Increase in location mapping use during pandemic sees 25% rise in OS workforce

Increase in location mapping use during pandemic sees 25% rise in OS workforce

Ordnance Survey (OS) has reported a 25% increase in its workforce to support a significant rise in demand for its digital services during the pandemic.

OS, which has been operating for 230 years, said they made 271 new permanent and fixed term contract hires from April 2020-2. The move sees total headcount rise to 1285 for the Southampton-based company.

The last year has seen OS deliver the first year of the Public Sector Geospatial Agreement, which started in April 2020, and resulted in a hub launch to provide easier access to accurate location data for the public and private sectors.

OS data was also used to assist NHS for vaccination programmes, emergency services and local authorities.

Critical skills

The new hires are also in line with significant innovations in the geospacial mapping sector and include data scientists, cyber security specialists, solutions architects and innovation leads. There are eight new graduates and a new role in the shape of 'head of mobile gaming'.

Hazel Hendley, OS People Director (pictured), said: “We have ambitious plans to grow our commercial business and hiring new talent will enhance the expertise and critical skills we need to deliver our strategy. 

“With new ways of working born out of the pandemic, we have recruited not just in the local area to our Southampton-based headquarters, but further afield which supports the government’s levelling up agenda.

“Over the next three years, we will continue to invest in core technology, data, and learning and development to better serve our customers for the long term, while creating a more sustainable way of working for both existing and new employees."

Major employer

OS data and expertise also supports thousands of businesses and start-ups, including utility companies, transport providers and drone delivery firms.

Outside of Great Britain, OS has been supporting other nations with the better use of geospatial and in realising the benefits which location data can deliver.

During lockdown the company also said there was an 80% growth in OS Maps subscribers, with people signing up to OS’s GetOutside initiative to support the nation to explore safely during lockdown.

OS also reported 71 internal promotions and lateral moves made in the last year.

Business South Group CEO, Leigh-Sara Timberlake, said: “As a major employer in the Central South, OS has been truly inspirational during the pandemic.

"While they could have chosen to apply the brake once the pandemic took hold, they have instead persevered, adapted their processes and been happy to share their experiences with other employers in the region.”

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