CMA1780 Assistant Economist, Darlington
Competition & Markets Authority
Apply before 11:55 pm on Monday 6th February 2023
Type of role
Number of jobs available
The Competition and Markets Authority is undergoing an exciting expansion and has increased its presence with the establishment of new offices and a Microeconomics Unit in Darlington. The unit is based at the Darlington Economic Campus, alongside a range of government departments (such as HMT, DIT, BEIS, ONS, DLUHC and DoE). We are seeking recent or prospective graduates to join our growing team as Assistant Economists.
The new Microeconomics Unit leads the CMA’s economic research programme. Set up in response to the government-commissioned Penrose review, the Unit will provide analysis and expertise on the issues of UK competition, consumer rights, supply-side reforms, innovation and productivity. The ambition is for the Unit to become a micro-economic sibling for the Bank of England’s well-established public macro-economic role.
As an Assistant Economist you will be responsible for carrying out economic analysis and research, under the supervision of more senior economists. This includes identifying key issues, designing and conducting analysis, drawing conclusions and presenting them to colleagues and decision makers.
Projects that you may work on in the Microeconomics Unit include:
- The regular State of UK Competition report
- Research into live issues in competition policy, and structural reforms aimed at improving UK productivity
- The annual Positive Impact report and looking for ways to improve how we measure the CMA’s impact
- The CMA’s ongoing programme of ex post studies into past competition policy interventions
You will join a committed community of economists, working in a collaborative, collegiate atmosphere. We are a very diverse team; our economists have a range of backgrounds and nationalities. You will work in agile, dedicated teams undertaking economic analysis and research on key issues in microeconomics. You will be provided with structured training opportunities covering both technical, economic skills and more general training; you will also be expected to contribute to the intellectual development of the team of professional economists.
You will be ideally placed to identify and benefit from opportunities for career progression within the Microeconomics Unit and across the organisation and you will discover a working environment where there is real emphasis on working together and developing each other to deliver to high standards.
Our structured training programme, as well as the wider Civil Service training programme, provides a range of opportunities for continuous improvement and learning to develop your economic expertise including training courses, lunchtime seminars and discussion groups on economics topics. We will also support and encourage you to develop your wider skills – including communication, drafting, management skills and project management.
The CMA prides itself on being a great place to work and strives to ensure that staff have the opportunity to grow and expand their skills portfolio. As well as being a hugely rewarding, diverse and stimulating place to work, you will have an opportunity to work for the public good and to stretch and develop yourself while doing so.
Key responsibilities will include the following:
- Working with Microeconomics Unit colleagues to carry out economic analysis as part of research projects. This includes helping to scope the key questions which will inform the direction of the project; deciding on and gathering appropriate evidence; and identifying how the economic analysis contributes to the overall state of knowledge on issues of competition, innovation and productivity.
- Deliver high quality and timely economic analysis under the guidance of more senior economists, across several long-term and short-term research projects. Responsibilities may include: defining research questions and analytical approaches, carrying out literature reviews to synthesise academic research on an issue, compiling and analysing data sets, quality assurance to check the work of others and engaging with academics and other experts.
- Communicate clearly and accurately, both orally and in writing, in particular by drafting substantial sections of technical papers and published reports, and presenting economic analysis to both technical and non-technical audiences (economists and non-economists).
- Manage own time effectively to ensure work is delivered to the agreed timescale, ensuring managers are kept informed of progress, findings and potential risks or limitations.
- Establish effective working relationships within the Microeconomics Unit, with colleagues across the rest of the CMA and with external stakeholders including other government departments and academics.
- Proactively develop own skills, knowledge and career in the CMA in conjunction with their line manager. The CMA provides a structured training programme covering technical, economic training as well as more general skills.
- Whilst the role holder will typically not have staff or work management responsibility, they may, on occasion, line manage Economic Interns.
- Make a contribution to the intellectual development of the Microeconomics Unit and the wider team of professional economists, for example presenting at staff seminars/workshops and providing feedback from conferences or courses attended.
To find out more about this opportunity and about working for the CMA, please click on the APPLY button.
Please have a read of our blog to learn more about being an Economist at the CMA: https://competitionandmarkets.blog.gov.uk/2019/05/02/working-as-an-economist-at-the-cma/
Or our LinkedIn page: https://www.linkedin.com/company/competition-and-markets-authority/mycompany/verification/
Closing date: 11.55pm on Monday 6th February 2023.
