Location: UK: (Flexible + Birmingham, Guildford & Maidstone)

Start Date: April 2024

Opportunity: 6-month returnship

Apply by: ASAP, latest by 12 February 2024

*Applications have now closed*

Your New Role

If you are an experienced professional who has been out of work for 2 or more years and are looking to return to the workplace and get your career back on track, then this could be a perfect opportunity for you.

The National Highways Returners Programme has a range of opportunities available, where you will be able to become completely integrated into a team within the organisation and build up any lost confidence, brush up on those management skills or gain some new ones.

This is the sixth year that National Highways has been running such a successful and rewarding Programme. It is designed to give you a great experience working for a company that values you as an individual and wants to help you move forward whilst also allowing the organisation to benefit from all your previous experience gained prior to your career break.

About the Programme

There are several roles available paying between £36,720 – £61,060 dependent on role. Do not worry if you don’t have the specific experience in your chosen field or area of interest, as they are looking for talented individuals who share their values and behaviours and are able to transfer their skills to be successful in a new role with their support.

All roles are initially offered on a 6-month fixed term contract but could lead to further opportunities both permanent or interim. 87.5% of those who have joined the Programme have remained with the organisation beyond six months.

National Highways will provide you with a supportive line manager, a structured Coaching Programme in partnership with Career Returners (previously Women Returners) and a mentor/buddy to help you succeed.

Worried that only 9am-5pm, 5 days a week positions exist? Don’t be! National Highways is a flexible working organisation and understand that life is important and there is a reason not everyone can commit to these hours. They are open to a variety of working options.

Read Marisa’s story of returning via the Returner programme here: Marisa’s Story

Roles available and Applicant Attributes

Fund Delivery Manager – Customer, Strategy & Communications (Flexible across the UK):

  • Experience of design or management of complex application and approvals process and associated governance.
  • Establishing and managing complex relationships with multiple stakeholders and evidence of skills to influence to deliver positive outcomes.
  • Good commercial and project management understanding.
  • Track record of working in fund or contract management, ideally within the public sector.
  • Significant experience of coordinating workloads across teams, including those not directly managed, to achieve maximum efficiency.

Delivery Manager – Customer, Strategy & Communications (Flexible across the UK):

  • Experience of monitoring and assurance of successful delivery of funded capital projects.
  • The ability to manage relationships with multiple stakeholders.
  • To manage appropriate performance management framework to allow effective oversight of a portfolio of projects efficiently.
  • Fund or contract management experience, ideally within the public sector.
  • Analytical skills, to develop, analyse and provide commentary on programme plans and performance.

For the above roles you will join their supportive and dynamic Rapid Charging Fund (RCF) team. The fund will see £950m invested over several years to subsidise connections between the electricity grid and service areas on and around the Strategic Road Network (SRN), improving the Electric Vehicle (EV) charging infrastructure and meeting the needs of customers and an expanding EV fleet.

Transport Planner, Part-time (18.5 hours) – Customer, Strategy & Communications (Flexible across the UK):

  • A good level of technical knowledge and experience that could be characterised by experience of strategic transport modelling.
  • Technical knowledge of the form and function of strategic highway transport models and experience of developing and using strategic highway transport models together with programming skills. In addition, some knowledge of public transport, variable demand and junction models.
  • Intermediate knowledge of Excel, GIS and other analytical tools.
  • Knowledge of typical datasets, such as GPS-based and mobile-phone sourced datasets, the National Trip End Model and National Travel Survey, underpinning strategic transport modelling, including strengths, weaknesses, threats, and opportunities.
  • Some understanding of how and where transport models should be used in the development of evidence bases, such as by subsequent air quality and noise models and be able to advise on the strengths and weaknesses of such outputs.

In your new role you will assist in providing a range of detailed transport planning insight through your technical expertise in one or more areas of transport planning, to aid areas of the company that need such advice and to support decision making.

