Life at HMGCC

Life at HMGCC

At HMGCC, there's almost limitless potential to what we can create and achieve. You'll find such an incredible mix of talents, technologies and projects here. We work hard to ensure our people feel happy, inspired and are appreciated.

Holiday image
Holiday

Holiday

Your holiday entitlement starts at 25 days a year, rising to 30 days a year after you’ve been with us for five years.

You’ll also benefit from a further 2.5 days of privilege holiday on top of all the normal bank holidays.

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Flexible Hours

Flexible Hours

Our normal working hours are 8.15 am to 4.15 pm (Mon-Thurs) and 8.15 am to 3.45 pm (Fri) with 30 mins for lunch. It’s nice to have that extra time in the evening.

Where possible, jobs are offered with flexible working hours available, be that through part-time, compressed week, or term-time hours.

Sports image
Sports

Sports

Our well-equipped, modern gym is free to all staff. From treadmills to weight machines, you’ll also find classes ranging from martial arts to yoga. We even have two friendly trainers on hand to help you with any exercise or nutrition goals.

What’s more, we also have a tennis court, 5-a-side football pitch and plenty of sports clubs and societies to help you make the most of our great facilities. And for your colleagues' benefit, we've plenty showers and changing rooms on site, so your kit doesn't have to sit under your desk!

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Balcony Café

Balcony Café

Our café is cheaper than other coffee shops on the high street, serving drinks, sandwiches, bacon rolls, pastries, soups, salads and a selection of tasty hot meals.

We also have access to the main Foreign and Commonwealth Office’s restaurant, which can be found on-site. It offers full cooked breakfasts, a deli, hot meals and even a freshly cooked to order, ‘chef’s theatre’.

Hanslope Park Day Nursery image
Hanslope Park Day Nursery

Hanslope Park Day Nursery

Our on-site nursery is a well-established, small, independent nursery, with a warm and friendly atmosphere and a caring, dedicated team. Our vibrant, purpose-built building has four main rooms offering bright and stimulating environments for children between three months and five years.

All of our staff are qualified to NNEB, BTEC or equivalent level, or training towards it. Together, they provide the very highest-quality care for your little one. In fact, the most recent OFSTED report gave the nursery a Good rating. You can find out more by using the OFSTED reference EY278067.

Places at the nursery are subject to availability.

Parental Leave image
Parental Leave

Parental Leave

Everyone is entitled to 52 weeks parental leave. We offer two weeks paternity leave, as well as Shared Parental Leave, both of which we top up from Statutory Pay to full pay (depending on your length of service).

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Childcare Vouchers

Childcare Vouchers

We're registered for childcare vouchers, using a salary sacrifice scheme that will enable you to make a tax saving on your childcare costs.

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Bikes 2 Work Scheme

Bikes 2 Work Scheme

We’re members of the Bikes 2 Work Scheme, where we’ll lend you money to buy a brand new bike, which is then repaid through your salary (saving you the tax). For those of you who like to cycle to work, you’ll find a range of facilities from showers to bike racks to help make your commute even more enjoyable.

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Welcoming Environment

Welcoming Environment

New members of our team often comment on how supportive their colleagues are. We don’t have the layers of management and bureaucracy that tend to be found in major tech corporations. That’s a welcome breath of fresh air.

Everyone is on first name terms and, by working in small teams and closely interacting with other departments, we get to know each other very quickly.

We’re proud to be an inclusive community of like-minded professionals doing work of genuine importance, where everyone has a voice and people's opinions are heard and respected.

 

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Counselling and advice

Counselling and advice

For extra support and guidance, we have access to an Occupational Health Nurse, Welfare Counsellor and Financial Advisor.

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Free parking

Free parking

All of our employees are entitled to take advantage of free parking on-site. We also have priority parking for people who are car sharing, as well as designated parking spots for motorbikes.

Diversity & Inclusion

HMGCC is committed to ensuring inclusiveness and equality of opportunity for all employees, through fair employment policies and practices that value diversity. We aim to recognise the value of individuals differences and embrace them so that everyone can be themselves at work.

We are proud to be members of the Stonewall Diversity Champion's network.

Learning & Development

For any organisation of our size to make a contribution to national security, we know that learning and development is important to our success.

Together with formal technical training, we also provide support to individuals working towards professional registration, be that Chartership, Fellowship or something else. We share our expertise across the whole range of engineering, technology and manufacturing sectors every day, offering support and opportunities for everyone - regardless of where they work. It means our people enjoy a far broader and, in many respects, much deeper professional exposure than most working environments can offer.

