External Affairs Assistant

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Job Title                                 External Affairs Assistant

Role Type                               Permanent/Full Time

Job Location                         Billingshurst, West Sussex (with remote working)

Reports to                             Head of External Affairs


The Company

 Thakeham is an infrastructure-led community creator and strategic land promoter and proud winner of a Sunday Times 100 Best Small Companies to Work For.

The business is committed to partnerships, innovation and creating amazing places to live and work. Thakeham is a leader in the industry on sustainability and biodiversity. We are at the forefront of delivering sustainable homes, committed to ensuring every Thakeham home is carbon-neutral in production, and carbon-zero throughout its lifetime use by 2025. These core values underpin the company-wide mission to affect communities in a positive way

Thakeham was launched in 2003. From day one, the company was driven by a clear vision: to transform the way people think about new-built developments. Today, Thakeham employs close to 200 people with a turnover of over £105m.

People are Thakeham’s most important asset. Thakeham operates a thriving graduate recruitment programme and supports the Movement to Work initiative to help young people secure work. Thakeham has signed the HBF Mental Health Charter and recently organised a health and wellbeing programme during Lockdown.

A Bronze Armed Forces Covenant signatory and supporter of armed force’s charity Mission Motorsport, Thakeham operates a Talent for Development outreach campaign for military veterans and college leavers.

Away from work, Thakeham offers a range of staff events including quiz nights and participates in charity challenges including dragon boat racing.

We pride ourselves on our ‘Infrastructure first’ approach, ensuring communities release the benefits of new development at the outset, rather than later on in the process. Thakeham strive to not just create new homes, but genuinely amazing places to live, work and play. Thakeham delivers social, affordable and retirement housing for some of the biggest housing associations and local authorities in the country.  Partners include the NHS England Healthy New Towns Initiative, the Plunkett Foundation, Social Value UK and have been awarded a prestigious Gold Supply Chain School.

Offering exciting career opportunities that are second to none, we are keen to develop, guide and support our employees throughout their careers. Our people enjoy excellent rewards and working conditions in an exciting and fast growing business.


The Department

The External Affairs department provides support to all areas of the business, ensuring we engage effectively with a range of stakeholders to promote our vision and values. We support the Land and Planning teams to research new opportunities, and deliver comprehensive public and stakeholder engagement for planning promotions and applications. We lead on political engagement and delivering a number of local showcase events together with party political conference activity and national engagement.

Due to our continued growth we are looking for an External Affairs Assistant to work within a friendly team environment reporting to the Head of External Affairs.


The Job Role

The role holder will support the External Affairs team in delivering comprehensive political and stakeholder engagement for a range of planning promotions and applications. You will support the provision of political and community research, together with monitoring local media and updating and maintaining a project database. You will draft a range of written and digital communications for members of the public and stakeholders together with monitoring the wider national political context.

You will also support the team to deliver a range of events across the business’ operational area including openings and showcase events, together with a comprehensive conference programme.

The role holder will be expected to get involved with all aspects of the External Affairs department when required, we have team approach to everything we do.

The ideal candidate will have had some experience in public affairs work, perhaps through a consultancy role, but is now looking to move in-house and gain sector specific experience. You may also have experience of local politics, perhaps on a voluntary party basis, but will certainly have a passion for sustainable new homes and creating great places to live.


The Required Skills

  • Demonstrable interest or active involvement in politics or current affairs
  • Knowledge and understanding of local government and the planning process in England
  • Experience of supporting events management
  • Can-do attitude and able to take the initiative
  • Strong communication and organisational skills
  • Hardworking, flexible, pro-active team player with the ability to work to tight deadlines
  • Excellent IT skills (Microsoft Office)
  • Strong attention to detail
  • Driving licence and own car for travel (mileage paid)


The Benefits

  • Competitive salary
  • Annual holiday allowance 26 days increasing to 27 after 3yrs service and 28 after 5yrs service (plus bank holidays)
  • Life assurance
  • Private medical insurance
  • Health screening
  • Pension scheme
  • Bonus scheme
  • Flexible working hours in a modern office environment / Working from Home Policy
  • Excellent development and progression opportunities for the right candidate
  • Company Social events


Plus a whole range of other employee benefits that we can tell you all about, our employees are rewarded for their performance, attitude and results.


Thakeham is committed to providing equal opportunities in employment and treating people fairly. We will treat all job applicants and employees equally regardless of age, race, religious belief, colour, ethnic or national origin, sex, marital status, sexual orientation or disability. We welcome applicants from all sectors of society and we are committed to promoting an inclusive environment for all.


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