Centre for Environment, Fisheries and Aquaculture Science (Cefas)
You will be a member of a highly motivated and committed team of observers who are based at port offices throughout England, delivering important scientific work required under UK legislation.
Your main duties will be to record the numbers of fish and shellfish which are retained and discarded onboard English registered fishing vessels during normal commercial fishing operations. Access to fishing vessels is on a voluntary basis and you will be required to negotiate access with vessel operators. You will also be required to undertake biological sampling of fish and shellfish landings at various ports in England. You will work regularly at sea on commercial fishing vessels, sailing from various ports to schedules determined by the fishing boat skippers (typically 50-80 days at sea per year with scope for more), and with shore-based industry sectors, such as fish markets and merchants. This work will require significant travel and regular lone working during unsocial hours, at weekends and at short notice. A flexible approach to working is essential. Additional payments are made for work undertaken at sea and during unsociable hours.
A comprehensive training programme will be provided. Once competent, and sampling effectively without supervision, the successful applicant will be expected to provide training for new staff. During your training period you will be required to pass an ENG1 medical and complete basic sea safety training.
Cefas is proud of a diverse and inclusive work environment, committed to fairness and the promotion of equality of opportunity for all. We know that having a range of experiences, backgrounds, ways of working and thinking, makes us a stronger organisation, better at reflecting the communities we serve. We embrace different views and experiences and value the fresh perspective that people from a variety of circumstances bring to the work we do. We welcome applications from candidates who have not previously worked for the Civil Service, mid- and late-career changers with transferable skills, people from all backgrounds and circumstances regardless of disability, gender, age, ethnicity, LGBT+ identity and socio-economic status.
Your main duties and responsibilities will include, but are not limited to:
In addition, Cefas reserves the right to ask staff to take on additional duties and responsibilities which are commensurate with their grade. Team Leaders and management will have a discussion with staff to explain the changes that are to be made. A new job description will be issued if required.
Applicants should be highly motivated, target driven individuals with good communications skills, both verbal and written. A keen interest in collecting good fisheries data is essential as the job can be challenging at times. As this role must work around the fishing industry, both onshore and at sea, applicants must be willing to work unsociable hours and weekends. You will be required to travel across England and Wales on a weekly basis using a pool van.
The following are essential criteria required for this role and you must be able to demonstrate your skills and experience in the following areas:
We'll assess you against these technical skills during the selection process:
We only ask for evidence of these technical skills on your application form:
As part of the application process you are asked to provide a CV (job history, qualifications, past skills and experience), a 750-word personal statement on how you meet the essential criteria as stated in the person specification section, and a 250-word statement on how you meet the lead technical skill 'Experience of working at sea'.
Further details around what this will entail are listed on the application form.
The sift panel will use the information in your CV and personal statement to assess your experience and how you meet the essential criteria as stated in the person specification section. The sift panel will also assess the lead technical skill - 'Experience of working at sea'.
Should a large number of applications be received, an initial sift may be conducted using the lead technical skill - 'Experience of working at sea'. Candidates who pass the initial sift may be progressed to a full sift or, progressed straight to assessment/interview.
Interview schedule and details will be confirmed on release of the sift results.
If successful at application stage, you will be invited to interview where you will be assessed on your Experience and the four advertised technical skills. Assessment of the technical skills will consist of a short test or scenario. You may also be required to give a presentation but will receive further information to prepare for this if you are invited to interview.
Please be aware that at this time, interviews may take place in person.
If scores are equal following interview, an assessment of the lead technical skill - 'experience of working at sea' will be used by the panel.
A date has not yet been confirmed for the interviews to take place.
Please be aware that this role will be contractually based at Hayle or Plymouth. The successful candidate is required to carry out all their duties from a UK location and cannot do so from an overseas location at any time.
Travel and subsistence will not be paid for travel to a base office location.
Cefas operates a blended working policy subject to business need, giving people the flexibility to choose when and where they work and collaborate with others.
Our staff are expected to work the office/lab location in Lowestoft/Weymouth/Plymouth etc.., as required by their role and business team needs. There is flexibility to split the working week, spending a minimum of one day in the workplace
A reserve list may be held for a period of 12 months from which further appointments can be made.
New entrants are expected to start on the minimum of the pay band.
There is a pay award pending as Cefas is yet to finalise and implement the Civil Service Pay Remit 2023/2024 - Civil Service Pay Remit Guidance, 2023 to 2024 - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk).
Visa Sponsorship Statement
Please take note that Defra does not hold a UK Visa & Immigration (UKVI) Skilled Worker License sponsor and are unable to sponsor any individuals for Skilled Worker Sponsorship.
If a person with disabilities is put at a substantial disadvantage compared to a non-disabled person, we have a duty to make reasonable changes to our processes.
If you need a change to be made so that you can make your application, you should:
If you are experiencing accessibility problems with any attachments on this advert, please contact the email address in the 'Contact point for applicants' section.
Criminal Record Check
If successful and transferring from another Government Department, a criminal record check may be carried out.
In order to process applications without delay, we will be sending a Criminal Record Check to Disclosure and Barring Service on your behalf. However, we recognise in exceptional circumstances some candidates will want to send their completed forms direct. If you will be doing this, please advise Government Recruitment Service of your intention by emailing Pre-EmploymentChecks.firstname.lastname@example.org stating the job reference number in the subject heading.
Internal Fraud Database Check
Applicants who are successful at interview will be, as part of pre-employment screening subject to a check on the Internal Fraud Database (IFD). This check will provide information about employees who have been dismissed for fraud or dishonesty offences. This check also applies to employees who resign or otherwise leave before being dismissed for fraud or dishonesty had their employment continued. Any applicant’s details held on the IFD will be refused employment.
A candidate is not eligible to apply for a role within the Civil Service if the application is made within a 5-year period following a dismissal for carrying out internal fraud against government.
Any move to Defra from another employer will mean you can no longer access childcare vouchers. You may however be eligible for other government schemes, including Tax Free Childcare. Determine your eligibility at https://www.childcarechoices.gov.uk
This job is broadly open to the following groups: