Soil & Land Use Specialist Advisor

Closing date: 31 January 2023 | Salary: £37,308 - £40,806 (Grade 6) | Location: Flexible

Contract type: Permanent

Work pattern: Full time, 37 hours per week. 

Post number: 201467

As an organisation we support flexible working. This role allows hybrid working (a mix of home and office working) and a working pattern suitable for you can be discussed on appointment if you are successful.

You will be contracted to the nearest NRW office to your home, of which you will be required to attend for regular meetings, training and for one-to-one meetings with your manager. These will be planned in advance.

Job description

Are you passionate about soils and want to make a difference? Then we have an exciting opportunity for you.

Wales has world leading legislation on sustainability and Well-being and our aim is to inspire all land managers to achieve the sustainable management natural resources. Soil is a vital resource that underpins our natural environment, sustains life and provides multiple ecosystem services to Wales. This post will make a critical contribution to the State of Natural Resources Report and the sustainable management of land and soils across all terrestrial ecosystems, especially on agricultural land. This is especially important with the ongoing development of the Sustainable Farming Scheme and Wales’ first Soil Policy Statement. You will need good influencing skills, a strong background in soil science and soil management with an ability to work across a variety of technical and operational staff within NRW as well as colleagues in Welsh Government and external stakeholders. You will lead on the provision of Soil and Land Use technical assessments and advice to inform the development of NRW policy, programmes, plans, strategies and guidance.

Responsibilities

Your responsibilities include:

  • Prepare technical assessments, drawing on a range of complex information and data sources.
  • Manage the preparation of material to inform the development of NRW, WG and other Partners policy, advice and guidance documents. Manage the development of procedures, tools and guidance and lead the delivery of new ways of working.
  • Liaise with external stakeholders such as Welsh Government, sector representatives, eNGOs and partners to ensure the timely and effective delivery of project, policy or strategy obligations.
  • Advise on evidence needs and opportunities and project manage agreed evidence projects, in line with the agreed evidence programme.
  • Support engagement with sectors, partners, WG, the Farming Sector/Farming Representative Organisations, Local Authorities, Land owners and other Environment bodies in Wales and the UK and be the lead point of contact for customer queries.
  • Maintain knowledge of the Welsh and UK Soils agenda identifying the implications of legislative, technology and market changes for Natural Resources Wales and the sector(s).
  • Contribute to task and finish groups, commissioned through the Business Boards, to prepare defined products as required.
  • Collaborate with the Team Leader to develop and deliver an agreed Personal Development Plan.

Qualifications, experience and knowledge

Knowledge and experience of the following: 

  1. Knowledge of: Welsh, UK and EU legislation related to Soils and Land Use; Welsh & UK Government policy drivers related to Soils; and the issues and opportunities in Wales.
  2. Experience of technical analysis and interpretation of a range of complex environmental information and data sources; analysing large data sets.
  3. Working with/in WG, UK Government Departments, Academia and land use organisations.
  4. Working in a programme and project management environment with Project Management experience and/or qualifications.
  5. You will be a member of a relevant professional institution and/or working towards membership.
  6. Share your knowledge and expertise to help solve problems, supporting all Heads of Business in EPP as required.

Welsh language requirements

Essential: Level 1 – able to pronounce Welsh and use basic phrases

Please note if you do not meet the level 1 requirement i.e., ability to understand basic phrases and ability to pronounce Welsh names correctly, then NRW offers a variety of learning options and staff support to help you meet these minimal requirements during the course of your employment with us.

Competencies

Please note - Applications to this role will be assessed based on the following competencies, both at shortlisting and interview. Please give examples of how you demonstrate these competencies when completing your application form.

Essential Knowledge and Skills

  • Able to undertake practical/technical tasks or work, requiring specialist knowledge/expertise.
  • Able to provide objective advice to others on related issues, based on their knowledge and experience and keeps up to date with changes within their specialist field.
  • Demonstrates relevant substantial experience gained from working in number of different organisations, or roles/functions within a single organisation.
  • Ability to lead and project manage specific areas of work, which may include the implementation of plans.
  • Has mentoring skills and the ability to share skills and knowledge with others within the function and/or across the organisation.
  • Possibly an expert in a range of subjects relating to their profession. 

