Returners Programme – Economic Advisor

Ofcom

London, UK

Edinburgh, Scotland

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Team Overview

Ofcom Returners Programme

Ofcom is partnering with Women Returners to offer a Returners Programme which will support talented individuals from all genders and backgrounds, back into work after an extended career break of two or more years.

About the Ofcom Returners programme

The programme offers successful applicants a six months fixed term contract and the possibility of transitioning into a permanent role; a range of flexible working options are available, and as standard, colleagues have ability and technology to work outside of the office regularly.

As part of the Returners programme you will be supported back into the workplace; you will receive coaching from Women Returners, a mentor from within Ofcom and opportunities to network across the organisation. You will receive a competitive package of pay and benefits during the programme.

Ofcom is the independent regulator and competition authority for the UK communications sector. Our activities include promoting investment in faster broadband and mobile coverage, regulating the BBC, helping consumers to engage in communications markets, and managing the airwaves which are used by mobile and wifi devices.

Ofcom’s competition and regulatory economics team plays a fundamental role in ensuring that communications markets work well for UK citizens and consumers. We are one of the largest such teams in the UK, with more than 50 economists working on issues related to TV, radio and video-on-demand sectors, fixed-line telecoms, mobile and postal services. We are responsible for ensuring that Ofcom’s policies have a sound economic foundation, and that they will deliver a real, long-term impact.

Purpose of the role

In this role you will work within multi-disciplinary teams on a variety of projects across a fast-changing sector, providing economic advice on between one and three projects at any given time. You will get involved in the issues straight away, helping to formulate policy options and reach robust, evidence-based decisions.

Some recent and ongoing examples of our work include:

  • analysing competition in telecoms markets using applied industrial organisation theory, and identifying ways to address market power and promote competition;
  • providing financial insight and economic modelling to help maintain the regulatory regime which secures the provision of the universal postal service;
  • adopting some of the principles of game theory and auction theory to inform the best ways to allocate portions of the airwaves over which wireless devices operate; and
  • using behavioural economics to understand how consumers compare products when making their purchasing decisions.

We need all types of people, because we believe a diverse group of people is able to offer breadth of experience and thinking.

In return, we provide a stimulating and rewarding environment. You'll be working with people who thrive on being challenged, sharing your unique skills, knowledge and experience to make a real difference and contribute to our success.

Requirements of the role

On a typical project, you will be:

  • Identifying the key economic issues
  • Helping to develop the analytical framework for addressing those issues
  • Considering what information is needed to inform the economic analysis, and how that information will be gathered
  • Providing high quality analysis, anticipating and considering counter-arguments or different points of view from others, both within and outside Ofcom
  • Potentially managing complex data sets and spreadsheet models
  • Providing clear, well-reasoned drafting, including for documents that will be published
  • Participating in team meetings, governance meetings and meetings with stakeholders
  • Contributing to the economics and wider teams through non-project work such as training, knowledge-sharing, or organising seminars.

In all of these areas, you will demonstrate Ofcom’s values of excellence, empowerment, agility and collaboration.

Skills, knowledge and experience

  • Knowledge of microeconomics: Ofcom is an economic regulator and our policies are based on solid economic foundations. You will therefore need to have a good grounding in microeconomics, ideally with knowledge of industrial organisation, public economics or financial economics. We are particularly interested in candidates with a post-graduate qualification (such as an MSc or a PhD with relevant specialisms) and those with an academic and/or working background in industrial organisation, competition, or regulatory economics.
  • Ability to apply economic concepts: You will need to be able to apply your knowledge of microeconomics to new situations. Communications markets are dynamic, and we face problems that are novel and complex. You will need to think innovatively and creatively to identify the relevant economic issues that can inform our policymaking and regulation.
  • Collaboration and communication skills: The ability to communicate effectively in writing is a vital skill, both for internal and published papers. We have a strong culture of collaboration, so good presentational/verbal and listening skills are essential.
  • Quantitatively strong: Quantitative analysis supports most of our decisions, so you need to be experienced in interpreting information, and have good attention to detail. Experience of using or developing spreadsheet models is desirable but not essential.
  • Experience: You will need to demonstrate that you have past experience of applying economics, preferably in regulation or competition policy. This will typically have been gained through working at a consultancy, at another regulator, competition authority or government agency/department, or a regulated company.

Qualifications

An undergraduate or post-graduate degree in economics, or a degree with a significant economics component.

Competences

  • Communication (written & Oral) - Draws complex ideas into a clear and focused document; makes complex arguments accessible for non-specialists; tailors approach for the audience; anticipates possible challenges and objections; listens to and acknowledges the contribution of others; challenges to improve thinking and ideas, with full respect.
  • Problem solving and analysis - Identifies the key issues and hypotheses; considers the practicality, risks and implications of options; makes timely, well-reasoned decisions; seeks creative and innovative ways to achieve outcomes; achieves the right balance between short-term issues and longer-term strategic thinking.
  • Knowledge and expertise - Applies specialist knowledge; demonstrates understanding of strategic and commercial pressures, market behaviour and the effect of regulatory intervention.

Further information

To apply to the Ofcom Returners Programme, please upload your CV and a 500 word Covering Letter.

We would like your covering letter to highlight your experience and motivations for joining the Ofcom Returners Programme.

CV alone will not be accepted.


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