Welsh Government – Resource Efficiency and Circular Economy Student Placement – start date: ASAP

Name Welsh Government
Department Resource Efficiency and Circular Economy Division
Placement base location The role will be full-time and is normally based with the policy team in one of Welsh Government’s regional offices.  In view of current Covid-19 restrictions, the post-holder will be required to work from home in-line with working arrangements for all Welsh Government employees and it is unlikely that this will change for the foreseeable future.
Website www.gov.wales
Contact for enquiries Caroline Fallone (Research & Academic Engagement Manager)
Contact details Email: ResearchPlacements@gov.wales
Placement job title Resource Efficiency and Circular Economy Student Placement – Supporting the delivery of the Beyond Recycling strategy
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 Resource Efficiency and Circular Economy Division of Welsh Government is seeking a PhD student for a placement opportunity. The team‘s remit falls under the portfolio of the Minister for Climate Change which supports delivery objectives identified under the Welsh Government’s “Programme for Government” (PfG) and other strategies.

This is an exciting time, the Welsh Government published Beyond Recycling – a strategy to make the circular economy in Wales a reality earlier this year.  It has ambitious plans for Wales transition to becoming a zero waste and net zero carbon nation by 2050. This placement would involve working on a range of high-profile activity including resource efficiency and circular economy policy, infrastructure, legislation and regulation. The team works cross-departmentally, focussing on the contribution the move towards a more circular economy can make to meet wider Welsh Government aims including our low carbon plans and models of economic development.

Placement offered

Purpose of the post

Working within the Resource Efficiency and Circular Economy Division the overarching purpose of the placement is to: provide support in planning and delivering the actions published in the Beyond Recycling strategy; analysing evidence, and working with a wide variety of stakeholders on a range of issues pertinent to the delivery of the strategy; providing analytical support and technical input to assist policy makers. The Programme for Government, published in June 2021, reinforced the importance of the work area.

Key Tasks

The exact tasks required of the students will be dependent on the particular focus of the wider team at the time of the placement but will likely centre around the following areas:

  • Stakeholder engagement – facilitating discussion and collecting opinions – key stakeholders include Government Ministers and senior officials; local authorities; health boards; waste managers; universities and university students; school students and more. The engagement will focus on driving change.
  • Evidence co-ordination and quality assurance – by working with policy teams to identify evidence needs and ensuring appropriate methodologies, analysis and findings
  • Analysis and modelling – by using a range of data to explain complex relationships
  • Contributing towards work on the development of a baseline and tracking indicators to support the developing strategy.
  • Programme Documentation – by ensuring the availability of relevant programme documents and data management tools
  • Desk based research – by using appropriate methods to provide evidence reviews (literature or statistical data) on specific topics

From these areas specific tasks could include: –

  • Analysis of social data, specifically around behaviours to identify implications, opportunities and risks (to support an integrated impact assessment of the developing strategy); providing the synthesis of evidence and producing concise reports/evidence updates.
  • Managing and developing the teams evidence database and management information; developing suitable products to review technical literature and research outputs to identify outcomes and impacts for policy, working with communications to develop effective mechanisms to channel key research findings and impacts using the most appropriate format and ensuring that information is shared widely.
  • Support on-going research projects, inputting into specification or procurement processes, evaluating tenders and attending project meetings.
  • Provide support for specific data or evidence review for the ongoing projects as necessary – e.g. work with Statistician and Economist leads to analyse data sources, sampling and review findings

The exact tasks required of the student will be dependent on the particular focus of the team at the time of the placement and the student will likely have the opportunity to become involved in other work areas where they have a specific interest.

Key Skills

  • Excellent research skills, e.g. analytical, evidence synthesis, literature review, etc
  • Strong data analysis and presentation skills and experience handling/manipulating data
  • Ability to write clearly and concisely
  • Ability of presenting technical material in an accessible format
  • Presentation skills
  • Creative thinking
  • Ability to apply an innovative approach

Development Opportunities

The placement provides an opportunity to gain insight into the functioning of Welsh government and evidenced 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 a policy team managing a diverse range of programmes and providing technical and advisory support across the Environment portfolio. This is an interesting and diverse role, that links to other Welsh Government teams, which will allow the student to gain a broad knowledge and understanding of 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.