To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions how many software developers his Department is currently seeking to recruit for its digital service in order to build the universal credit end state system and other software projects; and what contingency plan is in place in case it is unable to fill them all.
We are confident that the necessary skills and expertise will continue to be in place to deliver the UC online service. It has always been the intention that the Department would complete the work to develop the UC digital service, building on the work of GDS. That is why we have already strengthened in house expertise including appointing former Vodafone director of global online Kevin Cunnington to lead the development of our digital service and will be recruiting around 50 IT specialists. This has always been in the plan for completing the digital service and therefore there are no additional costs for recruitment.