We're rounding up some of the biggest security cleared stories of the past few weeks. In December, a new bill to support armed forces personnel passed parliament, a new cyber security strategy was outlined and a partnership between the UK and Japan for future jet engine technology was announced.
New Armed Forces Bill becomes law
New legislation to enshrine the Armed Forces Covenant into law for the first time has been given Royal Assent, ensuring that people leaving the army, navy or air force are not disadvantaged when accessing essential services.
The Armed Forces Bill will place a legal obligation on public bodies to consider the welfare of serving and former service personnel, helping them access areas such as housing, education and healthcare. Minister for defence people and veterans Leo Docherty said: “This Bill is a very significant step forward in the interests of our armed forces people, service families and veterans everywhere ... People are our finest defence asset and this landmark bill reflects that."
Thousands of businesses have signed the Armed Forces Covenant, as well as all 407 local authorities in Great Britain, signalling their commitment to supporting service leavers and helping them transition into new careers in civilian life, such as security cleared jobs.
New National Cyber Security Strategy for 2022 unveiled
The government has published details of its new National Cyber Security Strategy, which will set out how the UK wil secure its position as a world leader in the sector and give organisations such as GCHQ the resources they need to protect the country from digital threats.
It will create more opportunities and education for people looking for roles such as security cleared jobs in cyber. However, it will also increase investment in the National Cyber Force, provide more funding for law enforcement to target cyber criminals, and expand GCHQ's National Cyber Security Centre’s research capabilities, including a new applied research hub in Manchester.
Steve Barclay, the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster, said: “The new National Cyber Strategy transforms how the UK will advance its national interests in cyberspace ... It sets out a clear vision for building cyber expertise in all parts of the country, strengthening our offensive and defensive capabilities and ensuring the whole of society plays its part in the UK’s cyber future."
Jobs boost from new fighter jet engine partnership
Hundreds of skilled engineering jobs in the UK are set to be supported by a new partnership with Japan to develop a demonstrator for a new generation of jet fighter engines as part of the country's £2 billion Combat Air Strategy.
An initial £30 million is to be invested into planning, digital designs and innovative manufacturing developments, with up to £200 million also earmarked for the development of a full-scale demonstrator power system. Work will be carried out by industry partners BAE Systems, Rolls-Royce, Leonardo UK, and MBDA UK, including at Rolls-Royce's facility at Filton near Bristol.
Director of business development and future programmes at Rolls-Royce Alex Zino said: "The joint engine demonstrator programme is an exciting opportunity to bring together some of the best combat air capabilities in the world and will also enable the development of innovative and critical technologies that will be fundamental to the future of the defence aerospace industry."
Extended partnership aims to encourage nuclear industry careers
A partnership between the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority (NDA) and the Nuclear Institute (NI) to foster personal and professional development in the sector is set to be extended for a further two years after a successful first 12 months.
The deal will see the NDA work with the NI's Young Generation Network (YGN), made up of professionals under the age of 37, to run webinars, educational opportunities and other networking events to support early-career development for professionals and inspire them to help shape the future of the nuclear sector.
Chief executive of the NDA David Peattie said: "This is an extremely important partnership and will afford young people within the NDA group, and beyond the opportunity to engage with senior figures to create an environment of support, so that the young professionals of today can become the industry leaders of tomorrow."