Senior Policy Advisor- Downstream Oil Resilience Team

City of Westminster, London (Greater)
£39,075 - £43,800
05 Aug 2020
16 Aug 2020
Contract Type

Do you want to help maintain a resilient fuel supply system through the aftermath of Covid and during the end of the Transition Period?

The Downstream Oil Resilience team sits within the wider Energy Resilience and Emergency Response (ER2) team. ER2 forms the core of BEIS’ emergency response function, working to ensure the department is ready to respond to any incident in the energy, economic shocks, space, post and chemicals sectors. As a member of ER2 you will be trained to be part of this response function, with a specialism in downstream oil. We are an agile team and respond flexibly when risks and incidents emerge, from developing contingency plans to moving swiftly to shift working during a response. We use our relationships with industry, other government departments and ministers to find innovative ways to resolve issues.

Working in this team presents a unique mix of policy and operations experience, with the opportunity to develop new skills and ways of working in an exciting and fast paced environment. We have a strong focus on wellbeing because we recognise this can be a different way of working and want to ensure everyone feels supported to meet these challenges.

Job description

About the Team

Downstream Oil is the largest energy sector by final energy consumption! This largely unregulated sector delivers 97% of the UK's road and aviation transport fuels and will remain crucial for least another 20 years. There are over 1.5 million UK households dependent on oil-based fuels for heating. The sector is highly competitive and efficient, but the thin margins and lean, just-in-time business models leave resilience issues for which BEIS risks facing the consequences.

It is an exciting time to join us as we have several major projects in the team over the next 18 months, the biggest being the redesign and renegotiation of one of the Department’s critical response capabilities. The current programme is scheduled to end in Q3 2021. We are working closely with partners to secure the future of this programme beyond 2021. This will be followed by an implementation phase.

We are also working with industry to recover from Covid-19, prepare for the end of the Transition Period and to ensure a seamless transition to Net Zero in the long term. We hope to publish a Downstream Oil Resilience Bill and will be conducting a period of engagement with the sector (including refineries and terminals) to understand the resilience challenges they will be facing in the next few years.


This role provides opportunities to develop and hone both policy making and operational delivery skills, and to help to play a part in securing the nation's energy supplies.

You will own the day to day operational delivery of the key fuel resilience programme by:

• Regularly engaging with Ministry Of Defence (MOD) and hauliers to agree training schedules and ensure operational plans remain on target
• Managing two commercial contracts
• Assisting with the redesign of the overall programme and working with partners to build a contingency programme that best mitigates the risks the sector will face in coming years.

More widely, you will help the team review risks to fuel supply across the UK and develop contingency plans for how Government can work with industry keep the fuel flowing. If a live issue arises you will work with the rest of the team and across Government to put these plans into action.

Emergencies can occur at any time. All team members are part of the Out of Hours Emergency Rota (roughly 1 week in 7), providing a 24hr/7days a week capability. An additional allowance is provided for this function.

The successful candidate will:

• Have experience of working in policy development and project management, as well as engaging with external players
• Be used to deploying these skills to build pragmatic solutions to risk management
• Be flexible and adapt to changing priorities as the need arises across the team

It is desirable (but not essential) to have some experience of:

• Contract management, procurement, and project delivery
• Emergency response or resilience work / working at pace or a willingness to develop these skills.

Candidates need to be willing to obtain Security Clearance (SC) soon after starting the role. This requires 5 years residency in the UK with no absences longer than 6 months (and evidence to support this). Please contact the vacancy manager if you have questions about this process.

We pride ourselves on having a friendly and encouraging work environment. We are constantly looking to diversify our workforce to give us the broadest range of perspectives possible. We want people who will help us promote the value of diversity within our department and encourage applicants from underrepresented groups to apply! We are very happy to provide reasonable adjustments to enable individuals with disabilities to participate in the selection process.


We'll assess you against these behaviours during the selection process:

  • Delivering at Pace
  • Managing a Quality Service
  • Communicating and Influencing
  • Seeing the Big Picture

We only ask for evidence of these behaviours on your application form:

  • Delivering at Pace
  • Managing a Quality Service
  • Communicating and Influencing


BEIS offers a competitive mix of benefits including:

  • A culture of flexible working, such as job sharing, homeworking and compressed hours.
  • Automatic enrolment into the Civil Service Pension Scheme.
  • A minimum of 25 days of paid annual leave, increasing by 1 day per year up to a maximum of 30.
  • An extensive range of learning & professional development opportunities, which all staff are actively encouraged to pursue.
  • Access to a range of retail, travel and lifestyle employee discounts.