‘Leave’ or ‘Remain’, our prosperous future depends on our digital skills

The Science & Technology Committee has published a report warning that the UK risks being left behind if the Government does not take more action to address the digital skills crisis.  12.6m adults in the UK lack basic digital skills; 5.8m people have never used the internet; only 35% of computer teachers in schools have a relevant degree and 30% of the required number of computer science teachers have not been recruited.  This digital skills gap is costing the UK economy £63bn a year in lost GDP.


Don’t Look Back: Britain’s High Streets Meet the Future of Retailing

Technology brings change. Sometimes that change is incremental, sometimes transformative. In the case of Britain’s high streets change has led to a decline in revenue and foot traffic.

In this MasterCard opinion paper, leading academic Dr Steve Millington, Co-investigator for the High Street UK 2020 report & Fellow of the Institute of Place Management, poses a key question: How can Britain’s high streets harness disruptive technology to rejuvenate the centre of our communities?

Click here to download the opinion paper “Don’t Look Back: Britain’s High Streets Meet The Future of Retailing”.

Part of the solution to the issue above?
Applications are now open for computing scholarships. For the 5th year running, BCS, The Chartered Institute for IT is managing the scholarship scheme to attract trainee computing teachers.  The scheme aims to help meet the growing need for computing teachers. Scholarships - each worth £25,000 - will be available this year to find the very best potential trainee computing teachers.

BCS computing teacher training scholarships - now open for applications

Much more than one step ahead of the class now

Compare these figures to those of southern countries in EU

Unemployment has dropped to its lowest rate since 2005 while the employment rate has stayed at a record high of 74.2%.  Official figures from the Office for National Statistics show the unemployment rate now stands at 5.0% and there are nearly 31.6m people in work.

There are nearly half-a-million more people in work compared to a year ago, with wages before bonuses up by 2.3% in the same period.  The growth in employment is being driven by full-time work.  At 5.6%, the proportion of 16 to 24 year olds who have left full-time education and are unemployed has never been lower
Researched Links...
Should we ever again believe HM Treasury’s projections?
Professor David Blake has conducted an independent review of the Treasury’s two reports on the economic consequences of a vote to leave the European Union in the Referendum on 23rd June.

CUL: Independent Review of HM Treasury’s two EU referendum models finds grossly exaggerated impact

SME Supplier Locator update...

UK Government and public sector spend with SME’s is continually on the increase and by 2020, it is the stated intent of Cabinet Office that £1 of every £3 spent on government contracts goes to SME’s. The past 5 years have seen government make a priority of getting money through its supply chain into the hands of SMEs, by both setting targets and introducing new procurement mechanisms.

Against this backdrop, the WiredGov Supplier Locator service has been developed specifically to embrace the SME Agenda and provide the ideal platform for SME’s to promote their services, solutions, accreditation and success stories directly to our ever increasing audience across all government and public sector verticals and Tier 1 suppliers.

Click here to find out more and view this week’s new arrivals to the SME Supplier Locator service. 

Montreal Convention not fit for purpose?

British air carriers should cover the full cost of damage they cause to wheelchairs & mobility devices, according to Chris Holmes, Disability Commissioner of the Equality and Human Rights Commission.  One of Britain’s most successful Paralympic athletes and former Director of Paralympic Integration for London 2012 has criticised British Airways and London City airport for its treatment of disabled customers.

YPO latest stakeholder channel to go live on WiredGov!

For over 40 years YPO (Yorkshire Purchasing Organisation) has supplied the public sector across the UK with products & services to help drive efficiency savings.  They use their bulk buying power to achieve the best prices for our customers on supplies and for access to contract services (known as frameworks) in everything from pens, paper and food to energy, insurance, ICT and HR services.

YPO is the largest formally constituted public sector buying organisation in the UK, with a total of 54 member authorities, meaning all profits go back into the public purse.  They provide around 30,000 products and 100 framework contracts to their customers in education, emergency services, charities, third sector and local authorities.
Researched Links...
Business growth comes in all sizes

The North’s small & medium cities (SMCs) contribute £82bn a YEAR to UK economy, IPPR North report finds – more than Wales & Northern Ireland combined and their growth rates match those of their big city neighbours, making them essential for boosting growth in the Northern Powerhouse.   The research finds that the North’s smaller cities represent one third of the Northern economy and play a key role supporting the growth of their bigger neighbours.

