This vacancy has now closed

Top job! Chief Operating Officer

  • Full time
  • £35,000 – £40,000
  • Edinburgh
  • Closing 10th October 2022

  • Advertised from 22nd September 2022
  • Salary depending on experience


The Chief Operating Officer post is a new role that will support the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) to provide strategic leadership of RUTS.

Who we are:

RUTS is a charity committed to supporting young people develop skills for work and skills for life for over 40 years by providing employability support and practical, vocational training. Through these activities tangible outcomes are achieved including re-engaging participants with school/further/higher education and sustained work placements and/or employment. There is also a specific focus on developing soft outcomes that support personal development, such as building confidence, resilience, and motivation.


The Chief Operating Officer is responsible for leading the charity’s client facing activities, policies and systems. They are responsible for implementing the organisation strategy and business plan

The critical leadership role has three primary functions:

  1. Operational management: the Chief Operating Officer manages the infrastructure of the organisation, our HR/People, Culture, Finance, IT and facilities. Whilst leading the operations they will also work across all divisions to ensure operational excellence and the highest standards of business operations at all levels empowering a committed and passionate workforce.
  2. Strategic delivery: this role is responsible for helping develop and managing the implementation of our strategy and strategic objectives across the organisation. They will support our business planning process. They ensure we are being the best we can be, helping the most people we can, in the most impactful way we can.
  3. Special projects: the Chief Operating Officer will lead special projects across the organisation, particularly in new emerging areas for the organisation associated with growth, development, and reputation. The post holder will oversee the development and delivery of income generating projects. The focus in the first 12 months of the role will be to scope the current employability landscape and identify opportunities for RUTS.

They will also be an external face of RUTS and, as such, are encouraged to speak proactively on behalf of the organisation. They should demonstrate strong, visible and influential leadership of RUTS.



  • Responsible for keeping the highest standards of governance and compliance with key funding partners such as Inspiring Scotland
  • Support in leading the organisation with transparency and integrity, providing clear and demonstrable leadership to your team and our people.
  • Ensure an effective and efficient system is in place to manage RUTS policies and procedures, maintaining compliance with all relevant regulatory and legal requirements including a code of conduct that is clearly communicated to all staff and reflective of the organisation’s values.


  • You will be responsible for management of RUTS operational budget
  • Assist in forecasting, financial reporting and financial updates to the board.
  • You will be expected to improve RUTS commercial performance by creating new and innovative opportunities for revenue generation via sponsorships and partnerships.

Strategic Management

  • Assist in the development, implementation and monitoring of RUTS Strategic Plan
  • Develop and implement the Operational Plan; track and report progress against targets
  • Maintain awareness of risks and changes in the external environment that affect the organisation

Strategic Relationships

  • Maintain the organisation’s performance and how it is perceived by all relevant stakeholders
  • Facilitate the development of partnerships and collaborative working generally, including with businesses where appropriate to advance the organisation’s objectives

Business Development

  • Participate actively in the strategic planning process to support the growth of RUTS vocational programmes
  • Lead the delivery of the organisation’s operational business plan and engage proactively in business development through existing and new finance streams.
  • Lead on/input to the planning and development of projects (both existing and new).

People Development

  • Work closely with direct reports, supporting their personal development
  • Review and develop training and development plans to support individual and team capability development aligned with achieving the organisation mission and aims

Operational Responsibilities

  • Provide strategic development support to the CEO and deputise for the CEO
  • Develop case studies and other evidence to illustrate the impact and value of our work.
  • Keep up to date with national, regional and local developments.
  • Ensure that data is entered into the CRM so that case management can be effective across the organisation
  • Work in accordance with our values, policies and procedures.
  • Work in accordance with our equal opportunities and diversity framework.
  • Work in accordance with our safeguarding of children and adults policy and practice.
  • Use ICT for general administrative duties including work processing, spreadsheets, emails and databases.


Previous Experience

  • Proven track record in a leadership position commensurate with the responsibilities of the Chief Operating Officer role.
  • An understanding of the policy and funding environment of the third sector.
  • Strong track record of cultivating effective relationships among partners and stakeholders including government and local authorities.
  • Experience of implementing a successful strategic plan aligned to performance people-management.
  • Experience of budget management
  • Experience of public speaking, ideally including experience in handling media.

Skills and abilities

  • Ability to engage and form partnerships within the public, private and/or third sector.
  • Ability to engage with public sector funding bodies, potential new funders in the private sector to develop new financial streams for RUTS, as well as understand the nuances of the third sector.
  • Ability to act as a valued ambassador and champion for RUTS.
  • Leadership skills to motivate and inspire our people.
  • Innovative, with the ability to identify and recommend business opportunities when they arise.
  • Ability to build effective relationships with team members, colleagues, Board members and external stakeholders.
  • Excellent organisation and planning skills to cope with a varied workload and ability to handle change, take decisions and prioritise workloads effectively to meet deadlines


  • A demonstrable understanding of how youth work and vocational training programmes operate.
  • A knowledge of the youth unemployment landscape and its diverse stakeholders, including at community level, is desirable.


  • Motivated, enthusiastic, and self-starting with a commitment and drive for organisational development.
  • Committed to ensuring high standards, efficiency, and outstanding customer service
  • Committed to values of RUTS and in particular equality, inclusion, and diversity.
  • Confident in own abilities to work as part of a team or on own initiative.
  • Ability to work under pressure and prioritise work to meet deadlines and take decisions

Qualifications & Training:

  • Hold a relevant managerial / business qualification or equivalent experience.
  • Driving licence required



Application notes

Still interested? Please email your CV and covering letter to

For more information on the organisation please visit

Closing date for all applications: 12 noon on Monday 10th October 2022.

Interviews will be held: late October/early November 2022.

RUTS is committed to promoting equality and diversity in employment and follows an equal opportunities policy.