Evaluation of Information

  • Ability to analyse and interpret a range of complex information of a technical nature, relating to a specific area of specialism, contributing to the development of strategy and policies.
  • Able to extract key points and communicate them to individuals at all levels.
  • Able to interpret relevant delivery plans and understand their context in the wider national and NRW strategy and policies.

Decision Making and Autonomy Requirements

  • Ability to decide how to achieve results applying some degree of judgment or creativity, whilst responding to conflicting demands, by altering priorities.
  • Able to make independent decisions on a broad range to matters, considering the options available and potential implications for the business.
  • Decisions will require input from line management and peers and an understanding of NRW policy, the impact of which is likely to be wider than the immediate function or department and medium term in nature.
  • Has an appreciation of the consequences of making wrong decisions and the adverse effect they may have on the organisation in relation to external stakeholders, such as partner organisations, lenders, service users etc.
  • Able to contribute to the setting of strategic direction for themselves, their area and others.
  • Ability to develop organisation strategy and policies with some autonomy in the implementation of organisational policy.
  • Can adapt and respond to decisions made which lead to changes in established procedure/practice for dealing with issues within the post holder’s area of work, which may not be immediately clear or apparent.
  • Some decisions may need to be taken without reference to others.

Impact

  • Demonstrates an appreciation of how their decisions and actions will influence others both internally and externally.
  • Must have an awareness of the consequences of their decision making, which will have a moderate level of impact and influence and be medium term in nature.

Communication and Relationships with Others

  • Ability to interact and link with others across the business, engaging the organisation in delivering polices and work plans in the most efficient way.
  • Communications will be both with internal colleagues and external stakeholders which may include specialist input and influence in relation to policy and strategy or implementation.
  • Some interactions may be emotionally challenging where individuals are angry or upset, requiring the need for tact, patience and the ability to remain calm to try and resolve the issue.
  • The work will involve written and verbal communications and/or leading projects, requiring good communication and persuasive skills.
  • Ability to facilitate and/or present at internal or external meetings, giving advice and input as required. 
  • Able to foster and maintain good relationships and networks.
  • Ability to produce documents, reports, accounts, contracts, etc., with some complexity, containing elements of advice, guidance or opinion which the recipient will act upon or use, and which would have detrimental consequences if incorrect or poorly drafted.
  • Ability to source data and content from multiple locations, entailing some external research and professional judgment in how such research should be interpreted.
  • The impact of such documentation is likely to be generally medium term in nature.

Benefits of working for us

This role will offer a range of benefits, including:

  • Agile and flexible working
  • Civil Service Pension Scheme offering employer contributions of 26.6% to 30.3%
  • 28 days annual leave, rising to 33 days
  • Generous leave entitlements for all your life needs
  • Health and wellbeing benefits and support
  • Weekly well-being hour to use at your choice

See full details for all the employee benefits you will receive.

How to apply

Please send a completed Application form to Applications@naturalresourceswales.gov.uk using the post number as the email reference

Before completing your application, please read our Guidance on completing a job application form

Application closing date 31 January 2023

Interviews will take place in February 2023 through Microsoft Teams.

If you have any queries about the role, please contact Nichola Taylor at nichola.taylor@cyfoethnaturiolcymru.gov.uk or Sarah Hetherington at sarah.hetherington@cyfoethnaturiolcymru.gov.uk

Natural Resources Wales embraces diversity and promotes equal opportunity. We recruit by merit on the basis of fair and open competition.

We welcome and encourage applications from groups currently underrepresented, including women, black and ethnic minority groups and people with a disability. We have a guaranteed interview scheme for candidates with disabilities who meet the minimum selection criteria.

We put the principles of human rights, equality, fairness, dignity and respect at the heart of our values.

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