The British Council is the world's leading cultural relations organization and creates opportunities for people in the UK and worldwide to understand each other, to work together and learn from one another. We see this as crucial to building secure, more prosperous and sustainable futures for us all. We build trust and understanding between different countries and cultures and develop strong international links that are of benefit to people in Britain and the rest of the world.
We are recruiting to fill the below position below:
Job Title: Programme Manager, Skills
Directorate or Region: SSA
Pay Band: 7
Reports to: Director, Higher Education, Skills and Enterprise
Duration of job: Maternity Cover 4 months ( June - November 2017)
Purpose of job
Context and Environment
- To act as the Senior Responsibility Officer for Programme delivery in the Port Harcourt office with associated representational, leadership and management responsibilities and accountabilities.
- To work with the Director Programmes, Director Higher Education, Skills and Enterprise, and wider Higher Education and Skills team to lead on the development and implementation of Skills portfolio in Nigeria including management of the grant funded two year Fast Forward (FF) action research pilot project.
- Nigeria is now officially the largest economy in Africa. It is also the most populous country with over 180 million citizens. The UK is its largest trading partner. Nigeria holds significant political power in the region and internationally and its society retains a positive attitude to the UK. Therefore, there continue to be major opportunities for the UK and British Council to build on our strong existing relationships with the Nigerian government, institutions and customers/audiences. However, there are complex and substantial risks to this work i.e. security and compliance.
- Nigeria is the British Council’s largest operation in sub-Saharan Africa with offices in 4 cities – Port Harcourt in the south, Kano in the north, Abuja the Federal capital and Lagos the commercial centre. We also have a number of project offices across the country. Our 200 staff work across a range of states delivering large scale contracts, partnership programmes, examinations, projects as well as services in Arts, Education & Society and English & Exams. We are already achieving substantial impact and income (current annual income is £27.2 million) and have plans to grow and develop our impact further. Partners and clients include government, public and private institutions, foundations, private sector organisations and civil society. We work closely with the wider UK mission including DFID and UKTI.
- 42% of Nigeria’s population is under 14. The government has recognised that its Vision 2020 must address the aspirations of this young population as part of its drive to achieve peace and prosperity. This has led to unprecedented interest and investment in Education, the Arts and good governance. This alignment with the UK’s priorities creates a growth environment for the British Council. To be successful in this, we need to build understanding with our UK stakeholders of Nigeria as an emerging economy with substantial commercial and development opportunities as well as the challenges they may be more familiar with. In this we will seek to integrate our approach with that of the wider UK mission.
- We intend to expand and scale up our existing programmes, contracts and services in the Arts, Education & Society, English & Examinations and develop offers to fill important gaps such as in Skills. We also intend to ensure that we have a good balance of partnership, customer services and client funded work across all these sectors. To do all this we need to create the right enabling environment. In addition to developing the professional and technical expertise of our staff, we need to support them to build their relationships within Nigeria, the region and the wider global network. This will ensure we develop as well as adopt and use best practice. We also need rigorous and compliant frameworks to support our work in areas such as finance, tax & status, security, procurement, compliance and quality management. We have new premises in Kano and have a major premises project under development in Abuja. However, there is still more work to be done, especially in Lagos and Port Harcourt to ensure our premises and technology support our brand reputation for integrity, innovation and professionalism.
Accountabilities, Responsibilities and Main Duties
- This post manages the two year grant funded Fast Forward (FF) project in Rivers, Cross Rivers and Lagos States funded by the MacArthur Foundation and builds a portfolio of projects, campaigns and research in employability skills. In so doing, the British Council’s networks, credibility and knowledge of the education and skills sector are expected to grow, that will expand our programme and replace the MacArthur funding after 2017.
- FF is an action research project that will enable co-creation between schools and employers of work-based learning for students in senior secondary school facilitated by British Council in partnership with a Nigerian organisation (expected to be LEAP). The pilot will test how this approach can develop employability skills and how innovations can be introduced in teaching the government curriculum that prepares students for the demands of the workplace.
- At the end of the project, evidence will exist about the new skills students have gained, the effectiveness of bringing work-based learning into the classrooms and the aptitude of teachers to learn new methodologies for teaching skills within the curriculum. Dissemination of research findings will be nationwide with the expectation that if successful, the approach will be adopted into policy by other States and/or scaled up by donor intervention.
