The following job is no longer available:
Principal Economist

Principal Economist

Posted 13 March by Highways England Ended

About us

Highways England is the new government owned company responsible for driving forward our motorways and major A roads. This includes; modernising and maintaining the highways, running the network and keeping traffic moving. Over recent years, investment in our highways has increased. This has led to advances in technology, such as smart motorways; enabling traffic to flow better. However, even more is yet to be done.

Certainty of funding and greater flexibility will enable us to become a better business. In our first 5 years alone, we'll invest £11 billion in motorways and A roads - boosting capacity, tackling congestion and improving safety. At the same time, we'll improve how we work. That means we will be able to; plan roadworks better to minimise disruption; clear incidents more quickly; and save more than £1 billion by working more efficiently.

For further information on Highways England, please visit our website:

The role

Highways England is looking for an experienced and ambitious Principal Economist to join the Chief Analyst and the Head of Economics in a relatively new team working at the strategic centre of the Company, this is on a permanent basis and the role can be based at any of Nationwide offices.

The right candidate will have a broad range of experience working as a professional economist, both in technical and strategic contexts, and building economics capability in non-specialists, as well as academic qualifications in economics. They will bring pace, professional excellence and first-rate communication skills to our existing team of 13 economists and will make a big impact on the organisation as we establish an economics function.

Day to Day

Team members are expected to work flexibly according to business priorities, but in the immediate term the Principal Economist should expect to lead on business partnering with teams in our Smart Motorways and Future Road Investment Strategy (RIS) Divisions. As a business partner, the Principal Economist will help to improve the Value for Money of these two directorates as they implement the first Roads Investment Strategy (covering 2015 to 2020), and prepare for the second.

Value for Money (VfM) has a prominent place in Highways England's Licence to Operate, and economists are central to ensuring the Company has the capacity, capability and culture to deliver VfM. This effort will involve the whole of the Chief Analyst's Division, including transport planners, modellers and operations researchers, and there is a particular need for economists who can partner with key Divisions in the Company to provide advice and challenge on how to improve VfM. This will require first-rate communication and collaboration skills with people at all levels in the business, to develop commitment and engagement with the VfM agenda at all stages of designing and implementing roads projects.

All economists in the team will be expected to contribute to the development of new methodologies for appraising transport projects and communicate these clearly and consistently across the business. They should be able to demonstrate an ability to find both practical and theoretically sound solutions to challenging appraisals, whilst remaining consistent with Green Book principles.

About you

  • Degree with a significant economics component or Masters in Economics.

  • Professional experience of working as an economist.
  • Experience of working in the public sector in economics or working in infrastructure in either public or private sector.
  • Evidence of excellent written and verbal communications skills


All applications must be accompanied with a current CV which will be used to assess your suitability for the role. Please ensure all the skills, experience and qualifications requested are clearly demonstrated in your CV as explained in the body of the advert.

All applicants must provide their right to work documentation at interview stage, such as a valid passport.

For a full list of our vacancies please apply at

Applications from those within the Government Economic Service are welcomed. Successful applicants who are current Civil Servants will be offered a choice between a permanent contract with Highways England or a permanent contract at the Department for Transport with a secondment/loan of approximately 3 years to Highways England (secondment duration will be confirmed when the position is offered).

Required skills

  • Economist
  • Value for Money

Reference: 34670603

Bank or payment details should not be provided when applying for a job. is not responsible for any external website content. All applications should be made via the 'Apply now' button.

Report this job