Defence contractor Lockheed Martin has announced plans to recruit over 100 IT professionals after winning contracts with Nato and the Ministry of Justice.
Lockheed Martin announced the expansion just after securing a $100m (£63.2m) IT contract to design the network infrastructure for Nato's new headquarters in Brussels. Lockheed will maintain the Nato network for five years after completion.
Prior to Nato, Lockheed confirmed winning a new contract with three other government departments, including the Ministry of Justice. The contract tasks Lockheed to create and provide a range of IT services to boost the departments' efficiency and cyber security.
Lockheed confirmed plans to recruit 200 new cyber security professionals for its UK office to help it meet its contractual requirements. A Lockheed spokesperson confirmed to V3 that the majority of the new hires will be for cyber security, saying "over half" the jobs being advertised are IT-focused. The 200 new recruits will join the office's existing 2,000 staff.
The spokesperson told V3 that the company plans to recruit the majority of the new staff from the UK, but added that many of the roles will be for established professionals. The 200 new employees are the latest step in a wider expansion by the firm. Lockheed Martin also announced plans to expand its cyber professional workforce by acquiring Glasgow-based technology firm Amor Group for an undisclosed sum earlier this week.
The Lockheed spokesman said this acquisition, along with the recruitment drive, will increase its workforce to over 3,000 by the end of the year.
The announcement comes during a cyber skills crisis. Numerous security vendors and government agencies have warned that the UK is failing to recruit and train the next generation of cyber security experts. Fixing the ongoing skills gap has been an ongoing goal of the UK government's Cyber Strategy, which was announced in 2011 when the UK government pledged to invest £650m to help improve the nation's cyber defences.
Lockheed Martin has been a constant supporter of the initiatives, listing recruiting and training professionals directly from UK universities as a central part of its corporate strategy. The Lockheed spokesman told V3 the company currently hires and trains around 75 graduates per year.
The government's Cyber Strategy has seen the UK launch several initiatives designed to help government agencies and private businesses find skilled professionals during the current drought. Most recently GCHQ has launched a Can You Find It challenge designed to help the government agency find and recruit the next generation of cyber security code experts.
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