MOD employment in Scotland: facts based on the official data – falling in total and falling as a percentage of UK deployment.

Ministry of Defence gags staff on Trident and Scotland
Image: The Ferret

By stewartb

This is to supplement – and provide additional perspective for – the TuS blog post entitled ‘Only a 0.77% increase in jobs. Just a conduit for MoD propaganda’.

The latter was in response to BBC Scotland ‘bigging up’ the announcement of 100 MOD jobs in Lossiemouth. As the official MOD statistics below reveal, this is no compensation for the reduction in MOD employment – military and civilian – across Scotland since 2012 and it will not reverse the falling proportion of MOD jobs located in Scotland relative to the UK total.

MOD staffing levels are published annually (‘MOD Annual Location Statistics’). Going back as far as April 2012, we can view a breakdown of employment by geography – by nation/region and by local authority area.

Source: https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/997672/ALS_-_April_2021.pdf

(Note: the MOD publication explains that the location data are for ‘stationed location’. This is not necessarily where personnel live – and by implication therefore, not necessarily where the full local /regional employment multiplier will actually be felt. )

Between April 2012 and April 2021, MOD staff numbers in Scotland and the UK have varied as follows:

 Military personnelCivilian personnel (Full Time Equivalents)
 April 2012April 2021April 2012April 2021
Stationed in UK156,970143,38057,34053,530
Stationed in Scotland11,19010,1204,6904,000
% of UK total stationed in Scotland7.137.068.187.47

Regarding military personnel stationed in Scotland since 2012:

  • the total fell as low as 9,680 in April 2018
  • highest figure in the period has been 11,190, in 2012.

 Regarding civilian personnel stationed in Scotland since 2012:

  • the total fell as low as 3,760 in April 2015
  • highest figure in the period has been 4.690, in 2012.

We can find similar data from the same MOD source for the local authority area of Moray where Lossiemouth is located. Whilst the military staff complement stationed within Moray is, at 2,630 (April 2021), at its highest level in the period since 2012, the civilian staff complement has fallen from 400 in April 2012 to 260 in April 2021.

Overall, and even with an increase over time in military personnel, the total number of MOD staff stationed in Moray in the c. 9 years since 2012 has only risen from 2,580 to 2,890 in April 2021. (Recall that RAF Kinloss in Moray ceased to be operational in July 2011 and the site now functions as an army barracks.)

Interestingly, these MOD data for local authority areas permit analysis of staff numbers stationed in locations directly associated with elements of Trident operations, namely in Argyll & Bute. The civilian staff complement stationed in Argyll & Bute (at April 2021) at it lowest level since April 2017.

Overall, and even with an increase over time in military personnel, the total number of MOD staff stationed in Argyll & Bute in the c. 9 years since 2012 has fallen from 5,090 to 5080 in April 2021.

 Civilian personnel (Full Time Equivalents) 
 April 2012April 2021% change
Stationed in Scotland4,6904,000– 14.7%
Stationed in Argyll & Bute1,5401,460– 5.2%

5 thoughts on “MOD employment in Scotland: facts based on the official data – falling in total and falling as a percentage of UK deployment.

  1. And Ben Wallace makes the usual threats against an independent Scotland that they will not buy military kit from us.
    Fine, we should inform them we will not purchase military kit from them. Sauce–goose.

    As long as we advocate joining NATO, they have a hold over us.
    It would make more sense for Scotland to be neutral, and let the endless US/UK wars continue without us.

    Liked by 4 people

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