We're rounding up some of the biggest security cleared stories of the past few weeks. In January, the government unveiled a new cyber security strategy and additional investment into career opportunities for armed forces leavers, while the Ministry of Defence (MoD) began rolling out new technology that will secure the future of hundreds of skilled security cleared jobs.
New cyber security strategy aims to boost the UK's public sector defences
The UK's public services are set to be boosted by a new cyber security strategy that will aim to reduce the risk of them falling victim to hostile cyber attacks, the government has announced.
As part of the first ever Government Cyber Security Strategy, some £37.8 million will be invested to help local authorities boost their cyber resilience. This is intended to protect the essential services and data citizens rely on, including housing benefit, voter registration, electoral management, school grants and the provision of social care.
The Cabinet Office noted that of the 777 incidents managed by the National Cyber Security Centre between September 2020 and August 2021, around 40 per cent were aimed at the public sector. Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster Steve Barclay said: "The cyber threat is clear and growing. But government is acting - investing over £2 billion in cyber, retiring legacy IT systems and stepping up our skills and coordination."
Veterans' Strategy Action Plan aims to help ex-service personnel find work
A new programme to help people leaving the armed forces find employment has been announced by the government, with more than £70 million set to be invested in schemes to help these personnel into the civilian workforce, as well as boost health and wellbeing services for veterans.
Organisations including the Home Office, the Department for Work and Pensions and NHS England will collaborate to help armed forces leavers find jobs in blue light roles and the health service, while the Great Place to Work for Veterans initiative, which guarantees interviews for veterans in the civil service, will also be rolled out to every department.
Minister for defence people and veterans Leo Docherty said the Veterans Strategy Action Plan will "boost employment, modernise services and help us better understand the needs of the veteran community". He added that the plans step up the government's commitment to allowing ex-forces personnel to live successful and healthy lives after service.
Hundreds of jobs secured as new Air Traffic Management system goes live
Around 300 defence jobs are set to be secured by the rollout of a new Air Traffic Management system for the UK armed forces that will ensure the safe operation of military flying operations including fighter jets, drones and helicopters.
Half of the jobs safeguarded by the £1.5 billion programme, which is a joint venture between Thales and NATS (formerly the National Air Traffic Services) will be at Fareham in Hampshire, with the remainder at UK bases around the world. RAF Shawbury in Shropshire is the first facility to benefit from the cutting-edge technology in the project, which will eventually be rolled out at more than 60 MoD sites in the UK and overseas by 2024, including Cyprus, Gibraltar and the Falkland Islands.
Sir Simon Bollom, chief executive of DE&S, the MoD's procurement arm, said: "This is a key milestone in a programme that is vital to front-line capability. It is an excellent example of collaboration between DE&S, the RAF and industry to provide the armed forces with the technology to do their job safely and effectively."
London 'still the number one location' for central government jobs, report shows
A new report has revealed that London continues to see more central government job opportunities than any other part of England, despite a government pledge to 'level up' the UK by moving more civil service jobs outside the capital.
Between 2020 and 2021, the number of positions available in London increased by almost double the amount of any other English region, with an additional 10,260 openings in the capital - a 12 per cent rise. Meanwhile, the East of England saw the second largest increase, with the 1,430 jobs available marking a 6.7 per cent rise on the previous year. The smallest rise was in the East Midlands, where 970 jobs (a 4.7 per cent increase) were recorded.
A government spokesperson said: "Our programme to move 22,000 civil service roles out of London is a key part of levelling up the country. We have already announced the relocation of thousands of roles to sites across the UK, including Darlington, Glasgow and Wolverhampton."