The Department for Levelling Up Housing and Communities has launched the hunt for 12 directors to oversee the government’s flagship levelling up agenda across the UK.
It is offering a salary of up to £144,000 a year with potential bonuses to external applicants. For current civil servants looking to “level up” their own job prospects, non-negotiable transfer and promotion policies will apply. Internal candidates will get the higher of a 10% uplift on their current package or the minimum for the role, which is £120,000 a year.
DLUHC is advertising for roles in nine English regions: the North East; the North West; Yorkshire & Humber; the East Midlands; the West Midlands; the East of England; London; the South East; and the South West. The other directors will cover devolved nations Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.
The new roles are described in the job advert as a “once in a lifetime opportunity” to fix deep-seated local issues and help hold government to account for the delivery of its levelling up missions.
The posts were proposed in last month’s levelling up white paper, which set out plans for directors to act as a “key bridge” between local leaders and central government.
Partygate investigator Sue Gray, who is DLUHC’s second permanent secretary, will help to recruit the new directors. She will be on the selection panel alongside civil service commissioner Natalie Campbell and DLUHC director general Emran Mian.
Levelling up directors will be based in local DLUHC offices. There are 21 possible locations where directors can be based, offering flexibility in some of the regions. The locations on offer are: Belfast, Birkenhead, Birmingham, Bristol, Cambridge, Cardiff, Darlington, Edinburgh, Exeter, Hastings, Hemel Hempstead, Leeds, London, Manchester, Newcastle-upon-Tyne, Nottingham, Plymouth, Sheffield, Truro, Warrington, and Wolverhampton.
In a foreword to the candidate pack, levelling up secretary Michael Gove said the new roles are an opportunity for “exceptional leaders to work collaboratively with local areas and central government to drive new and innovative local policy prposals”.
Gove said levelling up directors will need to be “innovators, collaborators and challengers with a clear understanding of both the local and central government contexts and a passion for addressing inequalities across the UK”.
“Levelling up directors will play a critical function in empowering decision-making in local areas and ensuring that central government decision-making is informed and shaped by local insight,” he added.
Levelling up directors will work with local partners, senior officials and ministers to develop “innovative solutions to systemic problems”. They will also report on progress to the newly established Cabinet committee for levelling up and its associated sub committees and advisory boards.
The closing date for applications is 18 April.