- Twenty senior secondary schools across Rivers, Cross Rivers and Lagos States will be selected to participate that will include 1000 students and 300 teachers. An external advisory group will support each State cohort made up of Ministry, NERDC, employers and other stakeholders.
- FF will give us the credibility and leverage as practitioners to contribute to policy direction in employability skills in Nigeria.
Programme development, management, evaluation and reporting:
- Work with Business Unit Director, Director Programmes, specialists from the Regional team and HQ, Project Managers and project partners to implement the project management plan for FF that will achieve project targets within agreed time frames.
- Contribute to the development of and then manage the External Advisory and other stakeholder Groups for FF
- Lead project team to deliver projects and contracts in the Skills portfolio to budget, time and quality standards, ensuring logistical efficiency of programme
- Lead the delivery by the project teams of events and exhibitions, and commission to external event management suppliers when required.
- Lead responsibility for successful delivery of all financial and non-financial targets and indicators for all services, projects, contracts, campaigns and events in the portfolio.
- Lead responsibility for ensuring all core project management plans and documents are completed and kept up to date by project managers at all times
- Lead responsibility for ensuring project reports are completed on time by project managers and to the quality standards expected.
- Support SBU Director and Director Research and other internal stakeholders to commission evaluation and research when required and ensure monitoring and reporting against agreed indicators and measures for FF and all other BC Skills projects, campaigns and events.
- Use insight and knowledge gained from working with stakeholders and customer groups to contribute to strategy, project and programme design
- Support the internal governance of FF and other projects by organising board meetings and papers, participating in meetings and follow up actions arising
- Responsible for ensuring effective management of programme budgets by project managers and checking cash flow forecasts and end of month checks and reports are done to standard expected.
- Responsible for external reporting on budget performance to the requirements set by funders, partners and clients
- Responsible for preparing financial plans and reforecasts with project managers, for approval by Business Unit Director.
- Responsible for preparing ad hoc or scheduled financial reports as required.
- Responsible for ensuring procurement in the teams is conducted in accordance with established corporate policies and processes are appropriately documented and retained.
Contract and Account Management
- Responsible for maintaining and updating project risk registers for FF specifically and the broader Nigeria skills programme
- Convene regular project risk review meetings with project staff and escalate risks as appropriate.
- Ensure dissemination of risk management standards to programme partners
For FF and the broader Skills programme and in compliance with corporate standards, processes and templates for contract and fund management:
- Prepare agreements for sub-contractors, consultants, and suppliers for services over GBP 5K in value and/or of non-routine, complex nature, ensuring they clearly capture terms of reference, roles and responsibilities following established corporate templates
- Provide guidance to project managers in the preparation of contracts for routine services and/or values less than 5K ensuring they clearly capture terms of reference, roles and responsibilities following established corporate templates and guidance issued.
- Quality review all contracts before signature
- Ensure all contracts with project contractors, consultants and suppliers in the portfolio are properly managed by project managers against the TORs given, and take remedial action as required.
- Monitor proper invoicing and payment schedule from grantors, partners and donors
- As part of Country stakeholder management process ensure the maintenance and updates of the CRM database of contacts, recording contacts/ leads and outcomes of meetings, ensuring follow up action is carried out in a timely and efficient manner; Monitor contract records management by project managers to ensure up to date at all times
- Provide guidance to project managers in external official written communications with partners, officials, and consultants, ensuring British Council standards on external communications are upheld
- Ensure that highest standards of customer service are applied to all projects stakeholders at all times, and enquiries and requests are acted on within 3 working days.
- Ensure that projects under contract to clients are delivered according to the terms agreed in the contract and take remedial action as required.
Equality, diversity and inclusion and Child Protection standards:
- Ensure that programme delivery, training events and activity are appropriately screened, including conflict sensitivity screening, and reflect British Council EDI policy
- Lead on programme reporting in Higher Education for British Council Diversity Assessment Framework
- Ensure that child protection policy and standards are followed and maintained for all relevant projects, including the training of partners in CP standards
- Work with British Council Nigeria Marketing and Communications team to develop and disseminate case studies, reports and impact stories for external and internal communication channels including digital and print media.
