In a boost for the Highlands, two new sites in Nairn and Inverness have opened this week, as part of a new Defence IT support contract, creating jobs for over 250 people in the local area and boosting the local economy.
The two new service centres, run by Capgemini, will look after all Defence IT customers who require IT assistance, and will be operational 24/7, 365 days a year. Supporting over 200,000 users across Defence, it will be the largest centre in Europe based on the number of end-users.
This forms part of the five-year Defence contract, worth £225-million, announced last year with Capgemini, who are working with the MOD’s Defence Digital organisation, to provide next-generation IT services as the MOD modernises its digital footprint for improved operational and business outputs.
Defence Minister Jeremy Quin said:
“Effective and reliable Information Technology is vital for all areas of Defence, whether at home or across the globe on military operations, and our brilliant new service centres will be providing a critical service to boost our service resilience.
“It is fantastic that our investment has been able to provide 250 full-time, high-quality jobs in Scotland, including for a number of ex-service personnel.”
The service centres will help support the MOD’s communications network across the globe, while providing high quality digital jobs and career progression for young people and more experienced staff alike.
Located close to the defence sites of RAF Lossiemouth and Kinloss Barracks, the skills and experience of ex-service personnel are also being utilised with 20 already recruited, and that number is expected to grow. The opening of the centre’s is further boosting the Highland’s status as an IT centre of excellence. The area has recently seen a growth in the IT industry, with a number of other organisations, including the Metropolitan Police and DEFRA, moving their Service Centres and strategic IT infrastructure services to the region.
Scottish Secretary Alister Jack said:
“The opening of these two centres in the Highlands are further examples of how defence is boosting prosperity through the investment and skills footprint it brings.
“Part of a £225 million modernisation, supporting hundreds of jobs – including providing employment for ex-forces personnel – these sites will help ensure our Armed Forces have the IT tools they need to succeed.”
Defence Chief Information Officer Charlie Forte said:
“Defence Digital is working with Capgemini to create a world class customer service centre that provides defence users with the very best service interface that is using a leading edge approach and the best in modern technology to improve the customer experience.”
This investment in Scotland forms part of the additional £1.5-billion spending by Defence Digital over the next 10 years to underpin digital transformation and defensive cyber to modernise and secure Defence’s Digital Backbone – all of which is supported by the £24-billion increase in the defence budget over the next four years.
A part of the UK’s Strategic Command, Defence Digital is responsible for ensuring that modern, effective digital and information technology (D&IT) is put into the hands of the military and business front line