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Title Economist
Ref HE/3820
Directorate Strategy & Planning
Preferred Location Nationwide
Salary £28,644 - £31,078
Number of Positions 1
Working Pattern Full Time
Closing Date 21 Jan 2018

About Us

As a graduate economist in Highways England, you will perform an exciting role in supporting the development of economic analysis for several key projects such as next Road Investment Strategy and key infrastructure schemes such as the Lower Thames Crossing.

This role will allow you to develop your economic appraisal skills through applying economic theory to real-world problems such as deciding how the future road network should look, and it will allow you daily interactions with all areas of the business expanding your knowledge of how a delivery organisation operates

This role provides good opportunities for progression within the growing Economics team but will also provide you with transferable skills for the public and private sector.

Job Description

Day to day

In your role as a graduate economist, you will work with senior economists to undertake economic research to provide a more complete vision of value for tax payer, road-user and society. This will form part of your daily role of supporting a broad range of ongoing projects.

Specific activities include:

  • Supporting on the creation of the second Road Investment Strategy Business Case which will involve helping individual areas in Highways England develop their economic analysis to feed into Economic Case. This is an exciting opportunity to apply economics to understand the impacts of the day-to-day operations of the organisation.
  • Support the development of the A303 Stonehenge and Lower Thames Crossing business cases, progressing and advancing the evidence behind benefits realisation management (ensuring the benefits identified in a business case are delivered on the ground) and supporting the modelling of macro-economic impacts analysis.

The role will also involve regularly assessing business cases for schemes across the network to provide investment decision committees with an understanding of the Value for Money of the project by presenting a clear and logical argument. This will help develop your ability to consider the impact of infrastructure with regards to its direct economic impacts but also from a critical view of strategic impacts of roads schemes along with the risks and uncertainties around benefits being realised.

Alongside regular interaction with senior analysts, graduate economists will have access to a generous array of resources which will fully support their development into a professional economist. This includes access to courses ranging from introductions to economics in government, to more specialist courses to help develop areas that you are interested in. You will also have access to regular lectures and talks run by different government organisations alongside those in Highways England.

About you

For this role, we are looking for candidates to have:

  • 2:1 Economics degree or an undergraduate degree with an economics component of at least 50% is required.
  • Basic Microsoft Office skills

Other desirable but not required qualifications include:

  • A Masters qualification in economics
  • Intermediate knowledge of Microsoft Excel
  • Work experience of economic analysis/appraisal in government, a consultancy or in academia

We do welcome applications from candidates that have recently completed their degree, alongside those with work experience as the roles can be adapted to be as stretching as required to develop you into great economists.

Alongside this, we are looking for candidates with strong numerical proficiency and an eye for detail. The role requires someone with good knowledge of economic theory and the ability to explain complex theories in a succinct way, particularly to non-specialists.  As a result, excellent verbal and written communication skills are very important in this role along with your ability to work well with others and in a team. Given the pace of work in this role, candidates must also have the ability to be proactive and work to deadlines. 


We look forward to hearing from you. So we can really get to know you and what you can offer please include a CV with your application.

You’re also encouraged to include a covering note explaining how you're a great match for us: tell us how your skills, experience and qualifications meet the role, and Highways England requirements.

Please also provide the answer to this question in 500 words or less:

Describe the concept of market failure and how it could apply to Highways England (who operate and manage the strategic road network in England)

This is to test your ability to apply economics. If you are successful, expect to provide a 5 minute presentation on this topic as if you are explaining it to non-economists.

Suggested resources include HMT Green Book[1] for guidance on government appraisal, and Highways England website and Road Investment Strategy[2] for context.

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