Below are the current short term secondment opportunities open to current civil servants. Please direct any questions to the department advertising the post.

International secondments

The GCS Knowledge & Capability Unit in collaboration with FCO brings together the best of GCS expertise to provide governments and public institutions around the world with the tools and training they need to develop effective and efficient communications.

We offer professional development opportunities to seconded GCS staff supporting international governments in country. A secondment to the Unit will offer you the chance to apply and develop your skills on demanding and worthwhile projects in support of HMG’s objectives overseas.

To register your interest please complete this form, and email us for more information.

GCS secondments and temporary opportunities

HMRC: Regional Press Officer

Location: Southampton (moving to Portsmouth in 2019)
Grade: HEO
Closing date: 20 July


HMRC’s regional press team is looking for someone with experience of working in a press office or as a journalist to work as Regional Press Officer for the South of England to cover a career break.

There has never been a more exciting and challenging time to work in the HMRC press office. The 30-strong team runs one of the biggest 24-hour news operations both in Government and the UK.

We set and respond to the fast-paced news agenda on tax and this is an opportunity to directly shape how HMRC is presented to the outside world, influencing and advising officials across the department on issues that make headlines around the globe.

A regional press officer’s role is about building relationships, crisis and reputation management. You will not only take responsibility for ensuring HMRC is accurately represented in the media across your region, but also across the UK.

The job is based in Compass House in Southampton, but will move to Portsmouth during the tenure of this secondment.

Description of duties 

The regional press office is made up of regional press officers, managers and support staff based in offices around the UK. All press officers are remotely managed, and most work in offices on their own.

We have regional press officers based in each country and region of the UK. This role is based in Southampton and deals with the media in the South of England. All regional press officers work as a “buddy” for colleagues when they are away or on holiday.

Much of a regional press officer’s role is about building relationships with colleagues within HMRC, other government departments, local stakeholders and journalists to ensure that we are able to accurately promote and explain HMRC’s policies. A solid relationship with colleagues based in HMRC’s national press office in 100Parliament Street is vital to ensure that communications between the two teams are free flowing and comprehensive. You will also work closely with our stakeholder, digital and strategic communications teams.

Before you take up the secondment you will need to go through a security clearance process. If you do not pass the security vetting you will not be confirmed into the position.

The successful candidate will

• Work with lines of business and communications partners to identify communication requirements in the regions
• Seek opportunities to promote HMRC activity in the regional media
• Establish and maintain effective relationships with relevant journalists and local stakeholders
• Establish and maintain effective relationships with colleagues in corporate communications and lines of business
• Commission briefing to allow provision of relevant and accurate answers to questions from the media in writing or verbally
• Write news releases which accurately reflect HMRC policy and ensure the press office style guide is adhered to in all external products
• Carry out evaluation of media coverage
• Deliver proactive media strategies to enable HMRC to set the news agenda
• Occasionally carry out local TV and radio interviews

If you enjoy a challenge and thrive in a fast-paced and often pressurised environment where no two days are ever the same, then this could be the opportunity for you. One day you could be issuing news releases and setting up interviews reminding people to send back their Self Assessment tax returns; the next you could be out at the crack of dawn supporting a TV crew filming operational activity in the middle of nowhere.

What we are looking for:

We need someone who has experience of this type of work so that they can hit the ground running.

Ideally the successful candidate will have recently worked in a government or similar press office or as a journalist. They will have a solid understanding of the legislation for working with the media, and the confidence to handle those who challenge this.

Being able to drive is essential as the role involves regular travel, sometimes locally, but on more regular occasions further afield to meetings with the press office management team, staff and policy colleagues as well as to our Westminster office. The job involves overnight stays away from home as well as late nights and early mornings when you are facilitating operational media opportunities.

We are looking for someone who

• Has excellent writing skills, including grammar and punctuation, as much of your time will be spent proofing and writing news releases, briefings, lines to take etc.
• Has the ability to collaborate across the department/Civil Service/external partners to deliver the best results for the team and HMRC
• Is able to make effective decisions, often under pressure
• Has excellent organisation skills to ensure work is delivered accurately and on time
• Is innovative and open to new ideas to improve our work and the way we work
• Is a real team player who motivates, engages and supports others
• Has the ability to act as an ambassador for Press Office and Corporate Communications.

