – which will see departmental press offices limited to a maximum of 30 civil servants.

Last month, the prime minister’s spokesperson confirmed plans to move to a “single employer model” where comms staff are managed by the Cabinet Office and employed through the GCS, rather than individual departments.

DIT’s next comms director will “have a key role in leading [their] team through the changes to the Government Communication Service’s operating model”, according to a job advert.

“Alongside your departmental leadership role you will also have a crucial role in providing visible, inclusive and engaging leadership across the wider profession,” it said.

They will be expected to “contribute fully” to developing the profession, supporting colleagues’ professional development across the GCS and the government’s international networks.

The successful candidate will act as the principal adviser to the trade secretary, ministers, permanent secretaries and directors general on DIT’s comms and marketing efforts.

And they will manage a team of civil servants in the departments – providing “inspirational leadership” on marketing campaigns and overseeing their team’s professional development.

“You will be a senior communications professional who can create practical and innovative responses to complex issues, with the ability to set creative strategies and campaigns, as well as respond to events as they unfold,” the job ad said.

The director will oversee their department’s budget, and will be expected to develop “return on investment” criteria for communication and marketing campaigns, and to stick to them.

Applications for the job close on 6 September.

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