Head of Delivery

Unlocked Graduates

  • Salary: £45,000 - £50,000 dependent on experience
  • Location: London, Manchester or Birmingham with some remote working
  • Closing: 12:00pm, 25th Oct 2021 BST

Job Description

The organisation

Unlocked Graduates is an award-winning charity organisation that exists to break cycles of reoffending.

 At the core of Unlocked Graduates is a leadership development programme that brings top graduates into prisons to work as frontline prison officers for two years. The project grew out of a recommendation in the Coates’ Review of prison education.

 This work forms part of a rich leadership development programme that includes mentoring, work placements in partner organisations and a fully-funded master’s degree. All of which they take part in while taking on the full duties of a frontline prison officer.

 After an early incubation with charity and social business Catch22, Unlocked is now an independent registered charity and has ambitious plans for growth and impact for the coming years.

 Our mission

The aim of Unlocked Graduates is to break cycles of re-offending by developing outstanding individuals to lead rehabilitation in prisons and throughout society.

The role

We are looking for an ambitious leader, who wants to have a transformative impact on how we deliver our complex and important work. If you want to be a key leader in an energetic, inspiring team, and equip our trainers, staff and participants in making a real impact on the frontline in prisons we want to hear from you.

 We are looking for a self-starter with a collaborative, entrepreneurial approach. You will need to be brilliant at managing complex projects and programmes to achieve ambitious targets. You will have strong leadership skills: combining exceptional interpersonal skills with an ability to oversee continual improvements of process, logistics and content.

This role is a high-impact position within the organisation, reporting to the Programme Director.


  • Lead the programme delivery team (two full time staff plus interns) to plan and implement our programme of activities, events and residential training, ensuring the delivery of a high-quality, integrated offer which maximises participants’ impact towards our mission.

  • Oversee and champion a project management approach within the programme team to ensure that all our activities are planned and delivered effectively, cohesively and efficiently. Act as the linchpin between the programme team and other teams in the organisation to strengthen operational delivery and achieve a seamless journey for our participants.

  • Accountable for the smooth and effective running of our 6-week Summer Institute, providing oversight of the logistical delivery and supporting the Programme Director in dealing with risks, challenges and incident management to ensure the safe and smooth running of the residential.

  • Lead our successful university partnership, overseeing contract management and quality assurance, working alongside our Heads of Regions and Head of Curriculum to ensure this partnership delivers a high quality and fully integrated Master’s degree.

  • Work with colleagues in research and impact to improve our reporting, develop a data-driven understanding of the programme’s impact and quality and then use this to drive improvement in programme quality, reach and impact.


Beyond the job description, we offer the opportunity to get involved with a wide range of activities that will help support our mission, including attending Master’s lecture days, keynote speaker events and supporting our Assessment Centres where we select programme participants.

Person specification

The successful candidate will be passionate about Unlocked’s mission and be able to demonstrate the following skills and experience.

 Knowledge and experience

  • Experience of leading and motivating teams and experience of achieving results through both direct reports as well as influencing and delivering through others

  • Project management experience including use of project management software tools, methodologies and best practices.  

  • Experience of planning, delivering and evaluating complex events

  • Technically proficient with Microsoft Office, particularly Excel

  • Experience of working with public sector services or contracts

  • Confident public speaker and facilitator with an understanding of effective learning approaches

  • Experience of working with universities (desirable)

  • Experience of contract and supplier performance management (desirable)

  • Background in education or criminal justice (desirable)

Characteristics and skills

  • Mission aligned: You will have a strong belief and enthusiasm for Unlocked Graduates’ aims and mission.

  • Leadership: You will need to rapidly build credibility and influence across the organisation. You will inspire others to follow your vision and achieve excellence.

  • Outcomes focused: In order for the organisation to achieve its mission, the Head of Delivery needs to drive the team’s progress against strategic goals. You will have a creative approach and self-starting ability to create effective solutions with limited resource.

  • Problem solving: From operational challenges to tough strategic problems , a structured analytical approach with a head for data will be essential for making good decisions. You will be methodical, organised and able to work with attention to detail.

  • Excellent organisational skills: This position requires excellent organisational skills to ensure the effective delivery of all our programmes and manage the prioritisation of different work streams.

  • Self-motivated and resilient: Responsibility for the day to day quality and effective delivery of all our programmes will inevitably lead to set backs which must be overcome with relentless enthusiasm and composure under pressure. You will have the ability to work on your own initiative and prioritise workload in a busy team environment.

  • Excellent communication: This role will require excellent communication, cascading key messages to ensure that there is a shared culture and approach.

  • Relationship building: The post holder should have considerable experience of being able to build and manage relationships, and an aptitude for being able to engage new stakeholders with our programmes as well as retain current partners.

  • Enthusiastic and hands-on: The post holder will be excited about delivering practically on the ground, be high-energy and willing to get involved in practical tasks.

Other requirements

You will need the right to work in the UK and be willing to travel within the UK for training events and occasional prison visits. This will include occasional overnight stays, evening events and spending time at our Summer Institute residential training in Leeds which runs from mid-July to early September.


The communities that we exist to serve are diverse, and to thrive in our work towards our mission, we must be too. We believe that diversity not only makes for a stronger team, but should also be celebrated. We therefore aim to create a workplace that is welcoming for all, inclusive of ethnicity, disability, age, religious belief, marital status, pregnancy, sexuality or gender.

 We are also keen to see more applications from people who have been in prison. To remove bias where possible, we blind assess candidates for interview based on their relevant skills, qualifications or experience.

To make an application

Applications will be blind-assessed and scored to identify shortlist candidates with CVs only used as background for the interview stage.

If you would like to have an informal and confidential discussion about the role or about the process, please contact libby.gray@unlockedgrads.org.uk 

Timetable (subject to change)

Closing date: Monday 25th October at midday

First round interviews: 4th and 5th November

Second round interviews: 12th November

 Start date: ASAP

For more information about Unlocked Graduates please visit our website.

Removing bias from the hiring process

  • Your application will be anonymously reviewed by our hiring team to ensure fairness
  • You’ll need a CV/résumé, but it’ll only be considered if you score well on the anonymous review

Applications closed Mon 25th Oct 2021


Removing bias from the hiring process

  • Your application will be anonymously reviewed by our hiring team to ensure fairness
  • You’ll need a CV/résumé, but it’ll only be considered if you score well on the anonymous review

Applications closed Mon 25th Oct 2021