Essential experience/qualities

  • Experience of working in a press office or as a journalist
  • Full driving licence
  • Must get SC level security clearance before being confirmed into the role


  1. GCS Competency – Ideas
  2. GCS Competency – Insight
  3. GCS Competency – Implementation

How to apply: 

Eligibility: This EOI is available to substantive HOs and Os on temporary promotion

Selection Process:

Please send a statement of suitability for the role (no more than 500 words) and give examples of how you meet the competencies above (in no more than 250 words per competence), together with confirmation of your line manager’s support

Selection will initially be by sift, but interviews may take place if necessary.

Further information is available from Clare Merrills on 07979 806393 or Georgina Myles on 07748 931504.

Please forward your application to by 5pm on 15 July 2018 marking your application appropriately in the email subject box.

Cabinet Office: Interim Chief Press Officer

Location: 70 Whitehall, London
Grade: G7
Closing date: 23 July


The Cabinet Office is looking for an ambitious and creative Interim Chief Press Officer to take the reins on some of the most sensitive and complex issues at the heart of Government for a period of six months, with possibility of extension, while we are short staffed. This is an excellent opportunity to lead a small press team taking on big issues. You will need to be confident enough to give professional and accurate media advice personally David Lidington (the de-facto deputy PM) CO  Ministers, the Cabinet Secretary and other senior officials.

We are looking for someone with a confident knowledge of the media and how the news cycle works, and who isn’t afraid to pick up the phone and make the Government’s case as well as delivering top class coverage in the department’s priority areas. Your political antennae will need to be tuned to detect where the stories are buried, and be prepared to move quickly and break things to get results.

This role involves communicating the big changes in the Civil Service, managing the reputation of all of us who work to support the Government. You will work for the Cabinet Secretary and the Chief Executive of the Civil Service, working proactively and energetically to promote Civil Service values and dealing with reactive issues on sensitive issues surrounding propriety and ethics.

Description of Duties 

– Support the Deputy Director, Media & Campaigns by briefing journalists and setting up interviews as required.
– Work with the Deputy Director  to communicate policy objectives through a series of proactive interviews and media events according to the communications strategy.
– Manage the media elements of the Cabinet Office portfolio, in particular producing creative s and proactive story ideas, providing lines to take, messages and briefing for media interviews and media requests.
– Provide personal, confident media advice to ministers and senior officials.
– Work out of hours, overnight and at weekends as required in the duty rota system.
– Develop creative content, across multimedia platforms for use digitally and with media
– Plan, develop and deliver high quality proactive media handling plans for policy/subject areas relevant to the portfolio ensuring that these are targeted at the most appropriate media outlets.
– Develop a good working relationship with Ministers and senior officials to provide excellent professional advice on media handling and other communications issues for them.  

– Accompanying Ministers and senior officials to interviews and visits as required, and arranging and sitting in on background briefings.
– Speak daily with officials and private office to ensure that the service provided is of the highest standard.
– Quality assure handling plans, scripts and press releases and encourage and support the proactive promotion of stories and the communication of messages.
– Monitor reporting of Cabinet Office stories in the media and on social media in order to evaluate the handling and outcome of specific announcements.
– Develop a deep knowledge of your policy area and develop links with relevant policy officials, attend policy meetings as appropriate.  Offer advice and guidance to colleagues on media handling issues
– Work with colleagues to ensure all media activity is coordinated with the grid planner, No10, other Government departments and relevant external organisations
– Work closely with Private Offices and key officials to ensure that the media team is meeting its objectives and providing a top quality service.
– Building and nurturing a wide network of media contacts in a range of stakeholder organisations. This includes all government departments.

How to apply 

For more information please contact

Contact Name: Rebecca Threlfall
Contact Tel: 020 7276 2002
Contact Email:

How To Apply –  Please email your CV to Rebecca Threlfall, outlining in the email why you are suitable for the role. You will then be invited to an informal interview.

How to advertise your secondment

If you have a short term secondment that you would like to advertise via GCS, please complete this template (doc , 39kb) and email it to GCS. Please ensure that you have followed your departmental HR process and Civil Service Resourcing procedures before submitting a vacancy to us.

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