London, Greater London
£88,500 per year
Permanent, Full-time
Job description

About Impetus

Impetus transforms the lives of young people from disadvantaged backgrounds by ensuring they get the right support to succeed in school, in work and in life.

We find, fund and build the most promising charities working in this area, providing core funding and working shoulder-to-shoulder with their leaders to help them become stronger organisations.

In partnership with other funders we help our charities expand and we influence policy and decision makers so that all young people get the support they need.

We work with over 20 charity partners and employ around 40 people.


About this role

Are you passionate about giving all young people the best chance in life? Has the pandemic reaffirmed for you that more needs to be done and motivated you to be at the forefront of the response? Are you a brilliant influencer who relishes harnessing great policy, research and communications to realise social change? Do you want to work in a pioneering charity with impact at its core?

Then this could be the role for you. At Impetus we are looking for our next Director of Public Affairs, someone who can inspire our brilliant public affairs team and spearhead our communications, policy and research work. This is an exciting senior role, joining our Senior Management Team and working alongside our CEO, board, donors, supporters and charity partners to effect real change for young people.

This is an exciting time to join Impetus. We are at an inflexion point, welcoming a new CEO this year and initiating a new strategy focusing on expanding our impact so we can reach many more young people. A big part of that is through our public affairs work; whether influencing policy makers so that the young people our charities work with get the best possible chance to succeed, or working with government and other funders to prove and expand impactful programmes.

The Director of Public Affairs will work with the CEO and Senior Management Team to facilitate this growth in impact, influence policy and build new partnerships, while keeping our long-term donors and supporters engaged. They will do this by getting the most out of our high performing Public Affairs Team, which covers policy, research, advocacy and communications – as well as working across teams and with the board to ensure Impetus is well positioned externally.


For examples of the types of projects that the Public Affairs team deliver, please see below:

The Youth Jobs Gap 

The National Tutoring Programme 

The Youth Employment Group 

Our blog page 

Our quarterly newsletter 


What we’re looking for from our Director of Public Affairs

You will have a strong track record of delivering social change whether in a public affairs, communications or campaigns role and have experience of leading teams to excel. You’ll be a confident and articulate communicator with a collaborative approach, capable of inspiring external audiences and brokering effective partnerships.

With strong interpersonal and networking skills a given, you will also have strong analytical abilities. You’ll be able to interpret and use data and make the best use of evidence to strengthen advocacy. You’ll be an effective and caring people manager who always finds time for your team and considers their development part of your success. You’ll enjoy contributing to organisational strategy and have a keen eye for internal comms, ensuring all the teams are informed and motivated by our work.

A typical week

This is a varied and interesting role. In a typical week you may be formulating our response to the latest statistical release on young people’s outcomes; giving creative input into marketing materials for donors; chairing a sector consultation event to feed in to the development of new programmes or policy; briefing our CEO ahead of a Ministerial meeting or launching a new research report. You’ll be used to juggling a lot of balls and know how to get the best out of your team so that they all stay in the air!

The ideal candidate will have a combination of communications and public affairs expertise; spearheading both our communications strategy and policy/research agenda. As a member of the Impetus SMT, they will need to demonstrate strategic thinking, cross-disciplinary working and strong influencing skills and a commitment to diversity and inclusion. A commitment to our mission – to ensure that young people from disadvantaged backgrounds get the best possible support to succeed in education and employment – is essential. These young people have been disproportionately affected by the pandemic, which makes our work more vital than ever. If the pandemic motivated you to help and you have the skills we’re looking for, this role is for you.


