Scottish Government Assistant Statistician Recruitment

January 25, 2022 by No Comments | Category Working in statistics

Scottish Government recently launched a recruitment campaign for assistant statisticians at B1, B2 and B3 grades.  We are recruiting for a variety of roles across the stats group across all grades.  We have statisticians working in all parts of Government, from economy to education, from the Census to climate change, from housing to health.  The deadline for applications is 2 February for the B3 competition and 7 February for B1 and B2.

What do statisticians do?

Our statistical positions are for you, if you’re bright, motivated and creative and want to use your talents to help make a difference to the lives of the people of Scotland.  In return, we’ll offer you an incredible opportunity to work across the Scottish Government informing important decisions with high profile analysis right from the start.  You will be supported with learning and development opportunities based on what you need for your role.  You will be encouraged to work right across the range of policy areas affecting people’s lives, moving posts every three years or so to gain a broad experience and knowledge of statistical work in different areas and develop the necessary skills for promotion.  We pride ourselves in offering good promotion opportunities to more senior statistician roles.

Most statisticians are involved in the design, collection, analysis and publication of statistics.  Statistician roles in Scottish Government are hugely varied and require a range of skills – we are looking for people that are good at working with data and have technical ability in managing data appropriately.  Statisticians also have strong analytical skills to identify the patterns and trends in data.  We’re looking for people that have strong communication skills to explain what statistics say and mean in a clear way to a range of audiences.  Our statisticians should have people skills to build relationships with policy colleagues and users of our data to improve our statistics.

What it’s like to be a statistician?

Some of our statisticians have told us a little bit more about what they do on a day-to-day basis.

Graeme Lloyd – Justice Analytical Services – Safer Communities Analytical Unit
“I work as an Assistant Statistician on a team covering recorded crime (i.e., crime recorded by the police). We do a variety of work but our main data is supplied by Police Scotland. We perform quality assurance tests on this data and process it using software such as R or SAS. Our main outputs are our annual publications on crime as a whole, homicide, drugs, and firearms. During the pandemic we have also been producing monthly crime reports. Otherwise we get a lot of ad hoc requests around our data that we respond to. These can be in the form of Freedom of Information requests, parliamentary questions, or more general requests from external groups, including charities and academics. We also frequently interact with a broad range of policy groups within Scottish Government.

The role does not involve particularly complicated statistics – percentages are generally the most challenging thing we do! However, the work does benefit from an eye for detail. Software wise we mainly use SAS, R and Excel, but you do not need to know all of these prior to starting. I knew no SAS for example, and have learned a surprisingly large amount of new things about Microsoft Office despite using it extensively before joining government. The work can get very busy, especially around publication time, but as a team we are able to divide the work up and cover each other when things get busy or someone is on leave. The broader groups in which our team sits covers the rest of the justice system, including: crime not recorded by the police (which is captured by survey data), the court system, and prisons. There is always something new to learn!”

Tom Alexis – Statistics and Data Access – Data Sharing and Linkage
“In my role I have had the opportunity to be involved in the setup and operation of a new system for data linkage, which has been designed to make the data linkage a more efficient process which poses less of an administrative challenge for data controllers. I have learned a great deal about data management, information governance, analytical software and cybersecurity in the process. There have also been opportunities to work directly with data; performing analyses to get the data ready for linkage, and chances to get involved with research projects.

The training and projects I have been involved in have helped me learn a lot about data flows within government, analytical techniques and have helped me develop my soft skills at the same time”.

You might be interested in other blog posts from statisticians that we used for previous campaigns to get further insight into what it’s like to work in the stats group and how they got into the job:

If you’re interested in finding out more about applying, we’re hosting an information session on Thursday 27 Jan, 10.30-12.  We’ll be giving more information about what it’s like to work in the stats group and hints and tips for the recruitment process.

We’re always on the lookout for people for fixed term opportunities.  If you are interested please submit your up to date CV to:

Scottish Government Assistant Statistician Recruitment 2022 Information Session- Thursday 27 Jan, 10.30-12:00 GMT



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