DE&S & SDA Talent & Learning Lead

Ministry of Defence

Closing date: 21 Jul 2019

Reference number



£56,000 - £75,000 pa. (plus benefits)


Senior Professional

Contract type


Business area

Other - Defence Equipment & Support & Submarine Delivery Agency - Human Resources

Type of role

Human Resources

Working pattern

Flexible working, Full-time, Job share, Part-time


37 hours per week

Number of posts



MOD Abbey Wood, Filton, Bristol, BS34 8JH

About the job

Job description

The force behind the armed forces, DE&S is a highly specialised part of the Ministry of Defence. From the procurement of clothes to carriers, food to fighter jets, we ensure our UK military customers – the Royal Navy, the British Army and the Royal Air Force – have the equipment and support they need to carry out their duties effectively. We employ over 12,000 talented civil servants, military personnel and private contractors across more than 150 locations around the world operating with a budget of £178 billion over the next 10 years.

The Submarine Delivery Agency (SDA) is an Executive Agency of the Ministry of Defence responsible for the procurement and support of the UK’s nuclear submarines. Our work is of unparalleled strategic importance nationally and internationally, ensuring the security of the UK’s continuous at-sea nuclear deterrent. As the organisation responsible for this substantial and wide-ranging programme of work, we are accountable to the MoD for the procurement of the new Dreadnought and Astute Class submarines and to the Royal Navy for in-service support provision. We employ approximately 1450 highly qualified professionals with significant subject matter expertise and annual spend of c. £3.5 billion.

The SDA delivers the most technically complex programmes in Defence. From the design and build of new nuclear-powered submarines to maintaining the availability of the Royal Navy’s operational fleet, as well as decommissioning boats no longer in service, the engineering and safety challenges are amongst some of the greatest – and most rewarding – we face.

Vacancies are currently available across both organisations. If successful, you may be assigned to either DE&S or SDA depending on your skillsets and our business needs. Please note applicants for SDA roles must be UK sole nationals only.

Our Human Resources function helps develop the highly skilled, motivated and inclusive workforce needed to drive exceptional performance. The expertise of our HR professionals includes: HR business partnering; learning & talent; reward, strategy & policy; organisation development and workforce planning & recruitment.

We are looking for experienced Talent & Learning Leads within DE&S and SDA.

Within DE&S the Talent & Learning Lead will be responsible for designing and developing learning & talent interventions and managing the Entry Talent teams.

This is an exciting role for a HR qualified (degree or equivalent related discipline) candidate who will have the opportunity to shape and grow the learning and talent area, focusing on our DE&S@21 vision of “Great delivery, through great people, in a great place to work“ a priority for DE&S. You will also be responsible for managing a team of approx. 50 colleagues and provision of relevant training and guidance to enhance their skills and competencies.

Within SDA the Skills & Talent Lead will be responsible for leading and shaping the Agency’s strategic direction as a key member of the HR Senior Management Team. The role includes shaping the Agency’s approach to developing and sustaining a highly skilled and motivated workforce as part of the Defence Nuclear Enterprise. In addition, the role will lead on SDA’s commitment to growing future talent.

This is an exciting opportunity to play a key role in shaping and delivering a whole Agency approach to safeguarding the delivery of submarine capability more effectively and efficiently each year.

For both roles, the successful candidates must thrive in a fast-paced and challenging environment, have a passion for building and refining processes and practices, be strong in influencing and mentoring others, and be able to build strong relationships with senior and executive-level stakeholders and colleagues.

You will be responsible for:

• Developing and leading HR learning and talent strategies, schemes, policies and supporting tools and data across the entire organisation
• Project managing the transformation of entry talent teams
• Implementing best practice experience/interventions from external organisations
• Leading talent & learning interventions

CIPD qualification along with significant experience in Entry Talent is a desirable but not a necessity, however to be successful in this role you must be able to demonstrate experience of the following on your CV:

• Significant experience in learning and talent development
• Experience of managing a team
• Experience of operating at HR senior manager level in a large, highly complex organisation
• Experience of managing complex HR projects
• Experience of engaging and influencing multiple senior stakeholders across the business and relevant third parties to establish best practice and devise and implement relevant HR strategies, policies and processes which meet business requirements;
• Proven experience of working in a fast-paced organisation

Please note that you may be considered for similar positions at the level below the advertised role.



