POLICY MANAGER

Job Description

Salary: Competitive

Position Title: Policy Manager Location: Hybrid / London / Leeds with frequent travel across the UK Policy Manager We are seeking a dynamic and politically astute Policy Manager to represent our company at the national level. This position will play a pivotal role in shaping First Bus policies and influencing development of national and local policy through stakeholders. This is a stretching role for a committed individual with a strong interest and experience in politics and policy in the transport sector. The postholder will need to be highly flexible to prioritise where their input will add most value in a rapidly changing political landscape, and highly collaborative to work effectively both within the team and with a wide range of internal and external stakeholders. You must be prepared to travel regularly (UK), including overnight stays where needed. First Bus First Bus is one of the UK’s largest bus operators. We employ nearly 13,000 people across the UK and Ireland, working from 65 depots and outstations from Aberdeen to Cornwall, serving two-thirds of the UK’s 15 largest conurbations. We operate a fleet of 4,500 vehicles, nearly 15% of which will be zero emission by Spring 2024. Our entire fleet will be zero emission by 2035. First Bus works nationally through six local business units: Scotland; North and West Yorkshire; Midlands, Manchester and South Yorkshire; Eastern Counties; South; and Wales and West of England. Our First Travel Solutions and SPS businesses are experts in bespoke travel services, and we also operate the Aircoach network in Ireland. The political landscape This will be a fascinating year in politics as we move towards a General Election and a potential change in government. Our operations cover England, Wales, Scotland and Ireland. There are also important local elections in May, including in Mayoral Combined Authorities where we operate, such as West Yorkshire, South Yorkshire and Greater Manchester; and areas where we don’t currently operate, such as London and the West Midlands. As the industry recovers from the pandemic, the political debate has turned to the governance model for bus services, with some authorities, such as Greater Manchester, opting to pursue the franchising model of public control, and others, such as Leicester, opting to work in partnership with operators. Underpinning all of this are questions as to how we get more people to use the bus, and how public and private investment work together to deliver the best possible services so that people are in a position to make sustainable travel choices away from the private car. Position Summary The Team: Policy and Partnerships is a small team of six people led by the Partnerships Director Catherine De Marco and reporting into the Chief Sustainability Officer Isabel McAllister who sits on the Bus Executive. The team’s purpose is to work in partnership with the First Bus Executive and local business units to position ourselves both nationally and locally to ensure the best outcomes for our customers and the communities we serve. We are the custodians of policy and external affairs across all of First Bus, the relationship owner for central government, our sector representative body the Confederation of Passenger Transport (CPT) and other lobby groups such as the Campaign for Better Transport. We work closely with colleagues in communications and PR, as well as commercial teams, to: * Support and advise the business on national and regional / local policy and strategy. Advice will include on matters such as: 1. Governance, including positioning in relation to franchising / partnerships in local areas and input to public consultations where these are launch 2. Funding policy, including on opex and revenue support including fares initiatives 3. Decarbonisation policy, including support to the business on public funding rounds 4. Regulation, for example Public Service Vehicle Accessibility Regulations 5. Routes and Service agreements, including ticketing and formal partnership 6. Competition * Develop and maintain a coherent policy position both nationally and regionally / locally across all the areas listed above, to influence key relationships with stakeholders towards achieving First Bus strategic goals. * Ensure that the business understands the political and government landscape and how to operate within it. Work to build capability in local teams. * Identify key stakeholders and build effective working relationships with them, creating opportunities to influence at the appropriate level in the business including Exec, team and subject matter experts. * Appoint and manage consultants in specialist projects, where needed. The Role: Key Accountabilities & Responsibilities * Advise the business on national and regional / local policy and strategy as it develops. * Collaborate with subject matter experts across the business to establish business impacts and to advise on appropriate response, ensuring clear, accessible documented records of decisions. * Develop trusted relationships with key policy makers with a view to representing the First Bus position and influencing policy development * Take a leading role in industry forums, such as the Confederation for Passenger Transport (CPT) to ensure that the cross-industry position reflects the First Bus position * Identify, mitigate, and escalate policy risks * Represent the company at industry events, conferences, and public hearings, acting as a spokesperson when required. * Prepare briefings, submissions and presentations to government inquiries and consultations. * Support cross-functional teams to deliver projects, ensuring alignment with company objectives and compliance with legal requirements. Skills, Experience and Leadership behaviours required Skills / Experience Proven track record in public policy, or a related role, preferably within the transportation or related public sector. Strong understanding of the UK political policy and environment and legislative process and its impact on the business environment. Proven track record of policy development developing and managing partnerships and strategic alliances. Excellent communication and interpersonal skills, with the ability to build constructive working relationships Ability to work independently and navigate complex policy issues. Sound project management skills with experience of driving results. Leadership behaviours / competencies Strong communicator, able to convey complex ideas in a clear, concise manner both verbally and in writing. Collaborative approach with the ability to work across teams to deliver results. Reliable and diligent personality – committed to the success of the team and the business. Results-oriented and able to prioritise effectively – making a positive difference by identifying and tackling the biggest opportunities. Comfortable operating in an environment with a high degree of ambiguity. Self-motivated team player

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