We are helping to create a free, fair and responsible Big Society by putting power in the hands of citizens, neighbourhoods and councils.
The Government believes that it is time for a fundamental shift of power from Westminster to people. Our country will only make progress if we help people to come together to make life better. We are promoting decentralisation and democratic engagement, and we are ending the era of top-down government by giving new powers to councils, communities, neighbourhoods and individuals.
Department for Communities and Local Government works to deliver this goal, with a remit that includes:
- Supporting local government
- Communities and neighbourhoods
- Planning, building and the environment
- Thames Gateway and the Olympics
- Fire and resilience
It is our ambition to distribute power and opportunity to people rather than hoarding authority within government. That way, we can build the free, fair and responsible society we want to see.
We want to give people the power to improve our country and public services, through transparency, local democratic control, competition and choice.
It really is a total change in the way our country is run – from closed systems to open markets, from bureaucracy to democracy, from big government to Big Society, from politician power to people power.
David Cameron, speech to DCLG 8 July 2010
DCLG deals with some of the most high profile public policy priorities of the moment, including housing policy.
The importance of effective housing policies has increased as a result of the economic down-turn and slow-down in the housing market. DCLG is taking the lead, working with colleagues in HM Treasury and the Cabinet Office, in developing policy responses to the slow-down, including abolishing Home Information Packs. Economists in DCLG have been at the heart of developing and implementing this and other housing policies, and our profile within the department and across Whitehall has risen as a result.
How economists work in DCLG
DCLG employs nearly 50 economists. All are members of the Government Economic Service, which is the largest employer of economists in the UK.
All the work areas provide opportunities to engage in a fast-moving policy debate where analysis and evidence has a major role to play. Economists are expected to draw on the latest thinking and research by engaging with leading academics in the field.
Because of DCLG’s close links with DfT and Defra, the three departments operate a system of brokered moves for Assistant Economists that operates on an annual basis. This offers good opportunities to Assistant Economists who join DCLG to work in other policy areas. The aim is to ensure that economists starting their career gain a broad range of experience of different policy areas across the three departments before seeking promotion. Most Assistant Economists spend a year in each department, and can express a preference for where they would like to go.
Examples of the work that DCLG’s economists do
- Providing responsive economic analysis and briefing on the housing market slow-down and policies to assist households.
- Assess value for money of regeneration and renewal programmes and appraise major investment projects.
- Cutting-edge analysis of ‘place’ and the economics of place-based policy interventions (as part of the Spatial Analysis Unit).
- Joint DCLG-DWP analysis on the impact of benefits policies on repossessions
- Working on the 2011/12 Local Government Finance Settlement.
- Economic analysis on the options for achieving sustainable, and eventually zero-carbon, homes.
- Developing analysis and advice on the impacts of migration on local communities and the economy.
- Developing spatial analysis around CLGS priorities of localism and decentralisation.
- Supporting local authorities in the move to a self financing system of council housing finance, and modelling each authority’s business valuation for reform.
Training and development
As members of the Government Economic Service, DCLG economists have access to a range of training courses and development opportunities. The National School of Government provides a wider range of courses for general professional development.
DCLG has a vibrant and lively economics community where sharing of knowledge and expertise is actively encouraged. There are regular lunchtime seminars to discuss new research and analysis. Coaching amongst analysts of different disciplines is also facilitated via networks and communities of interest.
Pay and conditions
- Assistant Economist starting salary is £27,000 p.a.
- Economic Adviser salary range is £43,838 – £56,544 plus an analysts allowance of £3,000 p.a. (non-consolidated).
- 41 hour working week
- 30 days holiday and 2½ days privilege holidays
- Flexible working hours
Routes in to DCLG
Assistant Economists: Assistant Economists are members of the GES and the Civil Service Fast Stream, and successful applicants have to pass assessment centres for both. The recruitment process is common to a number of departments and candidates can express a preference for their preferred departments. There may also be opportunities to apply to join as a provisional assistant economist with the expectation that you will apply for a permanent placement and go through the Economist and Fast Stream Assessment Centres within 12 months. For either route, at the application stage you will be able to select DCLG as one of three preferred Departments.
Want to know more?
Please contact Scott Dennison at firstname.lastname@example.org or on 0303 444 2271.
For further information on the work of the department, see www.communities.gov.uk