Welsh Government – Flood Team Student Placement – start date: ASAP

Name Welsh Government
Department Water, Flood and Coal Tips Safety Division
Placement base location

The role will be full-time and would normally have been based within the Cathays Park (Cardiff) or Aberystwyth offices of Welsh Government. The current situation, however, means that all staff in the Division are working at home. The technology we have has allowed an impressive and engaging system of online meetings and these have provided a robust method of communication with the team and wider internal and external partners.

Regular team meetings are held and students will be encouraged to join these meetings to develop their understanding of the policy work – and how it interacts with other policy areas.

Website www.gov.wales
Contact for enquiries Caroline Fallone (Research & Academic Engagement Manager)
Contact details Email: ResearchPlacements@gov.wales
Placement job title Flood Team Student Placement – Coastal Adaptation Research
Potential start date ASAP – start date will be agreed following successful Welsh Government security clearance.
Potential working pattern

Daily work pattern: 9am to 5pm

Total hours per week: 35

FT/PT: Full time

The placement will be for a 3 month period and will focus on delivering the objectives set out in the job specification. The option to extend for a further 3 months is possible if the project team feel there is merit in doing so and if it is compatible with the post-holder’s university research schedule and DTP/CDT arrangements.

Details of application method

Please submit CV and covering letter to the above mailbox.  NOTE: All applicants must confirm that they have received authorisation to take an interruption of studies from their academic supervisor. 

If you have an impairment or health condition, or use British Sign Language and need to discuss reasonable adjustments for any part of the placement programme, or wish to discuss how we will support you if you are to be successful, please contact the above mailbox as soon as possible to discuss your requirements and any questions you may have.

Overview of PIPS organisation

The Water, Flood and Coal Tips Safety Division of Welsh Government is seeking a PhD student for a placement opportunity within one of its policy teams.

Flood and Coastal Erosion Risk Management (FCERM) is a politically high-profile area that delivers significant benefits across Wales.  Flooding and coastal erosion are two of the biggest natural hazards affecting Welsh communities. The FCERM team helps to raise awareness, build resilience and reduce the consequences of those risks.

Flood and Coastal Erosion Risk Management (FCERM) in Wales amounts to far more than the building of defences. Our risk management approach encourages wider resilience, prevention and awareness, so that better decisions can be made by the public and those who have an influence on development and the environment.

Placement offered

The student will be required to evidence gather and prepare an early draft of coastal adaptation guidance, to assist the Welsh Government’s Flood and Coastal Erosion Risk Management (FCERM) team given our ongoing work in supporting coastal communities facing climate change and implementing the Shoreline Management Plans (SMP).

Our new National Strategy for FCERM in Wales sets out our approach in this field, how we intend to develop our learning and, ultimately, provide clearer guidance to help practitioners and the communities themselves.

The more recent storm events have emphasised the need to reinforce our strategic priorities for flood prevention, resilience and climate adaptation. Our new National Strategy for Flood and Coastal Erosion in Wales has strengthened further our commitment to investing in longer-term coastal adaptation and wider catchment schemes to lessen the impact of climate change on communities.

The Shoreline Management Plan (SMP) for Wales are large-scale assessments of the risks associated with coastal processes. Their aim is to identify and set out the preferred coastal risk management policies to reduce the risks to people and the developed, historic and natural environments, over the long term.

We recognise a need for further guidance on communicating SMP policies and need to work with stakeholders to develop Coastal Adaptation Guidance, informed by ongoing research in places like Fairbourne, Gwynedd, to provide practical advice to practitioners and communities.

Our Strategy has again reinforced this by setting out a clear measure:

MEASURE 18: The Welsh Government to work with the Coastal Groups and NRW to develop further    guidance on coastal adaptation by 2022.

This post will therefore very much focus on our needs to create clear coastal adaptation guidance, supporting Risk Management Authorities to further prepare for future generations.

Key Tasks

The successful candidate will be required to evidence gather and prepare an early draft of coastal adaptation guidance. They will likely have the opportunity to become involved in other work areas where they have a specific interest.

  • Collation and review of relevant research and data sources
  • Undertaking a review of existing literature on methodologies for coastal adaptation
  • Evidence co-ordination and quality assurance – by working with policy teams to identify evidence needs and ensuring appropriate methodologies, analysis and findings
  • Engagement with internal and external stakeholders
  • Drafting of briefing papers
  • Development of policy recommendations
  • Development of longer-term policy direction

Key Skills

  • Excellent research skills and the ability to analyse complex information and data
  • Ability to write clearly and concisely
  • Strong data analysis and presentation skills
  • Creative thinking with the ability to apply an innovative approach
  • Establish relationships with a range of stakeholders to support delivery of business outcomes
  • Facilitating discussion and collecting opinions from RMAs with support from Policy Team
  • Make effective use of project management skills and techniques to deliver outcomes, including identifying risks and mitigating actions.
  • Identify a broad range of relevant and credible information sources and recognise the need to collect new data when necessary from internal and external sources
  • Contributing towards work on the development of Adaptation Guidance to support the measure in the National Strategy

Development Opportunities:

The placement provides an opportunity to gain insight into the functioning of Welsh Government and evidence-based policy development at the highest level.  The post-holder will work in an interesting and diverse team, contributing to the shaping of a future policy direction. The post-holder will be expected to work independently within parameters and guidelines provided by the Welsh Government. Working closely with a wide range of colleagues the successful candidate will build valuable working relationships, broaden their knowledge of public policy-making and enhance their existing transferable skills.

The student will join an analytical team managing a diverse evidence-base and delivering technical and advisory support to the FCERM programme. This is an interesting and diverse role, working on a high-profile programme across Welsh Government portfolios, which will allow the student to gain a broad knowledge and understanding of Welsh Government policy work. With support from their WG supervisor, the student will be expected to take responsibility for managing and delivery of work commitments during the placement period.

Financial contribution/benefit(s)
Post-holders will be provided with a laptop to facilitate regular contact with the policy team members and line management, other policy teams and external partners.  Due to the remote nature of working, the policy team will ensure that the post-holder is fully supported during the placement and will endeavour to ensure that the placement is as close to the in-team office-based experience as possible.