DLUHC offers £120k for next chief digital officer

But successful candidate must be based at department’s Wolverhampton second headquarters
Robert Jenrick and Eddie Hughes at the official opening of DLUHC's Wolverhampton base in 2021

By Jim Dunton

17 Apr 2023

The Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities has launched a recruitment campaign to find its next chief digital officer – and is offering up to £120,000 a year to the successful candidate.

However, the job advertisement warns applicants that they must be based at the department’s second headquarters in Wolverhampton, where they will be its top official.

Candidates for the senior civil service pay band 2 role are reassured that a “blend” of home and office working will be acceptable, with in-person attendance likely to be required for just two days a week on average. But they are also reminded that travel costs to and from the office cannot be claimed as it will be their main place of work.

In the candidate information pack, DLUHC chief financial officer Mark Thurstan said there are now more than 250 staff based at the department’s second headquarters, which opened in late 2021.

“The office already has a buzz and a great culture and you will have the privilege of being our most senior leader in Wolverhampton,” he said. “You’ll have the opportunity to build on the great progress we have already made, working with the great people we have already recruited.”

Housing secretary Robert Jenrick, who was born in the city and is former pupil of Wolverhampton Grammar School, opened DLUHC’s office in the city in September 2021. Days later, he was sacked from his job a reshuffle and the department – then known as the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government – was rebranded.

The second headquarters was also a convenient location for junior minister Eddie Hughes, whose Walsall North constituency is just a few miles from the Wolverhampton base. However, Hughes lost his role at DLUHC last September.

DLUHC’s chief digital officer will be the de-facto head of the digital, data and technology profession in the department and responsible for the leadership of its digital directorate, according to the job ad.

The advert describes “exceptional” leadership and strategic thinking as key attributes for the CDO, and says they should be someone with “the ability to develop a high-performance culture” and who can effectively manage multiple senior stakeholder relationships.

“You will be a digital champion, with an ability to grow digital capability and talent across the department and wider civil service,” it says. “You will be able to advise with confidence how to utilise digital and technology solutions to ensure successful programme delivery.

“You will have a strong focus on leading and developing your team to perform at its best, providing excellent customer service, giving constructive advice and challenge, and acting as trusted advisor and gateway into our policy teams where needed.”

The CDO role at Wolverhampton is open to applications until 1 May.

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