Commercial Lead (2 Positions) – Department for International Development – Blackpool

Department for International Development

Job summary

Building a strong Commercial Function in Government, and with it the right commercial capability, is at the heart of a far-reaching programme of Civil Service reform. We are building a cadre of commercial talent in all Government departments; people who can manage our commercial portfolios, who can lead our most complex and novel programmes and projects, people who have the gravitas and depth of experience to work alongside our policy and operational leaders to develop innovative commercial arrangements, whether through joint ventures, outsourcing or best-in-class contracts. The Government Commercial Organisation is an employer which is truly committed to creating a welcoming, inclusive workplace where all our people are able to bring their whole selves to work and are able to perform to their potential. We understand the importance of diversity and inclusion and strive for a workplace that reflects the communities which we serve. We especially welcome applications from underrepresented groups including Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic candidates, candidates with a disability and candidates with gender-diverse identities. Appointments will be made on merit on the basis of fair and open competition. We have already made significant progress through the establishment of the Government Commercial Organisation (GCO), our single employer of senior commercial talent across government. This role will sit within the GCO, but based in our DWP commercial team delivering departmental objectives.

Job description

The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) is responsible for welfare, pensions and child maintenance policy. Consequently, DWP impacts everyone in the UK, delivering services to help jobseekers find work, assist with a disability or provide support for retirement.

Within DWP, the Commercial Directorate (CD) is an award-winning commercial function, with a unified team culture focused on commercial excellence and continuous improvement. CD shapes how services are delivered across hundreds of third-party contractual arrangements, with some of the largest industry suppliers. CD has a total spend of £2.4bn and secured savings for the taxpayer of £352m in 2020/21.

DWP’s CD is divided into several categories, which includes the Service Delivery Commercial (SDC) category, based across our Leeds, Blackpool, Manchester, and Sheffield Commercial Hubs.

SDC provides critical services to DWP and its customers enabling it to effectively deliver its objectives on behalf of the secretary of state, we manage approximately 65 commercial contracts across 4 key areas, these are:

Business Services – provide a wide range of services to DWP such as travel & Accommodation, Fleet, Research, Marketing & Communications and Language/translation Services

Contact Centres – provide first line Contact Services enabling customers to contact us when required

Document Management – provide Print, Post and Data storage services

Financial & Shared Services – provide Banking, Debt, Business Process Outsourcing and Enterprise Resource Planning.

SDC is seeking experienced commercial professionals to lead in the delivery of the business strategy and be responsible for delivery of key procurement and contract management outcomes within the team. The role offers attractive long-term career opportunities within a supportive and engaging work environment, alongside a range of excellent employee benefits. We require driven and dynamic individuals able to achieve results in a challenging but rewarding commercial environment. You will contribute to the development of category expertise within the team, and increase the level of commerciality, operational execution, and stakeholder/supplier engagement. Your role will be to support one of the above areas and will require you to be passionate about creating change, taking a leadership role in the development of an enhanced category management capability. You will have the skills to challenge, inspire and lead others in a complex landscape of departmental transformation

Person specification

Take operational responsibility for the development, review, negotiation and execution of many concurrent large scale and complex contracts (existing and new), and the commercial management of related suppliers, within your area of accountability

Ensure agreed supplier cost savings targets are delivered, and initiatives are delivered that increase efficiency whilst maintaining adequate performance and risk management

Provide commercial support and guidance to management and other stakeholders (internal and external), ensuring “best outcome” commercial solutions are delivered in line with DWP, Commercial and Category strategies.

Activity management of supporting team members aligned to your sub-category. Through effective and proactive contract management, create positive supplier relationships, a strong customer service ethos, and clear commercial strategies to secure optimum outcomes for the DWP

Make a significant contribution to the building of a culture of continuous improvement within the wider SDC category and DWP Commercial Directorate

Responsible for a small team of commercial specialists

Technical skills

We’ll assess you against these technical skills during the selection process:

Assertive – Able to motivate and lead others during large scale organisational change, striving to continuously improve how things are done

Decisive – Highly organised, able to effectively prioritise the use of resources (time and people) efficiently while supporting multiple stakeholders

Commercial Focus – Confident to influence key stakeholders towards commercial solutions that give a balance between optimal commercial performance and delivery of business strategy

Resilient – Proven resilience and political astuteness able to influence stakeholders to obtain positive commercial outcomes within the context of supporting projects delivering business outcomes

Builds Relationships – Quickly gains the respect of, and buy in from stakeholders at all levels, collaborating and engaging with others in delivering change


As a valued employee of the Government Commercial Organisation (GCO), you will have access to all the benefits the centre has to offer; including flexible working, generous benefits, Career Coaches, Mentors, L&D, a Commercial College, active talent management and, most importantly, access to commercial projects that will far exceed the scale and complexity on offer elsewhere in the UK. For existing Civil Servants: For full details of the impact on any move across the civil service on your existing terms and conditions, please read the candidate pack. Please note that any move across the Civil Service may have implications on your ability to continue to claim childcare vouchers.

Things you need to know

Selection process details

This vacancy is using , and will assess your Experience and Technical skills. Please be advised that the Virtual ADC is taking place on 09th March 2023 and will require a full day’s attendance. For full details of our process, and a likely timeline, please read the explanation provided in the attached candidate pack. Throughout our selection process, we will make decisions about your capability to do the job, based on evidence you provide against the essential criteria for the role which are detailed in the attached Candidate Pack. Your application will be reviewed by a panel and should you be successful at sift we will invite you to attend a Virtual commercial Assessment and Development Centre (VADC). The panel will review results of the VADC and determine which candidates will go through to a subsequent final panel interview. IMPORTANT: If you do not receive an acknowledgement of your application within 2 working days please contact: [email protected]

Feedback will only be provided if you attend an interview or assessment.


Successful candidates must pass a disclosure and barring security check.People working with government assets must complete checks.

Nationality requirements

This job is broadly open to the following groups:

UK nationals

nationals of Commonwealth countries who have the right to work in the UK

nationals of the Republic of Ireland

nationals from the EU, EEA or Switzerland with settled or pre-settled status or who apply for either status by the deadline of the

relevant EU, EEA, Swiss or Turkish nationals working in the Civil Service

relevant EU, EEA, Swiss or Turkish nationals who have built up the right to work in the Civil Service

certain family members of the relevant EU, EEA, Swiss or Turkish nationals

Working for the Civil Service

The sets out the standards of behaviour expected of civil servants.

We recruit by merit on the basis of fair and open competition, as outlined in the Civil Service Commission’s .The Civil Service embraces diversity and promotes equal opportunities. As such, we run a Disability Confident Scheme (DCS) for candidates with disabilities who meet the minimum selection criteria.The Civil Service also offers a Redeployment Interview Scheme to civil servants who are at risk of redundancy, and who meet the minimum requirements for the advertised vacancy.

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