Start as you mean to go on!

The Infrastructure and Projects Authority (IPA) has launched new content for the Project Initiation Routemap (PIR) for improving the delivery of major projects.  The PIR is a strategic tool that allows sponsors & clients to address the problems that commonly emerge at the beginning of major projects, setting themselves up to succeed.

Is this lack of ‘parental control’ child-abuse?

The number of children developing Type 2 diabetes, normally only seen in adults, as a result of being overweight or obese should be a "wake up call" to the nation ahead of the Government's forthcoming childhood obesity strategy, warn councils.  Latest figures show that there are 533 children & young people, including 11 aged nine or under, in England & Wales with Type 2 diabetes.  Unlike Type 1 diabetes, Type 2 is largely preventable and is closely linked to lifestyle, such as unhealthy eating or lack of exercise.

Recognising most ICT managers are not computer security experts

Help shape the NCSC website for anyone with responsibility for their company's IT estate, not just for cyber specialists.  They need volunteers, from small enterprises of 1 - 250 people, who are responsible for managing or implementing the IT or online digital services for their company.  They need them to help them test various aspects of the initial National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) website.

Editor’s observations Post -Referendum:
Many of us who actually participated in the 1975 referendum voted for joining the then European Economic Community (EEC), which was ‘sold’ to us by politicians of all parties, as a free trade agreement (i.e. nothing like what the EU is now).  40 years on, it’s hardly surprising that the majority of those old enough to remember voted ‘Leave’.

 More contributions to the EU Referendum

More news, opinions, documents, claims & counter-claims;

Researched Links:

Vote Leave - the campaign for a Leave vote in the EU referendum

Britain Stronger In Europe

Open Europe

PC&PE:  Contingency plans needed to protect UK science

Electoral Commission statement on assessment of Ryanair spending on EU Referendum campaigning

CJEU: The UK can require recipients of child benefit & child tax credit to have a right to reside in the UK

Dijsselbloem: concerns about flexible application Stability & Growth Pact rules

Time to revise the EU long-term budget to boost growth & respond to migration crisis

CUL: Independent Review of HM Treasury’s two EU referendum models finds grossly exaggerated impact

IEA:  Leave or remain: the two best paths to economic freedom


 Since EU Referendum

News, opinions, documents, claims & counter-claims;

Researched Links:

10DS:  EU referendum outcome: PM statement, 24 June 2016

NHS Confederation response to Brexit

RUSI Brexit Decision: The UK Needs to Become the EU's New Best Friend

IEA reaction to Leave vote in EU referendum

JRF response to the EU referendum – We cannot afford to return to business as usual

CBI comments on UK vote to leave the EU

LGA statement on 'leave' vote in EU referendum

CIPD responds to EU Referendum ‘leave’ decision and what it may mean for the world of work

TUC: Working people must not pay the price of leaving the EU

BCS reaction to the EU referendum result

Editor’s Note:  We suggest readers monitor the ‘News’ sections of the 2 campaign sites for the 2 differing views.  The WGPlus newsletter will mainly limit itself to highlighting ‘normal’ EU-related news, plus Think Tank items, PC&PE reports, etc.


 More contributions to the UK constitutional debate

More news, opinions, documents, claims & counter-claims;

Researched Links:

PC&PE:  Constitution Committee publishes report on 2015-16


Please note that previously published newsletters can be accessed from the

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With the EU referendum taking place this week, Unison's annual conference this week could not be happening at a more important, or uncertain, time, according to its general secretary Dave Prentis.
Growing staff shortages, increasingly fragmented services, the draconian Trade Union Act and high cost of housing are all on the agenda – problems that aren't going away, whichever way we vote today. But, Prentis says, Unison won't stop fighting to protect public sector workers’ jobs and living standards.

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News in brief
• Brexit could cause years of instability for central government
• Enfield Council brings in artificial intelligence to deliver services
• Brexit to pose ‘all-consuming’ task for Whitehall
• 73% of council staff reported rising levels of stress, Unison survey
• Procurement staff urged to keep an eye on cartel-like behaviour by suppliers
• Councils referred nearly 300 people to deradicalisation programme