Closing Date: 11 December 2017
Project: Farming Connect
Location: Lot 1: Aberystwyth Lot 3: Bangor, St Asaph, Aberystwyth, Caerdydd/Cardiff
Department: Farming Connect
Salary: £34,157 - £37,146
Grade: 6
Manager: Eirwen Williams
Contract: Cyfnod Mamolaeth / Maternity Cover Ystyrir ceisiadau am y swydd gyfan neu geisiadau am elfen Lot 1 a Lot 3 ar wahân (pro rata) / Applications will be considered for the entire post or applications for Lot 1 and Lot 3 elements separately (pro rata)
Bilingual Skills: Essential
If you'd like more information about this post, please contact:
Eirwen Williams
01970 636295

Services Manager (maternity cover)

Farming Connect is a high profile, integrated project which supplies focussed training, support and advice, delivered through a pan-Wales programme of knowledge transfer activities, specialist advice and support for innovation. A key objective is to increase the emphasis on business-focused behaviour, therefore improving profitability, competitiveness and environmental performance of farm, forestry and food businesses in Wales.


Farming Connect is funded through the Rural Development Plan 2014 - 2020, which is funded by the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development and the Welsh Government.


Aim of the Role

The Services Manager will share his/her time equally (50/50) for Lot 1 and Lot 3 of the Farming Connect programme. 


Lot 1: To lead the operational delivery of the fully bilingual Farming Connect Service With over 16,000 holdings in Wales that could potentially register and engage with several activities through the Service Centre, it is paramount that the Delivery Manager adopts an integrated and holistic approach to customer service and instils such a culture across the Service Centre team.


Lot 3: To effectively manage and monitor the Farming Connect Advisory Framework.


Main Responsibilities

General (Lots 1 & 3)


  • Lead, manage, motivate and develop the relevant teams
  • Work with the Contract Manager to manage sub-contractors providing a service to the programme, including holding regular performance monitoring meetings to ensure quality
  • Ensure that targets and outputs are achieved and are representative of all sectors and regions across Wales and that the service provided is of the highest standard
  • Ensure that Welsh Government’s strategies and policies are incorporated into the delivery of the Service Centre (Lot 1) and Advisory Framework (Lot 3)
  • Profile and monitor budgets, providing regular information for the Contract Manager and Finance Director, ensuring value for money
  • Regularly and systematically contribute towards appropriate information and statistics for inclusion in informational and promotional materials, including event invitations, stakeholder e-bulletins, factsheets, technical publications and articles
  • Accurately monitor, review and report qualitative and quantitative outputs, expenditure and performance to the Contract Manager in-line with Welsh Government contract requirements, including the creation and maintenance of effective management systems in order to satisfy relevant Audit requirements


Lot 1Lot 1 – Service Centre

  • Develop and implement all policies, procedures and processes for the effective and efficient delivery of the Service Centre, including providing training and guidance to relevant staff regarding administrative processes, such as registration and validation of customer details in the Business Account System (BAS) to ensure eligibility for services
  • Monitor data accuracy, ensuring management and administration of the BAS is fully compliant with Welsh Government information security requirements for data capture and handling
  • Actively engage with other Farming Connect managers, and those within other Lots as appropriate, encouraging open communication and periodical evaluation to meet Welsh Government requirements for an integrated service focused on continuous improvement
  • Develop effective communication systems within the Service Centre team, ensuring that themes and subjects are transferred in a timely manner and new initiatives are developed in participation with other departments within the Farming Connect programme and relevant support services, such as Business Wales and Resource Efficiency Wales
  • Ensure the Service Centre provides an outstanding customer service, including a swift response to customer queries as they arise, taking prompt and professional action, as necessary, to remedy issues raised and/or identify possibilities for continuous improvement within the service, in accordance with developed policies and procedures
  • Work with the Regional Development Managers and Central Events Manager, ensuring that event registration and attendance at events are recorded according to the Service Centre’s innovative registration and attendance recording methods; and that these are submitted to the Service Centre in a timely manner
  • Continually evaluate the Service Centre’s activities, ensuring quality assurance checks are periodically conducted and acting as the key contact to Lot 4
  • Lead on Client Management System (CMS) development and act as the key contact for Welsh Government in relation to BAS developments
  • Lead on development of systems to record and process different Farming Connect programmes, as well as specific Welsh Government campaigns that use the Service Centre to manage and implement their schemes, ensuring that robust processes are in place to manage quality


