The Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) digital department, DWP Digital, are looking to hire hundreds of digital specialists in roles (https://careers.dwp.gov.uk/all-digital-jobs/) including infrastructure engineering, software engineering, DevOps and architecture.
There’s never been a better time to join
DWP Digital is in the middle of a huge and exciting once-in-a generation digital transformation of its services, which the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic has accelerated the demand for. Digital-first services are now more important than ever to provide its customers with access to key services such as Universal Credit.
This has led to an increased requirement for specialist digital skills. To achieve this DWP Digital are focused on boosting capability by recruiting around 750 people across the year. They have adapted their recruitment process during the pandemic to make it easier for tech specialists to join. In order to maintain social distancing, they’re using video interviewing instead of face-to-face interviews. New colleagues are provided with the tech to work from home including laptops and mobile phones. And DWP Digital has introduced new technologies to support remote collaboration such as Microsoft Teams.
Meeting the demands of a pandemic
When the pandemic hit, DWP’s priorities pivoted to focus on getting money to people as swiftly as possible and safeguarding vulnerable people.
Helen Roberts, Digital Director, Children, Retirement and Counter Fraud, said:
“Coronavirus may have changed our priorities for a while, however it also gave us an opportunity to accelerate some of the work that was already planned. The call for us to apply our digital expertise to help address departmental challenges is not an opportunity, it’s a necessity and many changes for the better have already been made.”
For example, DWP Digital colleagues ensured that DWP’s services remained secure, stable and maintained, for the department’s 20 million customers. This included making over 10,000 rapid IT changes, deploying more than 40,000 devices to DWP colleagues working at home, rapidly upscaling VPN capacity and accelerating the digitisation of several services. Crucially, DWP Digital’s hybrid cloud hosting approach to the Universal Credit digital service allowed it to deal with more than 10 times the usual number of claims.
The opportunities that the future strategy will bring to specialists
Tech specialists joining DWP Digital will have the opportunity to use data and a variety of technologies to drive innovation to make a real impact on society at this difficult time.
They’ll have the chance to work with other organisations like the NHS, sharing data, products and services. There’s also the opportunity to work on automation projects as the department seeks to automate certain manual, simple processing tasks – currently around 50% of State Pension claims are being processed with no colleague intervention. Building reusable services using API event-driven architecture is key to the transformation. And, underpinning everything, is better use of data with innovation at the core of the data strategy.
DWP Digital’s ambition (https://careers.dwp.gov.uk/dwp-digital-strategy/) is to provide a seamless customer experience across government, allowing people to access support without needing to know what part of the department (or even government) provides it. By moving to new ways of working, the department is using scaled agile with more complex dependencies between services and technologies.
Tamara Bruck, DWP Digital Planning Performance and Delivery Director, said:
“It’s a really good time to join us and a brilliant opportunity to be part of our journey transforming our Digital Services for our customers. People can really make an impact and we are always keen to bring in new skills, experience and thinking.”
The coronavirus pandemic has presented challenges, but it’s also given many opportunities to move forward on DWP Digital’s transformation. It’s an exciting time to be part of it. For more information and to see the available roles visit the DWP Digital Careers website (https://careers.dwp.gov.uk/).