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Security cleared jobs news roundup: February 2024

Published on: 29 Feb 2024

Keep up-to-date with some of the biggest stories in the world of security cleared jobs in our monthly roundup.

We’re rounding up some of the biggest security cleared stories of the past few weeks. In February, MoD figures showed defence spending topped £25 billion, HMS Richmond destroyed nine drones in the Red Sea, Strategic Command strengthened its cyber security ties with Japan and the prime minister visited a hub for civil servants in Darlington.

UK defence industry spending tops £25 billion

Stats published by the Ministry of Defence (MoD) in February showed spending has topped £25 billion for the first time. It reflects the government’s commitment to improving the defence sector and equates to £370 being spent for each individual living in the UK.

It’s the third consecutive year of increased defence spending, with some 209,000 jobs being supported by the industry. Wales, Northern Ireland and Scotland also saw an increased level of expenditure compared to previous years.

Grant Shapps, defence secretary, said: “As threats increase across the globe, it’s crucial that investment in our Armed Forces matches that picture. These statistics demonstrate how all parts of the UK are playing their part in that crucial work, delivering through our fantastic defence industry and boosting local prosperity.”

HMS Richmond destroys nine drones in the Red Sea

Royal Navy warship HMS Richmond has taken over from HMS Diamond in the Red Sea and destroyed nine drones with her Sea Viper missile system and guns. As part of Operation Prosperity Guardian, the ship is working to ensure freedom of navigation as vessels face attacks by Iranian-backed Houthi rebels.

Key objectives in the operation include intercepting weapons being smuggled to Yemen and strikes against Houthi military targets in the country. These measures are being backed up by imposing sanctions on members of the Houthis to hold them accountable for actions in the Red Sea.

Commander Peter Evans, commanding officer of HMS Diamond, said: “The situation in the region is fraught, and ships in the force are firing on a daily basis – we hand over the baton with our best wishes to the fantastic team in Richmond who we know will do a great job.”

Strategic Command meets with cyber experts from Japan

The UK’s Strategic Command has met with a delegation from the Japanese Cyber Defense Command to discuss their mutual interests. Among the core priorities of Strategic Command is to share its knowledge and expertise with international partners to further global security efforts.

As Japan aims to boost its number of cyber operators from 800 to 4,000 by 2027, Major General Akisugu Kimura, commander of the Cyber Defense Command, came to the UK. He met personnel actively working on the digital frontline and director of operations Rear Admiral Nick Washer.

A spokesperson for the government said: “Our commitment to develop skills within the digital space was evidenced during a tour of the Defence Cyber Academy that offers world-leading training across the Armed Forces.”

PM hails civil servant hub

Rishi Sunak travelled to the North East to visit staff at the Darlington Economic Campus (DEC) earlier this month. It marks three years since the project was announced in a bid to move 22,000 civil service jobs out of London.

There are currently 750 people working at the DEC across a number of governmental departments, with this number expected to grow to 1,200 next year. When a new office is completed on Brunswick Street in 2026, hundreds more jobs will be created.

The prime minister said: "I am inspired to see brilliant civil servants from different departments working to deliver a brighter future for Britain. In just three years, DEC has attracted a huge amount of talent from the local area and has established itself as a central hub of government policy making."