Job description


We operate a hybrid working model and fully support flexibility with colleagues already based across the UK working from home and linked to one of our core locations in Newport, Titchfield (Fareham), Darlington, Manchester or Edinburgh.

For this role you will be linked to one of the core locations, the frequency of attendance at our offices is agreed with you as relevant to your role.

About The Job

Job summary

Are you an experienced data practitioner, who wants to pursue a career as a data engineer in government?

If so, this is an opportunity to join our friendly, experienced and dynamic team of data engineers working on large-scale, cross government development initiatives in an organisation that promotes work-life balance, flexible working and self-development.

Our team are actively involved in a wide range of projects, from Covid surveys to Levelling Up, as well as working to deliver the Integrated Data Service – a cross-government, cloud-based platform giving analysts and researchers greater access to data from a range of sources.

You will work with modern technologies and produce data designs and standards so data can be effectively managed and re-used throughout its lifecycle, allowing improved statistical analysis, and saving time and money. We work with peers across government and statistical authorities throughout the world to share and develop best practice for data capabilities. With a large, experienced team, we offer a supportive environment for data architects to broaden and deepen their skills.

Business area

Data Growth and Operations (DGO) provides the statistical infrastructure (in the broadest sense) and underpinning frameworks necessary to enable the ONS, cross-government analysts and the wider research community to make better use of data.

DGO is structured into three divisions:
  • Data Architecture ensure that data is organised and referenced so that it can be access quickly and used appropriately by the organisation.
  • Data Acquisitions co-ordinate requirements for new data, bringing it into the ONS environment and making it available across the organisation.
  • Data Engineering and Operations prepare data for analytical use and administrate our core data analysis platforms

Digital Data And Technology Career Benefits

This role is part of the cross-government Digital, Data & Technology (DDaT) profession framework. As a role within DDaT at the ONS, we also offer additional benefits (other than those highlighted in the benefits pack attached) such as:
  • Protected Learning Time to spend on your personal development and side-projects.
  • A supportive and active Community of Practice which you will be expected to contribute to, helping ensure you and your colleagues get the training, development and opportunities you need to progress your careers.

Job Description

We're looking for a Data Engineer who will build tools, services, and pipelines to make data available to analysts and data scientists at the Office for National Statistics in a timely, consistent, auditable and reproducible way.

Data Engineers design and implement the processing pipelines for data to be structured in preparation for analysis, research, and statistics carried out by ONS across a number of technology platforms including Hadoop and Google Cloud Platform.

What will the success candidate do :

T he role involves:
  • Coding across several common languages (i.e. SQL, Python etc.), building scalable and repeatable pipelines, including validation and cleaning routines to ensure delivery of quality to a specification.
  • Reviewing and optimise code to ensure processes continue to perform optimally.
  • Undertake a range of cleaning, validation, and enhancement of data.
  • Profiling of data, automating the capture of data structures and content.
  • Act as a point of contact for broader complex queries from business areas, sharing data expertise and best practice.


As a Data Engineer y our responsibilities include but are not limited to:
  • Designing, building and implementation of robust automated data pipelines and ETL processes. Knowledge of automated testing, for example with pytest.
  • Logging, analysing and manage data quality issues and implement appropriate solutions.
  • Development of documentation and cataloguing of data to make data more accessible to others.
  • Translating data sources into useful and usable data sets.
  • Identify areas of innovation in data tools and techniques and recognise appropriate timing for adoption.
  • Leading data projects and engaging with stakeholders. This will typically involve liaising with data suppliers and end users. You will explain technical processes to non-technical people across grades, coordinating work across multiple areas, sharing best practice and expertise whilst doing so.
  • Understand and agree user needs and outputs, what the data are (and are not). Suggest ways to improve data, its accessibility and or the way in which it is presented.

We appreciate that some of the skills and experience can often be developed in role, and we will consider applicants with experience if the essential criteria are demonstrated. Training and opportunities will be provided to support development of the role and guide career progression.

Person specification

Essential Criteria:
  • Communicates effectively across technical and non-technical stakeholders and interprets between them.
  • Understands the concepts and principles working with metadata management to enable the organisation to understand data assets for specific business needs .
  • You can design, write and iterate code from prototype to production ready. You understand security, accessibility, and version control.
  • You have experience building efficient ETL (Extract Transform Load) or ETL pipelines.
  • You can use a range of coding tools and languages including but not limited to Python, PySpark, SQL, version control such as GIT.


We'll assess you against these behaviours during the selection process:
  • Working Together
  • Delivering at Pace
  • Making Effective Decisions

Technical Skills

We'll assess you against these technical skills during the selection process:
  • Metadata management (Working)
  • Programming and build (Practitioner)
  • Communication between technical and non-technical (Working)


The Office for National Statistics is part of the Civil Service, and as such we share a number of key benefits with other departments, whilst also having our own unique offerings to support our 5400 valued colleagues across the business.

Whether you are hearing about us for the first time or already know a bit about our organisation, we hope that the benefits pack attached (bottom of page) will give you a great insight into the benefits and facilities available to our colleagues, and our fantastic working culture.

