The demand for developed vetting (DV) cleared technology specialists is increasing exponentially in the UK – so much so that the supply of these professionals simply cannot keep pace. The result of this situation is a severe shortage of highly skilled professionals with the necessary security clearances.
It’s little wonder the recruitment sector is struggling to fill job vacancies with permanent, DV security cleared employees. The thorough and lengthy process that candidates must go through to obtain DV security clearance has created a shortage specifically within the UK defence industry.
As a result, there are relatively few individuals who have DV clearance in addition to the high-tech skills required to deliver advanced MOD programmes. Defence companies turn to contractors to meet their time-pressured contractual deadlines. While contractors tend to cost more than permanent staff in the long-run, contractors have, and always will have a key role to play in the staffing structure of the defence industry.
Nonetheless, it’s essential to encourage and support skilled, high-tech professionals through the DV security clearance process so they can succeed in permanent positions within the defence industry. The long term solution to this issue should consider ways to increase the supply base of DV security cleared individuals.
It takes around six months to achieve DV security clearance in the UK. If the volume of individuals going through the security clearance process increases, so too does the timeframe. Government investment into growing the vetting team could alleviate the supply and demand challenge, enabling more people to achieve DV security clearance within a consistent, reliable timeframe.
The supply and demand challenge facing the defence industry in the UK at the moment could also be addressed through the encouragement of better lead times from organisations generating requirements, so as to provide more DV process time for candidates.
Focusing on nurturing young talent to develop the high-tech skills within the market will help to increase the supply base of DV security cleared individuals. By developing skills that are in high demand across the defence industry, individuals can seek sponsorship, achieve clearance, and compete effectively in the permanent defence jobs market.
Carbon60 employs dedicated pre-employment vetting teams who adopt a personable approach to accurately clear workers in time for their first day. We complete the full screening process and create pre-employment packs that assure vetted individuals are who they say they are, in line with time-critical project needs.
If you’d like to talk to us about the supply issues currently affecting the UK defence industry or about how we can support your security clearance and recruitment needs, please contact our specialist Defence and Technology team on 01296 311 411.