Civil Service pension schemes may be available for successful candidates.


We’ve created an environment where you can look forward to coming to work and are empowered to be at your best. We offer flexibility in how you work that helps you do your job in a way that suits you, alongside opportunities to help you grow and progress throughout your career – and a choice of benefits to suit your lifestyle. Abbey Wood site has a range of restaurants, coffee bistros and an on-site gym and nursery – it's easily accessible with lots of transport links close by.

Find out more about what we offer by clicking 'The Little Book of Big Benefits' booklet PDF at bottom of this page.


This post is not eligible for relocation allowances.

Things you need to know


Successful candidates must meet the security requirements before they can be appointed. The level of security needed is security check.

Nationality statement

Candidates will be subject to UK immigration requirements as well as Civil Service nationality rules.

If you're applying for a role requiring security clearance please be aware that foreign or dual nationality is not an automatic bar. However certain posts may have restrictions which could affect those who do not have sole British nationality or who have personal connections with certain countries outside the UK.

Selection process details

Further to the Nationality Statement above, certain posts may have security limitations which could affect those who have restrictions placed upon their United Kingdom Security Vetting Clearance.

Simply click on the link to apply and submit your application with your CV which demonstrates:

• Key achievements
• Career history
• Applied skills, knowledge and experience
• Qualifications

Next steps: We’ll review your CV to see if your qualifications and experience are a good match for the role. If you’re successful, we’ll invite you to an interview so you can meet us and discuss your CV & career history and to ensure you demonstrate the motivations and behaviours aligned to the 'The DE&S Way'. (see link at bottom of advert).
Feedback will only be provided if you attend an interview or assessment.

Nationality requirements

Open to UK, Commonwealth and European Economic Area (EEA) and certain non EEA nationals. Further information on whether you are able to apply is available here.


Candidates in their probationary period are eligible to apply for vacancies within this department.

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 equality of opportunity. There is a guaranteed interview scheme (GIS) for candidates with disabilities who meet the minimum selection criteria.

Apply and further information

Contact point for applicants

Chrissy Reid - Senior Specialist Recruiter would welcome the opportunity to discuss the post with you at any point during the application process.

Please email for further information.

Sift/interview dates and location

If you are invited for interview this will be CV based.

Interviews will take place at MOD Abbey Wood South, Bristol, BS34 8JH on 5th or 6th August.

Further information

Please note that the advertised salary is payable for full time advertised hours, if you wish to work less than the advertised hours it will be on a pro rata basis.

For internal candidates (DE&S and SDA only), if you are successful for a role at your current level, then your basic salary will not change. If you are currently at a level lower than the role advertised and found successful then your salary will increase to the higher of 85% of the top of the advertised range or a 10% increase in your current base pay.

We don’t offer visa sponsorships for roles under the UK Government’s Right to Work scheme. Applications from Nationals from outside of the UK or the European Economic Area (EEA - who attend an interview are required to provide original documents proof of their existing entitlement to work in the UK in their own right (i.e. not sponsored by their current employer).  Examples of documents can be found on the Right to Work (linked below).

All employees joining DE&S or SDA who are new to the Civil Service will be subject to a 6 month probation period effective from the employment start date.

If you are successful at interview but not the appointed candidate, you will be placed on the reserve list for 12 months from date of interview. Please note that reserve lists may be split within a campaign by location required, Domain or niche position requirements. If you are offered a position from a reserve list, the terms and conditions that apply at point of offer will be applicable.

The following is only applicable to existing MOD, DE&S and SDA employees:
Some of the MOD’s Terms and Conditions of Service (TACOS) changed from 3rd February 2014. The TACOS changes will apply to Broader Banded and Skill Zone staff who are new recruits to the MOD or who are appointed to a post on substantive promotion, progression or advancement. Please consult the attached document ‘TACOS 2014 Guidance’ for more information.

In the unlikely event you feel that your application has not been treated in accordance with the Commissioners’ Recruitment Principles and you wish to make a complaint you should in the first instance, contact the DE&S Recruitment Office on If you are not satisfied with the response you receive from the department you can contact the Civil Service Commission.

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