Lot 3  – Advisory Service

  • Develop and implement all quality assurance policies, procedures and processes for the effective and efficient delivery of the Advisory Framework, continually monitoring and evaluating delivery against these to ensure an excellent customer service, ensuring that reports are created and distributed to the relevant stakeholders
  • Regularly and systematically liaise with the Advisory Framework sub-contractors, acting as their main contact point on a day-to-day basis, approve work and hold regular performance monitoring meetings with the main advisory companies to ensure the quality of the service offered
  • Develop a Strategic Business Plan, including the provision for recording and benchmarking physical, financial and environmental performance
  • Establish and maintain effective processes with exisiting frameworks for providing services such as Animal Health and Specialist Veterinary advice, Strategic Business Planning for  Food SME’s and Water, Energy and Processing Efficiency
  • Work with the Contract Manager to make regular contact with Welsh Government departments and key industry leaders to evaluate the progress of the Framework
  • Act as the key contact for the Lot 3 Strategic Advisory Sub-group, working closely with the Chair of the Group to deliver the project and  develop continuous improvement
  • Work closely with Farming Connect Technical Advisors to ensure that the needs of all sectors are met within the Advisory Service
  • Manage and maintain an effective and professional working relationship with other bodies with sectoral expertise, e.g. Confor and Coed Cymru
  • Work closely with the Marketing and Communications Manager to plan, manage and professionally execute appropriate branding and marketing campaigns for the Advisory Framework, in addition to identifying potential case studies for inclusion in Farming Connect informational and promotional materials



  • Ensure standards for quality, customer service, equality and diversity, health and safety and biosecurity are met
  • Accept other reasonable duties and responsibilities as required
  • Represent Menter a Busnes as required


Skills and Experience


  • Educated to degree level, or equivalent, in agriculture or related subject
  • 3 years’ demonstrable experience of working in the agricultural industry in Wales
  • Demonstrable experience within a management role
  • Able to effectively monitor sub-contractor service performance, taking prompt and professional action, as necessary, to remedy issues identified
  • Knowledge of the agricultural and forestry sectors in Wales
  • Able to develop and maintain productive networks, along with experience of fostering strategic collaborative relationships with other services/organisations
  • Strong project management skills, being able to manage multiple projects in a timely and efficient manner
  • Effective financial planning and management skills, ensuring the timely and cost-effective expenditure of budgets
  • Able to develop and integrate new services in an effective and timely manner
  • Able to make difficult and timely decisions for the benefit of the business and/or service, including raising appropriate concerns regarding service delivery, budgets and staff/sub-contractors
  • Advanced presentation and interpersonal skills
  • Able to be proactive and drive things forward effectively, both independently and as part of a team
  • A self-motivator, accepting responsibility for setting and reviewing priorities for achieving targets, with a clear focus on quality
  • Excellent oral and written bilingual (Welsh/English) communication skills
  • Excellent information technology skills including Word, Excel, PowerPoint, E-mail, Databases and the Internet.



  • Holds a management qualification
  • Knowledge of the Farming Connect Programme


Making an Application

You can apply for this post by completing an application form and an equal opportunities form (available on our website and return them to

If you wish to have an informatl converstaion regarding this post, please contact Eirwen Williams on 01970 636295.



Interviews will be held for this post at Menter a Busnes’ office in Aberystwyth on Friday, 15 December 2017.  If this date is inconvenient, please note on your application from.


Lot 1: Aberystwyth Lot 3: Bangor, St Asaph, Aberystwyth, Caerdydd/Cardiff.

More Information

If you’d like more information about this post, please contact:

Eirwen Williams
01970 636295

How to Apply

Applications for this post can be made by downloading and completing the application form and the equal opportunities monitoring form below.

Please return these forms either

  • via email to:
  • or by sending to:  Human Resources Department, Menter a Busnes, Unit 3, Science Park, Aberystwyth, Ceredigion, SY23 3AH

Closing Date

The closing date for applications is: 11 December 2017 at 10:00

Equality and Diversity Policy

Our Equality and Diversity Policy can be found in the document below.