About the job
The rail network plays a vital economic and social role. This is a unique opportunity for you to improve how the railways work and to make a positive difference to the experience of over 1.7 billion passenger journeys and to the movement of around 80 million tonnes of goods and raw materials each year.
This is an exciting and diverse role that will offer you the opportunity to develop policy, lead challenging analytical work and design and implement incentive mechanisms, working closely with engineering, legal, regulation and competition experts as well as governments and the wider rail industry. It is also an exciting and challenging time to join the rail industry, as we seek to adapt our regulation to support continued growth of the network and help meet the many potential changes on the horizon.
About the role:
You will join the ORR’s Economics team in the Railway Markets and Economics (RME) directorate. We works on a diverse range of economic and policy issues, much of which directed at the economic regulation of Britain’s national rail network.
Your work will focus on the frameworks in which we regulate Network Rail and other infrastructure managers. This will include:
• adapting our regulation to focus on the performance of local business units (‘routes’) to reflect our new and novel approach to regulating Network Rail, which we have recently developed through our PR18 determination;
• developing our regulation of Network Rail’s national, central function that oversees and coordinates activities across the network, such as creating timetables (‘the System Operator’); and
• developing the regulatory frameworks for new parts of the rail network owned by other parties, such as High Speed 2 (HS2, the proposed high-speed rail line from London to Manchester and Leeds), the Channel Tunnel, High Speed 1, and Crossrail. The development of HS2 may, in particular, pose wider issues for the regulation of the rail network that we will need to consider.
You will be expected to take a leading role in one or more of these areas and to make a significant contribution to the other two, working closely with the Head of Regulatory Economics.
You will also have the opportunity to work closely with colleagues in the rest of the Economics teams, whose work focuses on the design of price mechanisms, the analysis of user behaviour and the application of econometric analysis to understand the drivers of infrastructure costs, efficiency and quality.
Whilst there is scope for the successful candidate to shape their role given their skills, experience and areas of interest, Senior Economists/Senior Policy Managers in this team can be expected to have a role in:
• developing discrete aspects of our framework for regulating Network Rail at the route level by providing expert economic and policy advice. In the coming months, this is likely to include consideration of how the regulatory framework for monitoring and reporting on Network Rail’s performance can make most effective use of reputational incentives and behavioural economics;
• leading aspects on the regulation of the System Operator, including monitoring its performance and escalating issues, as necessary;
• managing aspects of the regulatory regime to support and incentivise collaborative working between Network Rail and its stakeholders; and
• leading key aspects of our policy for third party investment in the railway, including the regulatory regime for non-Network Rail owned infrastructure, and applying this policy to HS2.
Staff at this level are also generally expected to:
• work with and manage staff, often in a multidisciplinary team drawn from across the organisation, on a variety of projects and initiatives;
• undertake research, and review the work of more junior colleagues, relating to economic research and practice from different regulated infrastructure sectors in the UK and internationally;
• produce, contribute to and review written reports, briefing notes and committee papers;
• commission and oversee consultancy projects;
• represent ORR and the Economics team at internal and external events, including at meetings with stakeholders, other regulators and government;
• present analysis, proposals and recommendations to internal and external audiences; and
• be an active member of the Economics team, including being involved in team development, knowledge dissemination and recruitment. You may also expected to line manager a member of the team.
This description of the job may be subject to review, and is to provide you with guidelines within which you would work. Other duties appropriate to the grade may be assigned from time to time.
We are looking for a highly motivated candidate who will enjoy working in a small and dynamic team, within a multi-disciplinary organisation, and who is capable of simultaneously working on a range of issues, balancing priorities as necessary.
This role would suit someone with a background in regulatory economics and/or policy development who can bring to ORR a mixture of analytical, research and policy development. They should be able to write and present clearly and persuasively. They should also have excellent communication skills and be adept at engaging with a diverse range stakeholders at a senior level. The ability to approach issues strategically and with a clear focus on prioritisation, as well as attention to detail, will be also important. The post holder will be expected to have excellent project management skills and be able to work independently, managing pieces of work and resources effectively to agreed timescales.
• Experience of having worked on policy or related subject areas, for example from within another government department, an economic regulator or a regulated business; and
• Knowledge, understanding and interest in regulatory and/or competition economics and/or public policy.
It would also be desirable (but not essential) to have experience in the regulation of infrastructure management and related fields.
Please click APPLY to see the Candidate Information Pack for further details on the role and selection process.