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Security cleared jobs news roundup: October 2023

Published on: 31 Oct 2023

We’re rounding up some of the biggest security cleared stories of the past few weeks. In October, the government revealed plans for a new civil service hub, new chemical detection sensors were announced for the UK Armed Forces, Harland & Wolff won a contract to undertake work on the SeaRose Floating Production Storage and Offloading (FPSO) and a recruitment freeze has been lifted in the Northern Ireland Civil Service.

Thousands of jobs set for Birmingham

Birmingham will be home to a new civil service hub, as part of the government’s plan to move jobs out of London to other areas of the country. The building is poised to be a transport office, opening before 2028.

The hub is set to house up to 4,000 professionals from both the Department for Transport and National Highways, alongside others. This is the latest part of the Places for Growth programme, which aims to have moved 22,000 roles from the capital by 2030.

Currently, the government is more than halfway to its goal, with 14,000 jobs relocated to date. The Arena Central office houses civil servants from HMRC and the Department for Work and Pensions, while the Stephenson Street site, which opened last year, can support 1,700 civil servants.


£88m investment for UK military sensing equipment

UK Armed Forces personnel are set for greater protection on the battlefield through new, world-leading chemical detection sensors. This will be the first of its kind, as the wearable tech will identify and monitor threats from both aerosols and vapours.

Minister for defence procurement, James Cartlidge, said: “Not only is it an impressive piece of equipment that will be designed and manufactured here in the UK, but the ability for it to be continually developed and improved is exactly how we want defence procurement to be - deliverable, effective and ambitious.”

The £88 million contract, placed by the Ministry of Defence’s procurement arm, Defence Equipment and Support, will envelope the entire development, manufacturing and initial in-service support for the programme.


New £61m contract to upgrade SeaRose FPSO vessel

Harland & Wolff has won a £61 million contract to carry out the mid-life upgrade of the SeaRose FPSO vessel. Awarded by Canadian firm Cenovus Energy, the work will be done at Belfast Yard in early 2024.

This marks the return of the SeaRose to Belfast Yard, following its previous visit in 2012. Works have already begun to ensure the site is ready to start refurbishment and upgrades as soon as the vessel arrives next year.

John Wood, CEO of Harland & Wolff Group, spoke about the opportunities this contract would generate, including “an estimated 1,000 personnel on-site”, as well as facilitating the delivery of the £1.6 billion Fleet Solid Support programme as part of Team Resolute.


Northern Ireland recruitment freeze lifted

The Department of Finance said it is “essential to fill vacancies” in the Northern Ireland Civil Service. Allocations to general service posts had been paused since February, as Stormont departments continue to face substantial cuts this year due to a funding gap of approximately £800 million.

Northern Ireland’s top civil servant, Jayne Brady, claimed that in the summer, Stormont departments had “reached the limit” of what could be done with current budget pressures. Now, a spokesman said the civil service has been asked to fill 902 general service roles and plans have been drawn up for a new administrative officer competition.