Project Manager – Major Projects (Guildford):

  • Experience of successfully leading the delivery of complex or high-profile capital infrastructure projects.
  • Experience in managing complex relationships with multiple stakeholders and evidence of skills to influence relationships for positive outcomes.
  • Experience in managing business and/or value management cases for new projects through company-defined governance, review, and approval gates.
  • Solid experience of leading the health and safety of project teams in scheme development and in a construction environment.
  • Demonstrate experience as a mentor and/or coach to develop project management talent, skills, and competence within a complex project environment.

Are you looking for a challenging and dynamic Project Management opportunity, whilst avoiding a commute into London? Is your work life balance important to you when looking for your next career step? National Highways are looking for talented Project Managers to work in Guildford, and with their hybrid working approach, you’ll be challenged but able to maintain a healthy work life balance with full and part-time opportunities available now.

Their Project Managers typically lead major transport schemes with a value between £25m and £200m. You might also find yourself working as part of a wider project management team supporting a Senior Project Manager on one of their much larger projects. Project Managers ensure they deliver their schemes to time, cost and quality.

Project Manager (Change) – Major Projects (Birmingham):

  • Experience of successfully leading the delivery of complex or high-profile projects.
  • Experience in managing complex relationships with multiple stakeholders and evidence of skills to influence relationships for positive outcomes.
  • Experience in managing business and/or value management cases for new projects through company-defined governance, review, and approval gates.
  • Demonstrate experience as a mentor and/or coach to develop project management talent, skills, and competence within a complex project environment.

Join their Change team as a Project Manager! As a project management professional at National Highways, you will be offered excellent professional development opportunities, spanning formal project management qualifications, health and safety, and a range of other on the job training all whilst working with a positive, inclusive and collaborative working culture, with a strong wellbeing focus.

Quantity Surveyor (Commercial Operations) – Commercial & Procurement (Maidstone):

  • Experience working as a Quantity Surveyor, preferably within the highways sector.
  • Expert knowledge of the NEC forms of contract with experience of Option C an advantage as is knowledge and experience of CEMAR.
  • Excellent understanding of supply chain management and how to work collaboratively to achieve goals.
  • Excellent commercial awareness and negotiation skills and can demonstrate delivering solutions to complex commercial issues.
  • Managing internal and external stakeholders, ensuring that commercial position is clear and provide expert commercial advice to the business.

The Commercial Delivery (Operations) Division increase and protect value through simpler, smarter commercial solutions and protecting the commercial interests of the business. They are very much embedded with their Operations colleagues delivering capital schemes providing the full spectrum of Quantity Surveying services under the NEC Contract.

To be successful

If you can demonstrate how you:

  • put safety first
  • take ownership of your work
  • work effectively in a team
  • show passion for what you do
  • show integrity in how you do it

Then you could be a great fit for the Programme. Remember, this doesn’t have to be in a purely work environment.

A bit about National Highways

It’s an exciting time to begin a career with National Highways as they deliver £27 billion of investment in England’s motorways and A Roads, boosting capacity, tackling congestion, and improving safety. That’s why they’re so grateful to their c.5,500 employees around the country. When you work with them, you’re helping to connect communities, sustain business and support the economy.

Why you should join them

At National Highways, they believe in a connected country. They are passionate about creating a culture where colleagues feel connected, included and enjoy greater wellbeing to achieve this. They’re proud that as an organisation they are continually striving to do better and actively encourage and support their colleagues to do the same with their careers. National Highways supports Hybrid working with the business aiming for 40% capacity of your working hours to be worked from an office. This is to be agreed on a local basis with line management, as hybrid working can look different for each team.

Want to know more?

If you’re ready to start your return-to-work journey with National Highways, don’t forget to clearly show your career break on your CV as well as what you’ve been doing and why you’d like to start your next chapter as part of the Returners Programme with them.

Click here to apply using this link: National Highways Returners Programme

The closing date for applications is 12 February 2024, with interviews planned the end of February through to the beginning of March, and an estimated start date toward the end of April 2024.

If you have any queries, email hrhighwaysengland@mailgc.cx.ukg.oraclecloud.com quoting ‘Returner Programme’.