Key responsibilities

  • Work with Impetus CEO and SMT to support the delivery of the Impetus strategy and business plan, deliver the public affairs milestones to time and within budget
  • Increase awareness, understanding and trust in Impetus among key stakeholders
  • Raise awareness of the education and employment gaps faced by young people from disadvantaged backgrounds and what we can do to break down the barriers they face
  • Build a positive reputation for Impetus in government and parliament and among funders, as a source of expertise on how to improve the education and employment outcomes of young people from disadvantaged backgrounds and as a trusted interlocutor and partner
  • Ensure that all advocacy is supported by high quality research and evidence, with our policy and research agenda well aligned to supporting the delivery of Impetus’ strategy
  • Ensure a positive media profile and help to build awareness among the media of Impetus’s expertise and content
  • Maintain a positive reputation and awareness for the philanthropy and pro bono teams to recruit more donors and supporters
  • Position Impetus as a ‘sought-after’ collaborative partner for other organisations with shared objectives
  • Support the delivery of our fundraising strategy and the successful delivery of our events programme
  • Support our charity partners with their own public affairs and communications
  • Develop the competencies and capabilities of the Public Affairs Team and ensure it continues to make a valuable - and valued - contribution to the achievement of Impetus’s objectives
  • Contribute to the successful performance of the Senior Management Team, and provide expert advice to them, as well as to Trustees, on all Public Affairs-related activities and in the implementation of the broader strategy
  • As a member of the Senior Management Team, work with colleagues to promote, support and champion equality, diversity and inclusion across the organisation.


Person specification


  • Experience of leading public affairs / communications / policy at a senior level
  • Strong track record of influencing (through policy, advocacy, communications, stakeholder relations)
  • Strong management skills including strategy development, people management, budgeting and impact monitoring
  • Experience of leading multiple and complex workstreams to achieve measurable results
  • Experience of representing an organisation externally; in meetings, media interviews and on public platforms
  • Exceptional verbal and written communications skills
  • Presence, credibility, motivational skills, natural ability to command respect based on experience, and ability to look beyond own area of expertise
  • Proven experience of building and maintain influential external relationships and strategic partnerships
  • Ability to motivate a team and work collaboratively, enlisting support from others
  • Knowledge of the youth sector
  • A commitment to Impetus’ mission
  • A commitment to equality, diversity and inclusion


  • Experience of fundraising, including trusts and foundations
  • Knowledge of digital comms
  • Experience of data management & good analytical skills
  • Understanding of, and/or lived experience of, the barriers that young people face, that contribute to the education and employment gap
  • Knowledge of venture philanthropy / impact management
  • Knowledge of private equity and associated industries


We believe that a diverse workforce leads to an organisation that is more open, creative and gets better results.

We want our team at Impetus to represent the diversity of the people and communities we serve. We also want our team to be one where different experiences, expertise and perspectives are valued, and where everyone is encouraged to grow and develop.

We want to reach a diverse pool of candidates. We are happy to consider any reasonable adjustments that potential employees may need to in order to be successful.

We recognise the importance of a good work/life balance. We do everything we can to accommodate flexible working, including working from home, working part-time  job shares and other arrangements.

Please just let us know in your application or at any stage throughout the process (and beyond) if these are options you’d like to explore.


How to apply

Please send a CV and supporting statement by Midday, Monday 19 October 2020. The supporting statement should be no more than two sides of A4 and should address the criteria in the person specification.

You should also include the contact details of two referees, one of whom must be your current or most recent employer. Referees will only be approached with your express permission. You will also be required to provide proof of your eligibility to work in the UK.

As part of our commitment to flexible working we will consider a range of options for the successful applicant. All options can be discussed at interview stage.

First round interviews will take place week commencing week commencing 26 October 2020.

Your personal data will be shared for the purposes of the recruitment exercise. This includes our HR team, interviewers (who may include other partners in the project and independent advisors), relevant team managers and our IT service provider if access to the data is necessary for performance of their roles. We do not share your data with other third parties, unless your application for employment is successful and we make you an offer of employment. We will then share your data with former employers to obtain references for you. We do not transfer your data outside the European Economic Area.


Impetus is an equal opportunity employer and is determined to ensure that no applicant or employee receives less favourable treatment on the grounds of gender, race, age, disability, religion, belief, sexual orientation, or marital status. We value diversity and encourage applications from people of all backgrounds.


More about Impetus

Impetus transforms the lives of young people from disadvantaged backgrounds by ensuring they get the right support to succeed in schoo... Read more

Refreshed on: 10 October 2020
Closed date: 19 October 2020
Job ref: Director of Public Affairs
Tags: Communications, PR, Policy/Research