Professional accreditation and affiliation

We are affiliated, and have accredited professional development schemes, with:

  • The Institute of Engineering and Technology
  • The Association for Project Management

We also actively encourage and support our people to achieve their affiliation with any professional association, such as:

  • BCS - British Computing Society
  • IMechE - Institution of Mechanical Engineers
  • The Chartered Institute of Purchasing and Supply
  • Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development
  • Chartered Management Institute
Development Opportunities

Your career here could end up taking you in many directions – we’re happy for our people to switch between teams and roles as their knowledge and skills grow.

There’s a huge amount to learn from your colleagues, both by following their example and asking their advice. People are genuinely willing to give their time and knowledge – because they’re passionate about what they do.

We’ll work closely with you to develop your own personal development plan so that you can influence the shape and direction of your career. This could encompass:

  • 1-to-1 training
  • Mentoring
  • Briefings
  • Conferences
  • Seminars
  • Exhibitions
  • Attachments
  • Secondments
  • Digital Learning

If you spot a development opportunity that fits your talents and goals, we’ll always try to accommodate it.

Going further

There’s a clear pathway into leadership at HMGCC, and many comprehensive leadership and management training programmes designed to develop, challenge and guide you. But promotion doesn’t have to mean a move into management. We’ve created many opportunities for you to progress in your chosen field too. As you progress in proficiency, tackling increasingly complex projects, you’ll be able to demonstrate your expertise and be promoted through the ranks, eventually reaching a principal level.

We are affiliated, and have accredited professional development schemes, with:

  • The Institute of Engineering and Technology
  • The Association for Project Management

We also actively encourage and support our people to achieve their affiliation with any professional association, such as:

  • BCS - British Computing Society
  • IMechE - Institution of Mechanical Engineers
  • The Chartered Institute of Purchasing and Supply
  • Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development
  • Chartered Management Institute
Professional accreditation and affiliation

We are affiliated, and have accredited professional development schemes, with:

  • The Institute of Engineering and Technology
  • The Association for Project Management

We also actively encourage and support our people to achieve their affiliation with any professional association, such as:

  • BCS - British Computing Society
  • IMechE - Institution of Mechanical Engineers
  • The Chartered Institute of Purchasing and Supply
  • Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development
  • Chartered Management Institute
Development Opportunities

Your career here could end up taking you in many directions – we’re happy for our people to switch between teams and roles as their knowledge and skills grow.

There’s a huge amount to learn from your colleagues, both by following their example and asking their advice. People are genuinely willing to give their time and knowledge – because they’re passionate about what they do.

We’ll work closely with you to develop your own personal development plan so that you can influence the shape and direction of your career. This could encompass:

  • 1-to-1 training
  • Mentoring
  • Briefings
  • Conferences
  • Seminars
  • Exhibitions
  • Attachments
  • Secondments
  • Digital Learning

If you spot a development opportunity that fits your talents and goals, we’ll always try to accommodate it.

Going further

There’s a clear pathway into leadership at HMGCC, and many comprehensive leadership and management training programmes designed to develop, challenge and guide you. But promotion doesn’t have to mean a move into management. We’ve created many opportunities for you to progress in your chosen field too. As you progress in proficiency, tackling increasingly complex projects, you’ll be able to demonstrate your expertise and be promoted through the ranks, eventually reaching a principal level.

Work & play

Open Lab days

Our Open Lab days are the opportunity to spend the day in other areas of HMGCC that your job doesn’t usually take you. It’s an interesting way of meeting new colleagues, sharing knowledge and even planning your next career move!

Learning at Work Week

Learning at Work Week is an annual national learning event that focuses on your development. It’s a great way to exchange ideas and skills, as well as to expand your knowledge and creativity through the passions and interest of others. A range of activities are offered during the week, from inspiring guest speakers to members of staff sharing their latest projects or hobbies - there’s something for everyone!

Innovation time

Innovative thinking is welcome in every department at HMGCC, not just our technical teams. As part of our quest to realise the future, we dedicate 10% of our organisational effort to innovation projects.

Whoever you are, whatever your role - if you have a good idea, you’ll be encouraged to explore it and then make it work.

Activities

Technologists

Technologists

To promote our culture of learning and development across the site, foster our culture of technical innovation and deliver the most cutting edge technologies to our partners, we’re proud to have Technologists. These include Engineers with a specific brief to be both technical and thought leaders across the following areas:

  • Digital Analytics
  • Mobile
  • Platforms
  • Wireless Internet
  • Internet and Networking
  • Mechanical
  • Materials
  • Space and Satellite
  • Acoustics
  • Telecoms
  • Data

They’re the go-to experts in their field, happy to impart their wisdom to any colleagues in need of information, knowledge or advice about their area.

