Security cleared jobs news roundup: February 2023
We’re rounding up some of the biggest security cleared stories of the past few weeks. In February, UK businesses have been offered funding to carry out missions on the Moon, the MoD announced plans to develop highly secure infrastructure, defence spending has been designated a top priority and new job opportunities are set to arise with a Sellafield construction partner.
British companies will provide services for Moon missions
The UK Space Agency has pledged more than £50 million for British companies to develop navigation and communication services for missions to the Moon. The funding comes as part of the Moonlight programme, a European Space Agency initiative that aims to create a network of satellites around the Moon, starting in 2028.
The project will allow future explorers, rovers, astronauts and other equipment to communicate large amounts of information and navigate safely across the Moon. Over 250 missions are set to launch within the next decade, bringing in almost £90 billion in returns and creating thousands of new jobs.
George Freeman, minister of state in the UK Department of Science, Technology and Innovation, said: “The new funding will help UK companies provide satellite services for the fast-emerging lunar communications economy for years to come, deepening our international collaborations through ESA, kick-starting the lunar economy and inspiring a new generation of scientists and explorers.”
MoD to implement new highly secure infrastructure
The Ministry of Defence (MoD) has announced plans to create highly secure physical and technical infrastructure for safeguarding top secret UK information. The department outlined a “requirement for the provision of secure infrastructure on a civilian site in the southeast of England”.
All data stored at the site will be classified as top secret by the government, which is the highest level of security classification. The notice, published by the MoD, signalled a private cloud system and physical document storage in a fully managed service.
The Ministry has said that a supplier of the new infrastructure will likely be appointed in the second quarter of 2023, on a five-year contract. Due to the nature of the work, any business looking to express interest will first need to obtain List X Facility Security Clearance (FSC) accreditation.
UK military spending is now top priority
Defence spending is now a top priority for the UK government, according to Penny Mordaunt, leader of the House of Commons. The former defence secretary said the budget is set to be increased to ensure Ukraine has “the tools to finish the job” and allow the UK to have bolstered resources to enable that.
Ben Wallace, current defence secretary, faces the challenge of both supporting Ukraine and modernising the British armed forces. Ms Mordaunt added: “This means we’ve almost got to double run. We’ve got to rebuild these new technologies but also keep our current operations very strong.”
At the Munich Security Conference, Prime Minister Rishi Sunak claimed the British government would support any nation ready to deliver fighter jets to Ukraine. Despite previous budget cuts to the military, the UK has always been one of the largest suppliers of arms to help defend Ukraine against Vladimir Putin’s invasion.
New job opportunities arise with Sellafield construction partner
A new delivery partner, set to supply concrete structures and groundworks, has joined Sellafield’s Programme and Project Partners (PPP). Sir Robert McAlpine, a family-owned civil engineering and construction business, has pledged to create an array of opportunities across a 17-year framework in West Cumbria.
New jobs will open up at a regional office, working alongside local suppliers and workers. The project will also feature significant investment in training and new apprenticeships. Sellafield is one of the UK’s most important infrastructure projects, already sustaining over 60,000 jobs.
Tony Gates, managing director, civil engineering, for Sir Robert McAlpine, said: “Through this long-term appointment, we intend to make a lasting, positive impact on local communities in West Cumbria by boosting employment, promoting skills and education, working with trusted supply chain partners in the region and creating a tangible, measurable social impact.”