We're rounding up some of the biggest security cleared stories of the past few weeks. In September, the UK government pledged to boost defence spending, a new multi-million pound cyber academy was launched, and the Cabinet Office provided an update on the number of government jobs moving to Scotland.
UK defence spending set to double by 2030
The UK government has confirmed its intention to double the amount of money it spends on the military by the end of the decade, which could potentially mean many more opportunities for security cleared jobs in the defence sector.
Defence secretary Ben Wallace confirmed a commitment to increasing the annual budget to £100 billion by 2030, up from £52 billion today, as the country aims to react to new threats and meet a target of spending three per cent of GDP on this area set by new prime minister Liz Truss.
Mr Wallace said the war in Ukraine has highlighted several areas where renewed focus is needed, including unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), military intelligence and reconnaissance.
"It's highly likely we will grow the army, but it might not be the places that your armchair generals want you to," Mr Wallace told the Telegraph. "We are more likely to be bringing about artillery batteries and more signals intelligence and more electric warfare, and certainly counter-UAV capabilities [than re-forming regiments]."
New £50m cyber academy to boost US-UK relationship
The government has unveiled plans for a new defence-focused cyber training programme that will aim to support the growth of the Ministry of Defence's cyber workforce, as well as improve collaboration with the country's allies, especially the US.
Announced as part of the UK's National Cyber Strategy, the Defence Cyber Academy, to be based in Shrivenham, Oxfordshire, will receive £50 million in funding to train "high-quality defence personnel to be at the forefront of cyber technology, strategy and operational preparedness". It will develop sovereign and international courses to share knowledge and adopt best practices along with the UK's key allies.
The announcement comes after figures from the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport revealed the UK government lost £100 million to cyber attacks in the last year, including espionage activity and ransomware infiltration.
Almost 1,000 government jobs moved from London to Scotland
Plans to move central government jobs from Whitehall to other parts of the UK continue to gather pace, with almost 1,000 jobs having already moved from London to Scotland, the Cabinet Office has announced.
It noted that 933 UK Civil Service jobs have so far shifted north of the border, with a total of 1,500 set to make the move by the end of 2025. This will see the Cabinet Office more than double its presence in Glasgow to around 750 positions.
Roles previously based in London that are now in Scotland include directors in the Counter Fraud Function, Consulting Hub and Debt Management teams. The government added that this ensures talented staff will no longer have to move close to London in order to further their careers.
The moves are part of a wider effort, known as Places for Growth, that aims to relocate 22,000 Civil Service jobs out of London by 2030. Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and minister for intergovernmental relations Nadhim Zahawi said: "It is imperative that we continue to build on this momentum and expand opportunities for people outside of London, giving them the chance to build successful careers right across the UK and bring diversity of thought and experience right to the very top of government."
New funding to boost protection systems for armoured vehicles
The government has allocated £15 million of additional funding to the Defence Science and Technology Laboratory (Dstl) in order to further development of new advanced protection systems for the army's fleet of armoured vehicles.
It will follow on from the successful Icarus Technology Demonstrator Programme, which developed and demonstrated the Modular Integrated Protection System to Technology Readiness Level 5 (TRL 5). The new investment will allow Dstl to build on this to create a flexible protection system to a high maturity rating of TRL 7. This will include smart sensors, AI-based data processing and counter-munitions to defeat a wider range of threats.
Minister for defence procurement Alec Shelbrooke commented: "The war in Ukraine has highlighted the importance of well protected armoured vehicles. We are supporting the army to modernise and remain at the forefront of cutting-edge capabilities. This is an important step forward in researching the latest technology to improve protection for armoured vehicles."