Defra has some exciting secondment opportunities available for experienced local government policy makers. If you don’t work for local government, please see our ‘Apply’ page for current vacancies instead, as secondment opportunities are also available through this route.

Defra is one of the departments most affected by the decision to exit the European Union. Leaving the EU will fundamentally change the work we do and how we deliver it. We are looking for people who can join the Defra group on secondment to help deliver this exciting work.

In the Defra group we deal with a vast range of issues that profoundly impact on people’s lives. We are responsible for England’s environment, our countryside and rural economy, the food and farming sectors, and have lead responsibility for protecting the UK from a wide range of natural threats and hazards. Your role will be critically important to achieving our vision of ‘creating a great place for living’ at the same time as delivering a successful exit from the EU.

If you are interested in being part of this, please find how to express your interest in our roles and what the process for the secondment will be, in the FAQ section below. In order to express your interest, you will need to complete the ‘Expressions of Interest form’ found below and send it to [email protected]. Your application will then be considered and if we think you may be suitable for one of our roles, you will be invited to an informal interview. After this conversation, successful applicants will be invited to take up a secondment in the Defra group for up to 2 years.

Our policy hubs are in London, Bristol and York, but other locations may be available. Secondees will remain on their home organisation’s terms and conditions throughout the secondment. If a secondee’s current salary is lower than the minimum advertised for the grade, their salary will be uplifted to the minimum, subject to the home organisation agreeing to this.

If you have any questions, please contact [email protected].

Expression of Interest form

    1. Those interested need to complete the Expression of Interest form and send it to [email protected] by 11pm Sunday 17th February.
    2. The EU Exit Resourcing Team in Defra will conduct an initial sift and split into groups based on the roles they think the candidates will suit, by Tuesday 19th February.
    3. Representatives from Defra will review the Expressions of Interest and decide who they believe would be suitable for roles, by Friday 22nd February.
    4. Outcomes of the sift will be sent on a rolling basis, and all applicants should have heard back by Wednesday 27th February at the latest. An invite for an informal interview may be included for those deemed suitable after the sift.
    5. Representatives from the business will run the informal interviews. These informal interviews will involve a discussion of some of the roles available and assessing the suitability for both the candidate and the business. Informal interviews will take place roughly between 25th February and 8th March. Those attending will be required to bring ID with them.
    6. Those who attend the informal interviews will be notified of the business’ decision by Wednesday 13th March. This will include any offers of secondment opportunities.
    7. Those offered secondment opportunities will need to respond by 11pm Monday 18th March to confirm that they would like to take up the opportunity.
    8. Those coming on secondment will go through pre-employment checks before a start date being agreed.
    9. As long as ID is brought to the interview, pre-employment will take roughly 2-3 weeks. Therefore, secondments could start from around 1st April, if there is no notice period to work.
  • To find out more about the areas of work you could be doing, head to the ‘Roles’ section of a website and look at ‘Policy’.

  • We are looking for people with a range of skills and experience! Some of the behaviours we are looking for include working together, making effective decisions, delivering at pace, changing and improving, leadership and more.

    Useful experience includes:

    • Identifying key risks and issues
    • Planning and prioritising effectively to deliver results at pace
    • Taking an innovative approach to work
    • Quickly understanding complex challenges
    • Communicating confidently and concisely

    However, we don’t expect one person to necessarily have all of the above skills and experience! So if you think you have a few of them, please apply.