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Early Careers Network

Rural Payments Agency

As the Defra paying agency for the agriculture, food and environmental subsidy schemes in England, we make payments to farmers, traders and land owners. We also make payments on behalf of Natural England, and manage over 40 schemes to help ensure we have a healthy rural economy and strong rural communities. We pay out over £2 billion each year to support a thriving farming and food sector.

Main purpose of the job and key tasks

As a graduate GI professional within the Defra group, you will use a wealth of geomatics technology and data for surveillance, geo-intelligence gathering and topographic mapping of the rural landscape. You will be part of the Geographic Information Technical Unit that is responsible for overseeing and delivering a range of geomatics activities such as earth observation, data-collection, machine learning, spatial analysis and designing enterprise geospatial information solutions.

We are looking to recruit a talented, dedicated and ambitious graduate who is looking for a career in central government. This outstanding opportunity is directed towards graduates with a remote sensing or GIS qualification, and a keen interest in working within a fast-paced, dynamic and motivated team environment. Successful applicants will be presented with a unique opportunity to work, develop and grow their skills within a geo-centric organisation. It’s an excellent opportunity to get involved in strategic programmes and business critical initiatives within central government.

Working with our existing team in Reading, you will be mentored by experienced specialists, offering a great opportunity to learn a range of niche skills. You will join a structured one year programme where you will get experience working with different teams across the agency and wider government, delivering projects, working with our supply chain and working in an exciting fast growing area of geospatial innovation and earth observation. Towards the end of the initial year, you will be encouraged to apply for a more senior permanent role. 

Key tasks include:

You will develop into a technical analytical/consultancy role, providing support to operations, project managers and policy makers. The ideal candidate will be a meticulous, organised, ambitious team player, with the ability to work under their own initiative and be responsible for the following tasks:

  • Learn the management of a supply chain delivering remote sensing and earth observation campaigns
  • Provide solutions to data problems and challenges
  • Conducting spatial data analysis and interpretation of results for an array of purposes.
  • Assisting in the development and support of effective and technically sound operational business processes that are consistent with policy objectives.
  • Interrogate enterprise spatial databases and write reports to present the findings
  • Becoming a subject matter expert in the arena of geospatial information

Required skills

  1. Must hold a relevant degree (or equivalent or higher) in Remote Sensing or Geographic Information Systems/Science
  2. Have a strong geographical knowledge and an interest in spatial data analytics.
  3. GIS software skills including basic cartographic presentation techniques, geodatabases and geoprocessing techniques
  4. An understanding of photogrammetric and earth observation methods.
  5. Good verbal, written and technical communication skills with a meticulous attention to detail
  6. Be a self-motivated ‘Team player’, have a dynamic working ethos with a willingness to learn new skills and working practices.

Eligibility: This is a Non Reserved post and is therefore open to UK, British Commonwealth and European Economic Area (EEA) Nationals and certain non EEA members

Nationality statement: Details of the Civil Service Nationality Rules are located at: . Candidates will be subject to UK immigration requirements. For the most up-to-date information on the requirements of working in the UK, please go to the website: .

Submission statement

If you are interested in this opportunity you should submit your CV (which should include details of your nationality), with a covering letter/e-mail detailing your suitability for the role to: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .

Closing date for CV and Covering Letter: 26th February 2019

Suitable candidates will be invited to attend an interview at our Reading office.

Contact point for applicants: For further information please contact: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .

For more information, please visit:


1 Kensington Gore,

Tel: +44 (0)20 7591 3116