Biggest Military Spend in over three decades – but could it spark a new war?

40,000 new jobs are set to be created over the next 4 years, with the announcement that the UK government will be ploughing £4bn into the defence sector; 10% of the current annual £40bn budget.

Much like the government’s announcement on green energy, the money will be aimed at the less traditional areas, focusing on combating the challenges posed by the “grey zone.” The money will therefore be directed towards cyber defence, robots and AI, although how exactly is still unclear.

This comes after recent comments from UK Defence Secretary, Ben Wallace, earlier this year when he said that the UK's "values and interests are being challenged in the grey zone all over the world".  Whilst Boris Johnson said the money would help the UK to "bolster our global influence". 

One area where there will need to be focus is on the need to attract the right talent.  This is clearly going to mean that the MoD are likely to be joining the war for talent in a bigger way than they are now.  There will need to be a concerted effort to start recruiting, or training up, these people now.  And not just within the MoD.  Investment is likely to go to external consultancies and organisations, who themselves will need to be thinking about talent pipelining alongside recruitment and retention strategies. 

It also means that immigration issues will need to be addressed, alongside international co-operation post-Brexit and Trump.  This presents as many opportunities as it does challenges.  The MoD must therefore consider how it makes use of recruitment consultancies.  We can be an efficient and cost-effective part of the solution; the front line attack in the new war for talent, if deployed strategically.

It’s one of the reasons Mane continue to invest in being STEM ambassadors.  A steady flow of people who want to work in this sector is important if we are to ensure that the UK not only thrives but becomes world-leading in this area.  We all have our part to play, and it is a sign of our commitment and intent.

Whilst these announcements are often met with some scepticism, we believe that today is a day for celebration.  We are proud to be embedded in the defence sector, and this announcement is great news for all of the clients we work with, the professionals we represent and the industry as a whole.