Defence Budget Boost Could Start New Talent War

February 09, 2021

The military sector will see 40,000 jobs created thanks to the government’s biggest military spend since the Cold War. The £16.5 billion boost to the defence budget, spread over 4 years, works out at 10% of the UK’s current annual budget of £40 billion.

As with the government’s recent investment in green energy, most of the money will be focused on newer technologies, such as cyber defence, AI, robotics, and defence against attacks in the “grey zone” (the grey area between war and peace; election meddling and disinformation fall here). This follows comments from Defence Secretary Ben Wallace that British interests and values were “being challenged in the grey zone all over the world".  

With so many new roles to fill, attracting the right talent will need to be a key focus, meaning the Ministry of Defence is about to join the war for talent with all guns blazing. Recruitment and training will need to be stepped up dramatically, and not only within the MoD. Some of the investment is expected to go to external organisations and consultancies – who’ll be needing recruitment drives of their own.

Issues around immigration and international cooperation in the post-Brexit, post-Trump world will also present both challenges and opportunities. The MoD will need to think carefully about how it will use recruitment consultancies. Making strategic use of our expertise could be an efficient, cost-effective way for Britain’s military to win the new war for talent.

A steady flow of talented people into the defence sector is vital both to Britain’s safety and to our future status on the world stage. We’re proud to have a part to play in that. While announcements like this are often greeted with some cynicism, we see this investment as news worth celebrating for our clients, our candidates, and the whole defence industry.