Senior Commercial Lead - Intercity Express Programme

Birmingham, West Midlands
16 Nov 2020
26 Nov 2020
Full Time
Contract Type


Birmingham, Leeds, London

About the job 

We recognise the challenges that people with (multiple) protected characteristics may experience on the job market and in their career progression. We are fully committed to being an inclusive employer and ensuring equal opportunities. We are keen to make our workforce as diverse as possible, and we hope to attract applications from underrepresented groups, including Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) people, people with a disability, and people with gender diverse identities.

Salary: £60,135 (National) £65,439 (London)

Would you relish the opportunity to lead our unique multibillion-pound contract?

Are you an engaging leader with stakeholder, commercial and contract management skills?

If so, we are looking for an ambitious individual to lead our Intercity Express Programme (IEP), and we would love to hear from you!

Job description

The programme is a bespoke Government-led investment delivered through a £5.7bn PFI-style contract for 122 new high speed state-of-the-art trains on the UK rail network, serving passengers for several decades on the East Coast and Great Western franchises. The full fleet of trains has been delivered but a high volume of complex programme, operational and commercial challenges remain to be resolved.

You will be the day to day lead for the programme and responsible for building and maintaining senior relationships with Hitachi Rail Ltd, London North Eastern Railway, Great Western Railway and Agility Trains, to ensure that the benefits of the programme are delivered.

You will oversee the management of the contracts by an experienced contract manager, setting the commercial strategy and acting as an escalation point in high value negotiations. You will be responsible for developing our response to unexpected events, such as the impact of Coronavirus on the ability of Hitachi to maintain the trains, and for communicating project developments effectively to ministers and senior officials to achieve approval for your approaches.


Your key responsibilities will include;
• Setting the commercial strategy and overseeing its delivery, including leading the highest value (£100m’s) and most complex negotiations with Agility
• Managing senior internal stakeholders and governance processes to deliver approvals for complex commercial propositions, including Rail Investment Board and Investment, Portfolio and Delivery Committee
• Proactively identifying and managing commercial and financial issues and risks, through financial management of the programme
• Leading the programme of work to ensure a successful transfer of IEP contract management to Business as Usual.
• Leading and developing a team of two, and working collaboratively and leading a virtual team of specialists.

You will have the option to be based in our London office attracting the London pay scale, or based in Leeds or Birmingham attracting the national pay scale. Occasional travel within the UK will be required.

About you

You will have experience of managing high value contracts and solving complex commercial problems in a high-profile environment. You will understand market and commercial drivers and have the capability to develop strategies to exploit these, considering financial, legal and commercial implications.

You will have outstanding interpersonal and stakeholder management skills, to build commercial relationships at senior/board level within the Department and the industry.

You will be a trusted and engaging leader, with the credibility to influence, negotiate and challenge effectively to support senior leaders and strategic objectives. You will welcome the autonomy to lead this high-profile programme and display a high degree of personal resilience.

You will encourage an inclusive team culture, and support individuals to build capability to deliver objectives under challenging circumstances.


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

  • Working Together
  • Making Effective Decisions
  • Communicating and Influencing
  • Leadership


Being part of our brilliant Civil Service means you will have access to a wide range of fantastic benefits. We offer generous annual leave, attractive pension options, flexible working, inclusive working environments and much more to support a healthy work/life balance.

Find out more about what it's like working at the Department for Transport.

Things you need to know 

Successful candidates must pass a disclosure and barring security check.

People working with government assets must complete basic personnel security standard checks.

Selection process details

This vacancy is using Success Profiles, and will assess your Behaviours and Experience.

We are closely monitoring the situation regarding the coronavirus, and will be following central Government advice as it is issued. There is therefore a risk that recruitment to this post may be subject to change at short notice. In addition, where appropriate, you may be invited to attend a video interview.

Please continue to follow the application process as normal and ensure that you check your emails regularly as all updates from us will be sent to you this way.

How to apply

When considering your experience, please tailor your CV and personal statement to provide evidence of when you have;
• Managed high value contracts and solved complex commercial problems
• Effectively worked with senior/board level stakeholders and board governance
• Demonstrated an understanding of market and commercial drivers and created strategies to exploit these
• Successfully led a team and built individual capability

The sift is due to take place on 30/11/2020.

Interviews/assessments are likely to be held week commencing 14/12/2020.

This interview could be conducted via a video interview, details of which will be provided to you should you be selected for interview.

We will try to meet the dates set out in the advert. There may be occasions when these dates will change. You will be provided with sufficient notice of the confirmed dates.

The selection process will be designed specifically for the role. As a result, your assessment could include:

•an interview

You’re encouraged to become familiar with the role profile, as you may be assessed against any of the criteria recorded within.

The Department for Transport alongside other Government Departments recruit using Success Profiles. This means for each role we consider what you will need to demonstrate in order to be successful. This gives us the best possible chance of finding the right person for the job, drives up performance and improves diversity and inclusivity.

For further information on Success Profiles visit our Careers website.

Further Information

To learn more about applying for a role within the Department for Transport, visit the Application Process page of our Careers website.

Before submitting your application, we encourage you to visit our Things You Need to Know page for further information about applying for a role within the Department for Transport and the Civil Service.

Throughout this job advert there are links to the DfT Careers website, which provides you further information to support your application. Should you be unable to access the information on our website, please email for assistance.

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

Nationality requirements

Open to UK, Commonwealth and European Economic Area (EEA) and certain non EEA nationals. Further information on whether you are able to apply is available here.

Working for the Civil Service

The Civil Service Code 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 recruitment principles.

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.

Apply and further information

Once this job has closed, the job advert will no longer be available. You may want to save a copy for your records.

Contact point for applicants Job contact : Name :   Passenger Services Resourcing Email :   Recruitment team : Email : Further information

If you feel your application has not been treated in accordance with the Recruitment Principles and you wish to make a complaint, in the first instance, you should contact Government Recruitment Services via email: If you are not satisfied with the response you receive from the Department, you can contact the Civil Service Commission: Click here ( to visit Civil Service Commission

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