We are an organisation that takes well-being seriously and lives and breathes the desire to modernise the workplace of the future. Everyone, from our office-based colleagues across our UK sites, to our field interviewers and airports and ports passenger survey teams, are part of a diverse and inclusive family.

Inclusion & Accessibility

At ONS we are always looking to attract the very best people from the widest possible talent pool, and we are proud to be an inclusive, equal opportunities employer. As a member of the Business Disability Forum and a Disability Confident Leader we’re committed to ensuring that all candidates are treated fairly throughout the recruitment process.

As part of our application process, you will be prompted to provide details of any reasonable adjustments to our recruitment process that you need. If you would like to discuss any reasonable adjustments before applying, please contact the recruitment team in the first instance.

If you would like an accessible version of any of the attachments or recruitment documents below or linked to in this advert, please contact the recruitment team who will be happy to assist.

Things you need to know

Selection process details

This vacancy is using Success Profiles (opens in a new window) , and will assess your Behaviours, Experience and Technical skills.

Security Clearance

Individuals appointed to the Office for National Statistics or UK Statistics Authority will be subject to National Security Vetting at “SC Cleared” level for this post. To allow for meaningful checks to be carried out applicants will normally need to have lived in the UK for the 3 consecutive years immediately prior to applying.

A lack of UK residency in itself is not always a bar to security clearance but the Department will need to consider eligibility on a case-by-case basis. You will be asked to provide information regarding your UK residency during your application, and failure to provide this will result in your application being rejected

If you are unsure that you meet the eligibility above, please contact the recruitment email on the advert before applying to discuss.

The ONS regularly run webinars and support sessions for candidates. You can find details on all our upcoming webinars on our Eventbrite page.

Stage 1 – Application & Sift Assessment

Assessment at application stage will be based on your work history, skill and experience and personal statement. Your application should be tailored to demonstrate any skills, knowledge and experience that are relevant to the content of the role.

Your personal statement should be no longer than 1250 words. You should use this space to provide evidence for each essential and technical criteria within the person specification. As the criteria are scored, we would recommend that you give clear examples for each including the impact of your actions and set them out using the STAR acronym (Situation, Task, Action, Result).

In cases where there is a high number of applications the sift pass mark may be adjusted and candidates will be invited to interview in merit order, i.e. those scoring the highest.

Success Profiles Behaviour examples are not required at this stage.

Stage 2 – Interview

Should you be invited to interview, you will be assessed using various assessment techniques aligned to the Civil Service Success Profiles, where you'll be assessed against all the behaviours outlined in the advert as well as against the technical areas listed in the advert. More details on technical assessment criteria can be found within the role profile attached.

A presentation will be required at interview. Further information will be provided to successful candidates prior to interview.

In the current circumstances, interviews will be conducted by Video.

A reserve list may be held for a period up to 12 months from which further appointments may be made.

Important Dates:

Sift date: 12th June 2023

Interview dates: 20th and 21st June 2023

A reserve list may be held for a period up to 12 months from which further appointments may be made.

Feedback will only be provided if you attend an interview or assessment.


Successful candidates must undergo a criminal record check.

Successful candidates must meet the security requirements before they can be appointed. The level of security needed is security check (opens in a new window) . See our vetting charter (opens in a new window) .

People working with government assets must complete baseline personnel security standard (opens in new window) checks.

Nationality Requirements

This job is broadly open to the following groups:
  • UK nationals
  • nationals of Commonwealth countries who have the right to work in the UK
  • nationals of the Republic of Ireland
  • nationals from the EU, EEA or Switzerland with settled or pre-settled status or who apply for either status by the deadline of the European Union Settlement Scheme (EUSS) (opens in a new window)
  • relevant EU, EEA, Swiss or Turkish nationals working in the Civil Service
  • relevant EU, EEA, Swiss or Turkish nationals who have built up the right to work in the Civil Service
  • certain family members of the relevant EU, EEA, Swiss or Turkish nationals
Further information on nationality requirements (opens in a new window)

Working for the Civil Service

The Civil Service Code (opens in a new window) sets out the standards of behaviour expected of civil servants.

We recruit by merit on the basis of fair and open competition, as outlined in the Civil Service Commission's recruitment principles (opens in a new window) .

The Civil Service embraces diversity and promotes equal opportunities. As such, we run a Disability Confident Scheme (DCS) for candidates with disabilities who meet the minimum selection criteria.

The Civil Service also offers a Redeployment Interview Scheme to civil servants who are at risk of redundancy, and who meet the minimum requirements for the advertised vacancy.

Apply and further information

This vacancy is part of the Great Place to Work for Veterans (opens in a new window) initiative.

Once this job has closed, the job advert will no longer be available. You may want to save a copy for your records.

Contact point for applicants

Job contact :
  • Name : Mandy Beasley
  • Email :
Recruitment team
  • Email :

Further information

If you feel your application has not been treated in accordance with the Recruitment Principles and you wish to make a complaint, in the first instance, you should contact If you are not satisfied with the response you receive from the Department, you can contact the Civil Service Commission

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