Lunchtime Talks

Lunchtime talks

You’ll also enjoy regular lunchtime talks organised by our Lead Technologist. These interesting and informative talks keep everyone up to speed with innovation projects and success stories from around the site, as well as relevant and interesting external guest speakers.

Family days

Family days

Our family days are a great way to show your nearest and dearest where you work and what you do. Much more than simply a site visit, they can enjoy technology talks, treasure hunts and even try their hand at some challenges thought up by our engineers!

Groups

Groups

There are many ways to find like-minded people here at HMGCC. In fact, we have a variety of active societies, ranging from staff support through to religious groups.

Annual awards

Annual awards

We present corporate awards to recognise those people who have gone above and beyond. We have a broad range of categories, such as:

  • Technical and Engineering Excellence - Awarded to our nationally recognised technical experts, this award also carries research and training time to support our foremost technical leaders
  • Innovation – Awarded to those who’ve performed an innovation that has taken the organisation forward
  • Chief Executive Award - Awarded to individuals or teams whose work has made a real difference to HMGCC and our partners, perhaps through collaborative efforts or by making personal sacrifices for the good of the organisation
Social events

Social events

There are a plethora of fun (and sometimes bizarre!) social events to enjoy throughout the year, including:

  • Sport and social clubs – these groups organise events and have discounted trips for members. Previous activities include clay pigeon shooting, a chocolate evening, theatre outings, concerts, and even Harry Potter Studios!
  • Children’s Christmas party
  • Summer Fete
  • Creativity@Leisure competition – celebrating staff's creativity outside of work
  • Bike to work week
  • Retired Colleagues Event
  • Christmas show – a production put on by our bravest colleagues and managers. This could be anything from satirical sketch shows to musicals. The creativity and talent on show has to be seen to be believed! It’s always a great end to the year.
Cyber Security Challenge

Cyber Security Challenge

We’re always looking for the future champions of cyber security. Which is why we’re very proud to be a Platinum Sponsor of the Cyber Security Challenge UK, a series of national competitions and initiatives designed to identify, inspire and enable people to become cyber security professionals.

Cyber security contains a diverse collection of disciplines across a broad spectrum of skills. You don’t necessarily need to be technical to be part of the industry; common sense, logic and the ability to identify and understand risk are all valuable assets. Above all you’ll possess the ability to “think the unthinkable” and generally pursue the end goal at all costs!

We currently have some games available on the CSC Play On Demand website. Have you tried them yet? Just sign up to see if you can take on the challenge.

 

2017's Games:

2016's Games:

Technologists

To promote our culture of learning and development across the site, foster our culture of technical innovation and deliver the most cutting edge technologies to our partners, we’re proud to have Technologists. These include Engineers with a specific brief to be both technical and thought leaders across the following areas:

  • Digital Analytics
  • Mobile
  • Platforms
  • Wireless Internet
  • Internet and Networking
  • Mechanical
  • Materials
  • Space and Satellite
  • Acoustics
  • Telecoms
  • Data

They’re the go-to experts in their field, happy to impart their wisdom to any colleagues in need of information, knowledge or advice about their area.

Technologists

Technologists

To promote our culture of learning and development across the site, foster our culture of technical innovation and deliver the most cutting edge technologies to our partners, we’re proud to have Technologists. These include Engineers with a specific brief to be both technical and thought leaders across the following areas:

  • Digital Analytics
  • Mobile
  • Platforms
  • Wireless Internet
  • Internet and Networking
  • Mechanical
  • Materials
  • Space and Satellite
  • Acoustics
  • Telecoms
  • Data

They’re the go-to experts in their field, happy to impart their wisdom to any colleagues in need of information, knowledge or advice about their area.

Lunchtime Talks

Lunchtime talks

You’ll also enjoy regular lunchtime talks organised by our Lead Technologist. These interesting and informative talks keep everyone up to speed with innovation projects and success stories from around the site, as well as relevant and interesting external guest speakers.

Family days

Family days

Our family days are a great way to show your nearest and dearest where you work and what you do. Much more than simply a site visit, they can enjoy technology talks, treasure hunts and even try their hand at some challenges thought up by our engineers!

Groups

Groups

There are many ways to find like-minded people here at HMGCC. In fact, we have a variety of active societies, ranging from staff support through to religious groups.