We'll assess you against these behaviours during the selection process:
- Making Effective Decisions
- Delivering at Pace
- Communicating and Influencing
- Working Together
We'll assess you against these technical skills during the selection process:
- Economics and Microeconomics
As well as the interesting and varied work you’ll do to contribute to effective competition in the UK, and to ensure consumers get a good deal when buying goods and services, you’ll also benefit from:
- An exceptionally generous pension scheme with a significant employer contribution and range of options, including a tax-free lump sum at the point of retirement and injury, ill-health and life assurance benefits
- 25 days leave (increasing to 30 days over five years), plus 8 public holidays and an additional day off for the King’s birthday. In addition, you’ll be able to access a wide range of other types of leave as and when you need it, including generous maternity, paternity, shared parental leave and adoption options, as well as paid special leave for volunteering
- Season ticket loans, cycle to work scheme, flu vaccinations and eye tests
- Access to the Civil Service Sports & Leisure, giving discounted gym membership, high street discounts, free access to UK wide attractions and a free Tastecard
- A range of wellbeing benefits, including an employee assistance programme, flexible working options and family friendly policies, regular networking events and professional learning opportunities at work.
Any move to the CMA from another employer will mean you can no longer access childcare vouchers. This includes moves between government departments. You may however be eligible for other government schemes, including Tax-Free Childcare. Determine your eligibility at https://www.childcarechoices.gov.uk/ .
If you’re already a civil servant being appointed on level transfer, you’ll retain your existing terms, including annual leave. Where you’re being promoted, however, you’ll receive the greater of a 10% pay increase or the new grade minimum. Applicants new to the civil service may be considered for appointment at a salary higher than the starting point indicated above (depending on skills, knowledge, experience and qualifications).
The CMA, like many other organisations, have moved to a hybrid working model with a mix of office and home working. We believe this supports us to deliver our best work while allowing the flexibility to maintain balanced and healthy lives. Our staff work at least 50% of their time from their office location.
The CMA are fully committed to being an inclusive employer and ensuring equal opportunities. It is a priority to make our workforce as diverse as possible, and as an equal opportunities employer, we welcome applications from under-represented groups, including ethnically diverse people, people with a disability, and people with diverse gender identities.
The CMA is an accredited Disability Confident Employer. Disabled applicants meeting the minimum criteria for the job will be given the opportunity to demonstrate their abilities at an interview.
Selection process details
As part of the application process you will be asked to complete a CV, personal statement and an online application form. Further details around what this will entail are listed on the application form.
The selection process will comprise of the sift (CV & application review) and an interview. Arrangements for the interview will be enclosed in the invitation sent when you schedule your interview slot. Interviews will be conducted virtually face-to-face or by Microsoft Teams, to be discussed if you are successful.
An initial sift based on lead criteria 1 and 2 may be held if a large number of applications are received. If your application then progresses to a full sift, all elements of the essential criteria listed under Person Specification of the role profile will then be considered.
Please note that it is essential that your personal statement is aligned to provide evidence that you have the knowledge and recent practical experience for each of the following selection criteria in your application. Headings will assist the panel when reading your answers to the following:
1) Post-graduate degree, or at least a 2:1 undergraduate degree in economics with strong microeconomics and/or quantitative focus – or be in the final year of your studies and on track to graduate with the required qualification by September 2023 (lead criteria).
2) Demonstrable knowledge and understanding of microeconomics and the ability to communicate technical economic research or analysis to non-technical audiences (lead criteria).
You will answer the above criteria in your personal statement, and by answering the technical economics question within the application. Both will be scored by the panel, and the overall score applied to this criteria.
3) Experience or demonstrated ability to design, develop and deliver economic research or analysis to tight deadlines, with experience of gathering, summarising and presenting data to a high standard.
4) Sound verbal and written communication skills, including the ability to produce documents that can be tailored to a wide variety of audiences.
5) Experience or demonstrated ability to establish and manage working relationships and to work in teams to deliver successful outcomes.
The sifting dates are 7th - 13th February 2023.
If your application is successful, you will be invited to attend an interview. Interviews will be held at either the London or Edinburgh office, or MS Teams is an option.
You will be notified via email to log-in to your Civil Service Account to book your interview slot. You will then be sent an email with full details of your arrangements for interview.
Interviews to be held during the week beginning Monday 20th February 2023.
The first part of the interview will be a 5-minute presentation on a case study that will be provided at the time of the invite to interview / 1-week in advance.
The second part is the panel interview. The panel interview will be approximately 45 minutes - 1 hour in length where you will be asked questions based on the Behaviours, Experience and Technical skills outlined in the role profile.
If you have any inquiries relating to your application, you can email email@example.com.
In order for a person with disabilities not to be put at a disadvantage compared to a non-disabled person, we have a duty to make reasonable changes to our processes.
If you need a change to be made so that you can make your application, you should complete the “Assistance required” section in the “Additional requirements” page of your application form to tell us what changes or help you might need during the recruitment process.
For instance, you may need wheelchair access at interview, or if you are deaf, a Language Service Professional.
Feedback will only be provided if you attend an interview or assessment.
Working for the Civil Service
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Recruitment team :
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