Head of Rail required for a major transport client Who they are: psd Group’s retained client, Midlands Connect is the transport arm of the Midlands Engine. Their 25 year transport strategy for the region has the potential to add £5 billion a year to the UK economy, contributing to the Midlands Engine vision of creating 300,000 additional jobs by 2030 and growing the economy by £54 billion. Midlands Connect was established in October 2015 with one objective – to determine what transport infrastructure was needed to boost the region’s economy. Their partnership is made up of 22 local authorities, nine Local Enterprise Partnerships, East Midlands and Birmingham airports, and chambers of commerce stretching from the Welsh border to the Lincolnshire coast. The partnership also includes the Department for Transport, Network Rail, Highways England and HS2 Ltd, who they work alongside to drive an unprecedented level of collaboration for the good of the Midlands and the UK. This unrivalled civic and business leadership is best placed to understand the potential for economic growth in our area. By speaking with one voice to improve connectivity, we can help the Midlands reach its potential. What they do: Midlands Connect examine every option for improving major transport infrastructure within the region. The fundamental aim of these improvements is to transform regional and UK gateways, bringing the Midlands closer together and accelerating cost-effective improvements to unlock east-west connectivity that will enable the Midlands’ economies to work more effectively together. Midlands Connect published their landmark strategy in March 2017 with broad support from their partners, Government and business, and are now progressing the key programmes within it. This strategy is the basis of all the work they do. They progress the strategy’s individual projects through a pipeline which includes planning, delivery and review. At the planning stage, Midlands Connect develops the economic baseline for interventions. With the support of their partners, Midlands Connect then take projects forward to detailed assessment and then business case. Midlands Connect will never recommend a project for funding and delivery unless they believe the benefits outweigh the costs. Although they won’t build anything themselves, they will recommend projects for funding and help gain government commitment to deliver them. Once those projects become a reality, they will offer oversight and review their impacts before returning to and updating our long term strategy to take account of their contribution to the Midlands and UK transport networks. Midland Connect’s approach is underpinned by a robust governance structure which provides leadership, accountability, expertise and oversight of the Midlands Connect programme. THE ROLE Working with the Chief Technical Officer, as Head of Rail you will oversee the Midlands Connect strategic rail programme including interfaces with HS2. This is a key leadership role and you will represent Midlands Connect in discussions with key decision makers at DfT, Network Rail and HS2. The role’s success will ultimately be based on securing funding which will see economically important infrastructure delivered in the Midlands. You will also work very closely with the Head of Strategy to ensure that the benefits of the overall rail programme are well articulated in the Midlands Connect Strategy. Location: The role is UK based, from the Midlands Connect offices in Birmingham, with the potential for flexible working arrangements. Accountabilities: Overall responsibility for the development of rail scheme development from the Midlands Engine Rail programme. Define and implement project management governance and methodologies to ensure effective working between Midlands Connect, Network Rail, HS2 Ltd, external contractors and the DfT. Secure funding from DfT for the development of the Midlands Engine Rail programme through the ‘Rail National Enhancements Pipeline’ (RNEP) process. Oversee the work of the rail programme managers to establish the project timeframes and deliverables and define the required levels of skills and resources to meet project demand. Commission and oversee transport planning and analytical work to develop the Midlands Connect prioritised technical programme around the rail industry policies and programmes and HS2 proposals as set out in the Midlands Connect Strategy. Chair and manage the ‘Rail Technical Advisory Group’; which consists of officers from all Local Authority partners to Midlands Connect. Establish a strong basis for our responses to rail franchise or any other relevant rail related consultations led by government, the rail industry or other key stakeholders. Responsibilities: Act as the senior representative of the Midlands Connect strategic rail programme in all activity connected with contractual discussions, business readiness, commercial matters, and media campaigns. Lead on the negotiations between the Midlands Connect partnership, HS2 Ltd, Network Rail and the DfT. Ensure integration with HS2 sub regional programmes such as the masterplan activities in Birmingham Curzon, UK Central, Toton and beyond. Support the Chief Technical Officer in the development of funding strategies, new ideas and concepts which support the delivery of the Midlands Connect strategy. Identify research, feasibility studies, consultation, market testing and data analysis to inform the scoping of new projects and development of Business Cases. Deliver accurate and timely reporting on all aspects of the Projects performance and provide challenge as required to drive improved delivery. Co-ordinate and manage multiple complex projects simultaneously, ensuring that the dependencies between them are effectively identified and managed. Provide support to Local Authority partners to develop responses to key consultations on aspects such as franchises, HS2 Hybrid Bill. Day to Day Line Management and Performance Management of those staff assigned to this role. This to include providing leadership, direction and mentoring of the staff engaged on the delivery of projects within this portfolio. Deputise for the Chief Technical Officer Connect as appropriate. Provide strategic input to Midlands Connect’s Business Planning process to ensure delivery of Midlands Connect objectives; Ensures robust project controls and that coherent up to date schedules and milestone plans are in place and are regularly monitored to drive the delivery of projects and activities against agreed governance and timescales. THE CANDIDATE Skill, Knowledge & Experience: The ideal candidate will have experience of working in a senior role, have a technical background, ideally in civil engineering or rail planning, and have experience of working in the rail industry in a similar role. Extensive experience in following Network Rail’s GRIP process; Extensive experience in design and construct rail projects; Experience of transport business case development, following DfT’s TAG processes and guidance, including cost/benefit analysis, general appraisal techniques and wider economic benefit assessment; Experience of ensuring appropriate governance is upheld by following best procurement practice and compliance with EU and UK Legislative requirements; Experience of ensuring that appropriate audit trails are established and procedures followed for all procurement-related activity; Extensive knowledge of HS2 & rail policy; Extensive experience in rail consultancy or working in the rail industry either with infrastructure providers, train operating companies or Government Departments; You will be of an analytical mind and high level of intellect – combining excellent written and oral skills to produce considered and robust reports and recommendations. Qualifications: (The qualifications below are not necessarily required in all cases, but indicate the level of intellect required to perform the duties of the post). Degree or equivalent in rail engineering or a related discipline – essential. Chartership of a relevant professional body – desirable. Summary: This is a high-profile appointment, where you will be able to shape, influence and drive innovative and progressive transport initiatives towards delivery. If you are up for the challenge, this role will require you to be open minded, excited by the opportunity to facilitate change and to have really solid and decisive leadership skills. Diversity: Midlands Connect is an Equal Opportunities employer. All applicants will be considered for employment without attention to race, colour, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin or disability status. 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