Rail Economic Advisor

Birmingham, Leeds, London
£48,774 (National minimum) & £54,105 (London minimum)
25 Oct 2021
02 Nov 2021
Contract Type


Birmingham, Leeds, London

About the job Summary

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: £48,774 (National minimum) & £54,105 (London minimum)

Government Economic Service Framework 

The UK’s transport system is used by most of the population every day, whether travelling to and from work, school, shops, hospitals, or just meeting friends and family.

The rail industry is also about to undergo its most radical transformation in a generation. Following the conclusion of the Williams-Shapps Review, a large-scale and complex Reform Programme has been initiated to implement its recommendations across the sector and to ensure that expected benefits and improvements can be realised for passengers and taxpayers. This is your opportunity to work on a major change and engagement programme focused on the implementation of rail industry reform.

Would you like the opportunity to apply and use economic knowledge and concepts to help shape rail decisions in the decades ahead to help support the Government’s Levelling Up and Decarbonisation agenda?

Job description

Rail Analysis comprises of six diverse teams of more than 70 analysts from a wide variety of backgrounds, both from within Government and outside. Our team of analysts is made up of economists, statisticians, social researchers and modellers. These roles provide the opportunity to work closely alongside other analytical colleagues and internal and external industry partners.

As an economic advisor in Rail Analysis, you will use analysis, economics and modelling to provide advice and steer on major decisions that have significant impacts on the day-to-day running of the rail network, and the future shape of the network. This will involve leading and reviewing cost-benefit analysis for major policy changes – from multi-million-pound rail enhancement projects, to major reform of the rail fares system and workforce strategy. Rail economists cover analysis relating to infrastructure investments, fares and workforce reform and major commercial decisions in the immediate and longer term.

There is a broad range of work across the teams, so you will have a great variety within your role and the opportunity to further develop a broad set of skills.

You will be responsible for providing expert analytical advice, including producing the economic case for key rail schemes worth hundreds of millions of pounds and shaping long term policy decisions. You will have the opportunity to lead on some aspects of the work, and some will be done working closely with external partners or technical advisors.


Your key responsibilities will include:

• Leading on value-for-money advice, to provide impactful analysis to influence key rail priorities.
• Engaging directly with decision makers from other divisions of Rail and collaborating with internal and external partners, putting evidence at the heart of engagement.
• Conducting in-house analysis and working with consultants and policy colleagues on complex projects.
• Effectively communicating and presenting results of analysis to other analysts and non-technical audiences, including policy teams and investment boards.
• Designing incentive mechanisms to ensure that train operators are focussed on delivering benefits to passengers, in particular punctual train services.
• Working with the policy teams to design incentives and/or appropriate rail system-wide regulatory / financial frameworks in order to best deliver the benefits expected from the Williams-Shapps reforms.
• Leading on assessing the costs and benefits of the reforms.
• Making recommendations to senior stakeholders about which options for implementing the reforms are the best value for money.
• Leading on analytical advice to Treasury about the rail reform. and how it delivers good value for money to taxpayers.
• Line management responsibilities for an Assistant Economist.

You will have the option to be based in our London office attracting the London salary, or in Leeds, or Birmingham attracting the National salary. Occasional travel may be required to attend meetings.

About you

You will have experience of handling complex data sets and using analysis and evidence to influence decision making, and the ability to apply economic theories and techniques to a range of problems.

You will display excellent communication skills, both verbally and in writing and the ability to clearly present complex technical information to a diverse audience. You will be a trusted adviser, with the credibility to influence and challenge effectively to manage expectations.

You will confidently engage to build positive working relationships with analytical and policy colleagues and internal and external industry partners.

You will be very organised and adopt a flexible working approach to accommodate and respond to shifting priorities and deadlines.


Hold a minimum 2:1 Undergraduate degree in Economics, or equivalent that has a proven minimum of 50% of Economic credits.
Or, a master’s qualification in Economics, or equivalent that has a proven minimum of 50% of Economic credits.


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

  • Communicating and Influencing
  • Working Together
  • Delivering at Pace

Technical skills

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

  • Government Economic Service Framework - Application of Knowledge
  • Government Economic Service Framework - Analysis of Data


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.

Things you need to know Security

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, Experience and Technical skills.

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

As part of the application process you will be asked to complete a CV and personal statement. Further details around what this will entail are listed on the application form.

When considering your experience, please tailor your CV and personal statement to provide evidence of when you have;

• Presented complex data/evidence to stakeholders in an engaging and influential way to support decision making
• Applied economic theories and techniques to a range of problems

The sift is due to take place on 04/11/2021.

Interviews/assessments are likely to be held week commencing 15/11/2021.

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.

Please see attached candidate notes for further information about our recruitment process.

If you are experiencing accessibility problems with any attachments on this advert, please contact the email address in the 'Contact point for applicants' section.

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 DRGComms@dft.gov.uk for assistance.

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

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 European Union Settlement Scheme (EUSS)
  • 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

Further information on nationality requirements

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 :   Rail Resourcing Email :   RailResourcing@dft.gov.uk   Recruitment team : Email :   dftrecruitment.grs@cabinetoffice.gov.uk 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: dftrecruitment.grs@cabinetoffice.gov.uk If you are not satisfied with the response you receive from the Department, you can contact the Civil Service Commission: Visit the Civil Service Commission website at https://civilservicecommission.independent.gov.uk