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Senior Policy Adviser

Role Summary:

Based at the CBI’s office in Belfast, the Senior Policy Adviser will sit within the Northern Ireland team which is responsible for membership relations and devolved policymaking in Northern Ireland. 

The Senior Policy Adviser will be responsible for leading on a number of Northern Ireland policy areas to influence the policy environment on behalf of CBI members.  

Reporting into the Regional Director, the Senior Policy Adviser will play a key role, consulting with CBI members to develop policy positions that represent the local business view on a range of policy areas.  Key policy areas include: Education and Skills, Infrastructure, Energy, Innovation and Industrial Strategy.  

This role covers the breadth of the CBI’s policy work. The individual would join the CBI’s policy team at an exciting time, with potential to shape the role and the organisation’s plans in a fast-moving environment.  

Key Responsibilities:

Policy Development

  • Working closely with member businesses of all sizes to develop cross-cutting, whole-economy policy positions on key areas impacting the NI economy. 
  • Drafting of papers, reports, briefings and CBI responses to political and policy developments / proposals 
  • Regularly providing support to the Director and other CBI colleagues, to ensure the CBI’s NI policy position is unified, aligned and factored into broader UK policy-making and takes account of the political sensitivities involved. 

Project Working  

  • Participating in and leading collaborative project work across the broader CBI policy teams to continue developing a unified CBI position in key policy areas. 
  • Managing internal and external stakeholders to deliver evidence-based policy successfully and ensuring proactive sharing of information to achieve that. 

Interaction with members 

  • Consulting with CBI members for their views, both individually for in-depth policy discussions, and in larger groups with broader discussion at roundtable events and committee meetings. 
  • Carrying out surveys to obtain member mandate for CBI policy positions 
  • Working with colleagues in Northern Ireland and across the UK to build and maintain relationships with CBI members  
  • Sharing policy and political insights and analysis with members, both individually at member meetings and at briefing events with larger audiences. 

Communication & Lobbying 

  • Influencing policy decisions by lobbying officials, regulators and politicians in NI, GB and in EU institutions. 
  • Building and maintaining your own network of political and government contacts. 
  • Representing the CBI at conferences, external meetings and through the media. 

Knowledge & Experience: 

What an individual must know or understand to be able to fulfil the role’s requirements 

  • Knowledge of the policymaking process in Northern Ireland and the UK government.  
  • Background in economic / policy development and demonstrable interest in public policy. 
  • Understanding of the political sensitivities around the EU negotiations, in Northern Ireland, the UK and across the EU. 
  • Appreciation of the business community’s position on a range of key policy areas.  
  • Familiarity with the workings of business and commercial pressures. 
  • Educated to degree standard 2:1  (A post-graduate in economics, business, finance or international trade disciplines would be desirable). 
  • A minimum of 2 years relevant policy experience. 

Additional role specific skills:

The practical actions required to be able to fulfil the role’s requirements 

  • Strong research and analytical skills – including quickly picking up new issues and concepts, crafting solutions and advising senior colleagues. 
  • Excellent oral and written communication – including the ability to communicate to a wide range of stakeholders and audiences. 
  • Influencing skills – including the ability to persuade policy makers of the benefits of working together with business to achieve joint aims. 
  • Good stakeholder management and interpersonal skills – including the ability to manage relationships with external stakeholders to maintain member satisfaction, and internal stakeholders to effectively co-ordinate the CBI’s wide range of work. 
  • Organisational skills - including overseeing complicated projects with multiple moving parts in a shifting external environment.  
  • High personal efficiency/productivity and flexibility, with the ability to work well in a team – including the ability to work in a fast-paced, pressured environment. 


The CBI has six key behaviours that are expected across the business. For this role, we would expect the individual to role model these behaviours to the team and encourage and review the team using the behaviours as a lens. In practice for this role: 

  • Collaborative – proactively engages with and researches the views of other teams before making key decisions on the programme. 
  • Takes ownership – takes responsibility for successful set-up and delivery of new products, meeting customer expectations and financial targets.
  • Agile – is quick to respond to market opportunities. Ensures that internal processes do not get in the way of you or the team delivering against plans or for the customer.
  • Commercial – actively seeks to ensure the team is doing all they can to contribute to the commercial strategy including taking a lead on new opportunities.
  • Innovative – brings in leading edge industry thinking to advance the team’s contribution to the CBI. Not afraid to do things differently where there are opportunities to deliver better for internal and external customers.
  • Analytical – uses KPIs and other evidence to drive decision making.

Flexible working:

At the CBI we recognise the advantages that flexible working patterns can bring. We’ll always fully consider flexible working and we will aim to facilitate different patterns of work wherever we can. We have great I.T. support which allows our people to work from a variety of locations, and we aim to strike the right balance between work and life.

How to apply: 

Please submit your applications (CV & Cover Letter) to with 'Senior Policy Adviser' as the subject.