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DIVISIONAL DIRECTOR, HEAD OF FINANCE BUSINESS PARTNERING
WITH HIGHWAYS ENGLAND IN BIRMINGHAM

Welcome

It's the perfect time to be joining Highways England, at a time of great change and great opportunity. It is not often you get a chance to join a growing organisation where the culture is not yet fixed, and there is a genuine opportunity to make your mark on the organisation.

The Company was formed two years ago, breaking away from the civil service, and has developed an interesting blended culture. It has not forgotten its public sector roots (and remains a Company wholly owned by government) but it has been able to develop a new culture and inject a more commercial approach. The organisation is geographically dispersed and professionally diverse, but unified by a commitment to the strategic road network and our core imperatives of safety, customer focus, and delivery of our investment programme. It is a complex organisation and the scale is enormous, but it remains refreshingly straightforward in its outlook, leadership and vision.

It is also a Company that is still growing. With a long term £11bn capital settlement we can invest with confidence in our people and our projects. Our directly employed workforce has increased significantly and we currently number 4500 people, including Traffic Officers who help keep the roads safe and free-running. We indirectly employ many thousands more through our supply chain. Our portfolio of 112 major capital projects represents an unprecedented investment in the strategic roads network, and delivering these successfully will keep the Country's economic engine running and meet new demand.

Alongside this complex capital investment plan is an additional £1bn a year spent on maintaining and operating the network of 4,300 miles of motorways and trunk roads, which carries 33% of all traffic. We are reshaping our operating model for running and maintaining the network which is bringing us closer to the asset and creating new opportunities for efficiency, innovation and customer service. This is a major change in approach and involves the transfer in of large numbers of people from our supply chain.

You will be part of a strong and growing leadership team in the Finance and Business Services Directorate, covering Finance, Corporate Assurance and Estates. The leadership team is made up of seven Divisional Directors, half of whom are relatively recent recruits. Finance is made up of four parts: Business Partnering, Strategic Finance, Financial Control, and Corporate Finance. Two of these are newly created to make sure there is sufficient senior finance resource to support and protect the organisation as it grows.

You will take the reins of a finance team that is strong but, as the Business Partners have only relatively recently been brought together as a single team, there is a clear leadership opportunity. I am looking for someone who has the influence, drive and leadership style to work with me to shape the future identity, approach and finance offer to the Business.

 

Vanessa Howlison

Vanessa Howlison
Chief Finance Officer

Highways England