Annual awards

Annual awards

We present corporate awards to recognise those people who have gone above and beyond. We have a broad range of categories, such as:

  • Technical and Engineering Excellence - Awarded to our nationally recognised technical experts, this award also carries research and training time to support our foremost technical leaders
  • Innovation – Awarded to those who’ve performed an innovation that has taken the organisation forward
  • Chief Executive Award - Awarded to individuals or teams whose work has made a real difference to HMGCC and our partners, perhaps through collaborative efforts or by making personal sacrifices for the good of the organisation
Social events

Social events

There are a plethora of fun (and sometimes bizarre!) social events to enjoy throughout the year, including:

  • Sport and social clubs – these groups organise events and have discounted trips for members. Previous activities include clay pigeon shooting, a chocolate evening, theatre outings, concerts, and even Harry Potter Studios!
  • Children’s Christmas party
  • Summer Fete
  • Creativity@Leisure competition – celebrating staff's creativity outside of work
  • Bike to work week
  • Retired Colleagues Event
  • Christmas show – a production put on by our bravest colleagues and managers. This could be anything from satirical sketch shows to musicals. The creativity and talent on show has to be seen to be believed! It’s always a great end to the year.
Cyber Security Challenge

Cyber Security Challenge

We’re always looking for the future champions of cyber security. Which is why we’re very proud to be a Platinum Sponsor of the Cyber Security Challenge UK, a series of national competitions and initiatives designed to identify, inspire and enable people to become cyber security professionals.

Cyber security contains a diverse collection of disciplines across a broad spectrum of skills. You don’t necessarily need to be technical to be part of the industry; common sense, logic and the ability to identify and understand risk are all valuable assets. Above all you’ll possess the ability to “think the unthinkable” and generally pursue the end goal at all costs!

We currently have some games available on the CSC Play On Demand website. Have you tried them yet? Just sign up to see if you can take on the challenge.

 

2017's Games:

2016's Games:

Challenges

To promote creativity and challenges amongst our engineers, our staff often run internal competitions such as:

Gadget Competition

How do we showcase the amazing skills and talents of our people? How do we give people who might be interested in joining us a taster of who we are and what we do? A gadget competition of course!

We challenged our brilliant Engineers with building a gadget we could use on our recruitment stand. ‘No problem!’ they said.

10 teams pitched 12 different ideas in our "Dragons' Den". Our Dragons were Champions from across  the site: Technology, Software, Recruitment and Engineering.

Each team had 10 minutes to sell their idea. The Dragons quizzed them, and finally picked four entries to proceed to the next round.

 

The finalists were:

  • A "beat the buzzer" game, played via a robotic arm.
  • Using an Oculus Rift to drive a remote controlled car through a real world maze.
  • A Google Cardboard app and in-house made Goggles.
  • Marble Labyrinth game played remotely via a tablet's accelerometers.

The finalists created proofs of concepts ready for the final. Each team then presented their gadget to the Head of Engineering and (after a lengthy debate) a winner was selected.

“Labyrinth: A maze navigation challenge against the clock controlled over Bluetooth by accelerometers on an Android device. This showcases a variety of HMGCC skills and ingenuity including: Mechanical, Electronic, Embedded, Mobile development, Power Source, Systems Engineering and more!”

Look out for the game at an upcoming recruitment fair and see if you can get on the leaderboard!

Robot Battles

Where the extreme technical ability and out-of-the-box, fresh thinking of our people really goes to battle!

With teams from all over the site getting their heads together to produce their own, self-built robots, there were bound to be some crazy creations in store.

And they didn’t disappoint. From handcrafted sophisticated automatons with carbon fibre shells, to a remote control car with lego parts duct-taped on, the variety of skills (and effort!) involved was immense.

The competition included rounds such: Maze, Drag Race, and a flat out Battle Royale to determine the winner.

 

The winning robot was “Wibble”: What it lacks in strength, power and weight it makes up in agility, speed and sacks full of hope.

  • Weapons: N/A
  • Drive: RC540 Brushed DC Motor
  • Power: 7.2V 1800mAh Ni-MH battery
  • Chassis: Basic Plastic RC Chassis with (some) Aluminium parts – anodised purple for extra bhp!
  • Body: papier mâché and foam lightweight armour shell
  • Control: 2 channel 2.4 GHz RC “Wheel Type”

Wibble

How well did Wibble do? Well, it got the fastest time in the drag race, 2nd last in the obstacle course, and smashed it in the Battle Royale (literally!)