Head of Research

Clerkenwell, London (Greater)
£60,000 to £70,000, pension, benefits portal, volunteering days in addition to annual leave
11 May 2018
28 May 2018
Full Time
Contract Type


The Careers & Enterprise Company was set up by government in 2015 to inspire and prepare young people for the fast-changing world of work. Our role is to be the national network that connects schools and colleges, employers and careers programme providers to create high-impact careers opportunities for young people.

Executing against this modern and dynamic blueprint cannot be done in isolation. It requires thousands of people from schools, colleges, employers and careers and enterprise providers working together.  At the Careers & Enterprise Company, we are committed to working with others to create a network that delivers these encounters and helps schools and colleges build careers and enterprise aligned with this best practice.

Our four pillars of work

  1. Building local networks: We are building a national network in collaboration with Local Enterprise Partnerships that connects schools and colleges to employers across the country.
  2. Finding out what works: Our research draws together what is known about the best ways to prepare young people for the world of work.
  3. Backing proven ideas: Our investment funds helps the best ideas spread quickly. We use these programmes to develop best practice and leverage additional investment into the system, with over £15million in external funding secured to date.
  4. Supporting careers and enterprise with technology: We are developing a digital infrastructure to support young people into the world of work and to help schools and colleges to optimise their careers and enterprise provision.

As a result of the Careers Strategy, published by government in December 2017, the Careers & Enterprise Company’s remit is growing, and the team is expanding.

Christine Hodgson, chairman of Capgemini, is our chair. Other board members include Lord Young, former Enterprise Adviser to the Prime Minister, Steve Holliday, former Chief Executive of National Grid plc, Brian Lightman, former General Secretary of ASCL and Dame Julia Cleverdon DCVO, CBE, Vice President of Business in the Community and Special Adviser to The Prince’s Charities. The company is led by Claudia Harris, CEO and former partner at McKinsey.


Role Scope

Responsible for leading research projects for the Company, for managing and mentoring more junior staff, writing and quality assuring research outputs and building and developing the Company’s relationships with other research organisations working in the education and employability field.

This will include leading activities around the evaluation of the Company’s programmes, for the production of a range of regular publications (e.g. What Works? Cold Spots, State of the Nation) and the development of breakthrough new research.

Key Responsibilities

Leadership and management

  • Manage the day to day activities and outputs of the research and data team.
  • Line manage the members of the research and data team.
  • Mentor and develop the research and data team.
  • Be accountable for research projects, potentially with external partners, that deliver high quality research that can be relevant to informing policy.
  • Manage and deliver research projects addressing careers and enterprise education and other areas that relate to the Company’s strategic objectives.


  • Identify and consolidate existing research which is relevant to the Careers & Enterprise (CEC) agenda and create links with other areas of knowledge to ensure CEC has a deep asset of knowledge and evidence.
  • Identify areas of key research that are missing from the current evidence base and work with partners and other research organisation to fill these gaps, positioning CEC as a thought leader in this space.
  • Lead the writing and editing of research reports.
  • Present research findings and represent the Company to a range of stakeholders including government, employers and educators.


  • Network with and manage relationships with key stakeholders, such as national and international academics, central and local government officials think tanks, and funders to ensure CEC’s contributions to research efforts across the sector is coordinated, collaborative and does not duplicate.
  • Ensure the results of CEC’s research and the collation of other research is accessible and of practical value to Enterprise Coordinators, Enterprise Advisers, schools and employers, through various media: e.g., toolkits, web portal, speaker engagements etc.

Developing capacity

  • Support the Enterprise Adviser programme through provision of content for the toolkit and training days, either through the research team or drawing on network of external partners, academics, other research bodies.
  • Work closely with the Technology team to capture business intelligence from data collected by the Company.

Qualifications & Experience required

  • Experience of managing research teams to deliver high quality output.
  • Experience of managing research programmes and projects under short time constraints.
  • Experience of social research. Ideally with a relevant postgraduate degree.
  • Excellent knowledge of the English education system. Ideally with a strong understanding of career guidance and employer engagement.
  • A national reputation in the field backed up by a body of published research.
  • Experience of quantitative and qualitative methods.
  • Experience of using analytical software such as Excel, SPSS and Nvivo. 
  • Experience of communicating research to a broad range of audiences.
  • A proven track record of creating impact through research ideas generated and projects delivered.
  • A track record in engaging and enlisting the support of stakeholders (internal and external) throughout the design and delivery of relevant research to ensure that it meets their critical requirements and receives broad based support.
  • A proven ability to work and lead delivery at pace and to manage content from multiple sources, synthesising across them to draw out insight.
  • Previous experience of working in teams and mentoring more junior staff.

Skills & Core Competencies

  • Collaborative and good at building relationships. Working with colleagues, partner organisations and beyond, to achieve one mission.
  • An excellent written and verbal communicator with good interpersonal skills, confident working with individuals at all levels.
  • Analytical, creative and strategic; a good problem solver, demonstrating strong business acumen.
  • Good at influencing, driving impact and implementing change
  • Pragmatic and adaptable with the ability to deal with ambiguity and effectively manage through conflict
  • Excellent project management skills

Please download the job description for more information. To apply please submit your CV and a covering letter (no more than 2 sides of A4) to hr@careersandenterprise.co.uk

Closing date for applications is Monday 28th May at 5pm. The first stage of interviews will take place week commencing the 4th June 2018 and final stage interviews will ideally be on the 13th June 2018.

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