- Write briefs and ad hoc reports for internal and external audiences as required
- Work collaboratively with colleagues across the British Council to share intelligence and opportunity that creates added benefit to project partners and contacts
- Ensure due diligence checks are carried out on new clients and partners, under the direction of Director SBU
- Support Director SBU complete contract approval process forms when required
- Use knowledge and insight from working with stakeholders and customers in the sector to contribute to business development and new service models
Team Leadership and Management:
- Demonstrate effective leadership of wider Port Harcourt business delivery team and ensure that line management of Project Manager, Skills is to British Council standards.
- Coach, Mentor and support team.
- Model appropriate leadership styles and British Council behaviours and ensure that staff work in alignment with the British Council Values at all times
Managing stakeholders and customer groups:
- Support Business Unit Director to develop and manage relationships with key government and private sector stakeholders, development organisations, funders, donors and partners.
- As delegated by SBU Director, ensure relationships with all key clients, project stakeholders and project partners are maintained by project managers, ensuring professional standards of communication, timely responses and follow through at all times.
- Ensure stakeholder management plans are held for all projects in the portfolio
- Ensure the highest standards of customer care are applied to our audiences and participants at our events and on our projects
- Represent British Council at external events, meetings and forums as required.
- Escalate risks and issues with stakeholders to SBU Directors
Key Internal Relationships:
- Country Director Nigeria, Director Programmes, Business Unit Directors, Senior Stakeholder Manager, other Programme Managers, Nigeria Management Group, Marketing and Communications team, Finance team, wider BC Nigeria programmes team, Regional and Global Education and Society team
Key External Relationships:
- Support Directors Programmes and Education and Skills to develop and manage relationships with key government and private sector stakeholders, development organisations, funders, donors and partners
- Maintain relationships with Fast Forward project partners and participants (schools, employers and External Advisory Groups) in Rivers, Cross Rivers and Lagos State
Other important features or requirements of the job:
- A clear understanding and compliance with British Council policies and processes.
- Travel will be required on a regular basis to Cross Rivers and Lagos and occasionally to Abuja.
- Operational project work requires occasional work outside conditioned hours, for example in the evenings or at weekends. TOIL should be agreed with the line manager in advance to maintain an adequate work-life balance.
- The post-holder may also be required to travel internationally on BC business and should therefore hold valid travel documents.
- Training may be required for certain aspects of the job such as using SAP.
- Please indicate if any security or legal checks are required
- for this role. Applicants must have:
- Right of Abode in Nigeria
- Right to work in Nigeria
Skills and Knowledge:
- See attached BC Core Skills for details Managing Projects
- Analyses requirements with the sponsor/stakeholders, defining the specification, planning, revising, implementing and evaluating on medium-to-large scale and/or high risk projects.
- Coordinates a diverse team with awareness of equality and diversity impact as part of the project specifications and handles changes in specification or plan to meet unexpected circumstances
- Provides full line management to a team where all members are working in a similar area of expertise or business. Scope includes planning, setting objectives, role modelling an inclusive culture, recruitment, development and performance management
- Displays good listening, writing and speaking skills, setting out logical arguments clearly and adapting language and form of communication to meet the needs of different people/audiences.
Planning and Organising:
- Organises own work over weeks and months, or plans ahead for others, taking account of priorities and the impact on other people.
- Develops and reviews the implementation of annual plans for a work group or function, taking account of business and customer requirements and reconciling competing demands
Managing Finance and Resources:
- Monitors and controls an agreed budget within a defined area, producing reports and analyses and contributing to planning.
- Knowledge of the employability and skills discourse
- Knowledge of the secondary education sector
- Network of contacts in education and or industry sectors in any or all of Rivers, Lagos and Cross Rivers
- Short listing & Interview
- Working knowledge of Nigerian Education and Skills systems.
- For SKILLS this should include private and public funded interventions within TVET and Employability fields
- Experience of working with donor/grant/ client funds
- Short listing & Interview
- Post-graduate degree in Education, Humanities or Social Sciences.
Application Closing Date
5th May, 2017.
How to Apply
Interested and qualified candidates should:
Click here to apply online
Click here to download job details (MS Word)
Click here to download BC Behaviour (pdf)
Click here to download BC Generic Skills.pdf