Why some shipbuilding jobs require security clearance

18 Jul 2023

Why some shipbuilding jobs require security clearance

Much of the shipbuilding in the UK is carried out for defence purposes and is therefore highly
sensitive. To safeguard these projects and ensure naval shipping plans are not compromised, many
levels of Project Managers, Production Directors and skilled tradespeople must be subject to
background checks. Holding current security clearance is undoubtedly advantageous in shipbuilding,
but what if you don’t hold it, does this mean you can’t work in shipbuilding? In this blog, we will look
at what security clearance is and how it is relevant to the shipbuilding industry. We will also talk
about the steps you need to go through if you don’t hold the necessary clearance.

Ex services & time served individuals.

One of the advantages of entering the shipbuilding sector, if you have served in the military, is that
quite often time served ex-forces. Candidates carry valid security clearance. This is because a career
in the military often means that that individual would have been privy to sensitive information and
projects. to ensure there is nothing in an individual’s life or past that could jeopardise the safety and
security of the project, the military carries out checks on their staff to give them security clearance.
The length of the security clearance depends largely on the reason for its issue. It can be given for
just a year before a coin renewal or could last up to 5 years.

Why is it important?

Many of the busy shipyards SLR supply resources for across the UK such as Glasgow, Govan, Cammell
Laird, Barrow in Furness and Falmouth can be engaged in contracts through the Navy. Clearly,
defence and cyber security are so important. Sadly, we still have conflicts throughout the world such
as the current situation in Ukraine and security clearance must be carried out predominantly to
ensure individuals do not have ties to other nations. This can understandably also include dual
citizenship. The other checks that will be carried out:

  • Citizenship or permanent residency.
  • Criminal record check.
  • Background checks, such as financial


What if you don’t carry security clearance?

You may well be one of the skilled trades that a shipbuilder needs on site quickly. If you have never
worked in a shipbuilding environment or served in the military, it’s possible, you don’t carry a
security clearance. This will mean you will need to go through that process and be sponsored to gain

SLR partners with companies that have an established presence in the marine sector such as
Denholm Industrial. Our partnership with Denholm means we can put our skilled candidates forward
for opportunities they have within shipyards that require a security clearance. They sponsor the
candidate and take them through the security clearance process enabling them to access
opportunities in shipyards.

We know job hunting can feel overwhelming, so we do everything we can at SLR to communicate
and support our candidates ensuring they have a regular stream of work in shipbuilding. And not all
shipbuilding requires this level of clearance.

Look at the exciting opportunities we currently have open.