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​Is a Contract or Permanent Position More Appropriate for You?

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Is a Contract or Permanent Position More Appropriate for You?

Roles in the Defence industry come in a variety of forms and sizes, and it can be difficult to determine which one is most suitable for you.


Employed, full-time, part-time, contracts (short or long term), fixed-term, and permanent are all terms used to describe how an organisation employs its personnel. However, what genuinely distinguishes these words and what will work best for you?


Ultimately, your option will be dictated by your specific circumstances. Are you the family’s lone earner? How critical is stability – can you rely on the potential of continued work alone? Are you eager to gain as much diverse experience as possible? Is a greater pay a significant factor in your decision-making? Are you feeling overwhelmed by all of these questions?


Not to worry – at Jonathan Lee Recruitment our contract jobs team is here to assist you. The first and most critical decision you must make is whether you want a contract or permanent position.


To assist you in weighing your options, we’ve broken each down and highlighted some of the advantages and disadvantages.


Contract Defence Sector Jobs


Contract jobs entail being employed on an hourly or daily basis and being compensated just for the hours worked. Contracts can run from two weeks to two years and can be extended or terminated based on the progress of a project.


Contracts in the defence industry can be awarded to a prime contractor or a small to medium-sized enterprise (SME), or directly to the Commonwealth via the Request for Quotation and Tasking Statement (RFQTS) process. In essence, you are hired to complete a specific task within a specified time range.


Among the benefits of a contract position are:


●      Frequently pays more than permanent positions.

●      Increases the diversity of projects, technology, and teams with which candidates can collaborate.

●      Allows individuals to have greater control over their time.

●      Provides an entry point into new industries or businesses and good networking opportunities. The diverse experience and people you encounter can pave the door for future chances.


There are, however, some disadvantages to consider:


●      A contract’s expiry date is not always etched in stone, which can result in job insecurity. Contracts can be terminated or extended only at the last minute.

●      There may be gaps between contracts, which means you must ensure you have planned adequately for the following assignment.

●      You are not compensated for annual or sick leave, and the employer makes no commitment to investing in your professional growth.


For more information pertaining to contract jobs in the Defence sector, please contact our specialist defence recruitment team.


Permanent Defence Sector Jobs


Securing a permanent employment implies that you will continue to work for an organisation as a member of staff. That organisation compensates you for your work and is accountable for your well-being while on the job.


Permanent employment brings a plethora of benefits.


●      Permanent employment provides significantly more stability, as well as employee benefits such as paid annual, sick, and caregivers’ leave, as well as bonus eligibility and any applicable pension scheme(s)

●      Take advantage of the opportunity to collaborate on long-term projects from start to finish.

●      Permanent positions also offer additional opportunities for advancement, both in terms of promotions and professional growth.

●      If you are new to the defence industry, permanent positions often offer a higher chance of obtaining a security clearance.


Being a permanent employee also has a number of disadvantages.

●      If your organisation lacks stimulating or satisfying work, you risk being bored — and even if the work is stimulating, repetition can make it tedious. In a permanent position, there is not always much chance for variety, which should be considered.

●      Internal politics can also be a source of contention at times — there is always the possibility of a personality clash or two.

●      The starting wage is typically less than what you may earn in a contract position.

●      You’ll almost certainly receive less exposure to a variety of technologies and projects.


What about contracts with a fixed term?


Fixed-term contracts are a cross between permanent and contract positions. They entail hiring a candidate on a permanent basis as a member of staff, but for a specified amount of time. This is a relatively new type of involvement within Defence sector recruitment, and not all businesses have embraced it. It could, however, be a promising compromise. Consult our dedicated team on fixed-term contracts to determine whether this is the best move for you.


Whichever answer you provide, Jonathan Lee Recruitment can assist you in finding your ideal fit within the UK and off-shore defence industry.

Jonathan Lee Recruitment are exhibiting at Farnborough International Airshow 2022 (18th – 22nd July). If you’d like to set up a meeting to talk to the team at the Show please contact Charmaine Pope via phone 01384 446124 or email


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