Many more than 23 Apprentices will be required to meet the UK’s need for cyber security experts

Almost 1,250 people applied in 3-week application period for 23 apprentice roles as part of a bold new pilot scheme to help protect the nation’s critical national infrastructure from cyber threats and attacks.  The apprenticeships in Critical National Infrastructure (CNI) scheme aims to help develop tomorrow’s online security professionals and tackle the risk of a future skills shortage.

The successful recruits will be employed in energy, water and transport companies which cyber criminals could target.  13 firms including Northern Powergrid and Network Rail are taking part in the initiative.  The scheme will see the apprentices receive around 60 days of specialist classroom and lab training alongside their on-the-job education where there will work with existing cyber security professionals.  This will help them develop skills to become cyber security professionals in under two years.
Researched Links:

DCMS:  Huge response to join cyber security apprenticeship scheme

Statement: NCSC offer of assistance to political parties

NCA:  New assessment warns industry that cyber criminals are imitating nation state attacks

techUK:  British Retail Consortium launches cyber security toolkit

Surrey college to train young cybersecurity experts announced

Constant threat is the new norm for digital organisations; even charities!

NHS 2020 Case Study: Balancing Digitising Whilst Repelling IT Attacks

The Hacker Hardened Public Sector Enterprise: Practical Steps to Real Cyber Security

Our defence in the Cyber (not so Cold) War

Meeting the Challenge of GPG13 Compliance – Latest Brief on Achieving NCSC Requirements

White paper – The Business of Hacking

AXELOS:  Phishing awareness training can thwart cyber-attacks


GDPR Toolkit Checklist:

Latest Essential Public Sector Guide

Understand the key themes surrounding the new General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR) with this latest Toolkit.

As an organisation within the public sector, this resource will enable you to understand the legal framework that has been recently issued within the EU and will become applicable in 2018.

Advance your understanding of:

•        The new legal framework
•        Similarities with the existing DPA 1998  
•        Areas of your organisation which may be affected

Click here to download the GDPR Toolkit Checklist.

We must break the habit of decades and commercialise UK inventions in the UK

Increased investment in R&D by business is crucial if university research is to be transformed into successful commercial products, the Science & Technology Committee has reported.  The findings of their report form part of the ‘managing intellectual property & technology transfer’ inquiry, which explored the role of universities in commercialising their research.

The Committee found that while there is not a 'one-size-fits-all' approach to successful technology transfer, universities, and their 'technology transfer offices', need to share best practice.  They recommend the soon to be established UK Research & Innovation (UKRI) should take a pivotal role in developing & sharing good practice in commercialising university research.
Researched Links:

PC&PE:  Improvements needed to the commercialisation of university research

HEFCE:  Science & Technology Select Committee endorses HEFCE's support for university research commercialisation

CBI: UK must get better at commercialising research

BCS:  Are you ready for the robot revolution?

PC&PE:  Government must ensure UK benefits from Autonomous Vehicles

techUK:  UK Electronics & PCB Industry in January 2017

WAG:  Green light for £35m hub to drive world-leading research in Swansea Bay

The importance of sharing knowledge & networking

Venturefest East Midlands: business growth & innovation support

Knowledge Transfer Partnership announced at CSO Conference ‘Bringing Science & Innovation to the Heart of the NHS’

Young innovators recognised in Forbes 30 under 30

Women in innovation: female start-ups get inspired

STFC invests £1.3m in next generation of data-science experts

HEFCE welcomes the government response to the Dowling Review

Innovate day 2: delegates celebrate successful UK innovation

The framework: supporting world-class knowledge exchange

Additional £120m for collaboration & technology transfer

Venturefest South West: celebrating innovation & entrepreneurs

International competitiveness of UK university technology transfer practice

£16m for new technologies to improve global food production & security

The problem is that politics is all about changes in policy

A new report lays bare the staggering amount of change in key government policies over the last 5 decades.

Published by the Institute for GovernmentAll Change examines 3 policy areas which have experienced near-constant upheaval: further education, regional governance and industrial policy.  For example, the last 30 years have seen 28 major pieces of legislation relating to further education led by 48 secretaries of state.  And there have been 3 industrial strategies in the last decade.

The cost of all this reinvention – both human & economic – is high.  In further education, thousands of students & employers are faced with a confusing and ever-changing set of qualifications, with no certainty that those same qualifications will exist a few years down the line.
Researched Links:

IFG:  Policy reinvention leads to huge waste and little progress

FDA:  Government must revise spending plans to ensure the civil service is fully equipped to deliver a successful Brexit

Collaborate:  We all have a role in systems change

Meanwhile ‘Life’ goes on for the ‘everyday’ Government

The IPPR describes it as ‘A Bold Decision’, which is usually Civil Service ‘speak’ for ‘unwise’

IFG:  Civil service will face fresh challenges after Article 50

Cabinet Office:  Ministry of Justice joins shared services programme set to save £300m

‘Potential’ needs nurturing and may take years of the right encouragement!

Defence Secretary, Sir Michael Fallon has revealed figures showing that almost 30% of officers in the Armed Forces progressed from the lower military ranks, as he met would-be officers at the MoD’s London HQ.

The Defence Secretary spoke with students in week nine of the Potential Officer Development Programme (PODP), a 12 week intensive course which runs 3 times a year, aimed at catapulting soldiers from diverse backgrounds into the officer ranks.
Researched Links:

MoD:  30% of officers progress from the ranks

Armed Forces praised for literacy & numeracy training

Armed Forces basic skills longitudinal study: executive summary

British Army - Reading & Writing

Army Education Officers teach Gurkhas in Helmand

Army Basic Skills Provision Whole Organisation Approach (A2139) - Lessons learnt

Defence Minister launches new Army apprentice awards

MOD rises to the top in National Apprenticeship Week

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. 

Can you help reduce gap between theory & practice?

A From April 2017, Gender Pay Gap reporting regulations will require all employers with 250 or more employees to publish statutory calculations every year showing the pay gap between their male & female employees.  These results must be published on the employer’s own website and the government site.

The Government Equalities Office is keen to get feedback from those who will be reporting so that they can design the service to be as useful and as user friendly as possible.

They are on the hunt for HR & Payroll professionals who will help them to improve the government Gender Pay Gap Reporting online service, either by answering questions in an online survey and/or by attending workshops they are holding in London.  Ideally, they want to talk to staff directly involved with gathering their organisation’s data, making calculations, and publishing/reporting the final figures.  Closure date for the survey is: Friday 24 March 2017.
Researched Links:

techUK :  Gender Pay Gap Reporting Regulations

PC&PE:  Government lacks plan for achieving commitments on equality

EU is stuck half way to achieving gender equality, MEPs say

Pregnancy is too often a significant ‘bump’ in a woman’s career path

True pay equality will also only be achieved when both sexes retire at 65/67!

It is not as easy as just passing a law

The TUC recently launched a major new survey into how lesbian, gay, bi and trans (LGBT) people find working life in the UK.  Despite changes in the law that should have brought an end to discrimination & prejudice, the TUC is concerned that LGBT people are still experiencing difficulties at work:

As a result the TUC wants to carry out a thorough investigation into the experiences of LGBT people at work, and will use the findings to:

  • Campaign on the issues most affecting LGBT people in the UK right now.
  • Produce training material for union reps to ensure they can best protect and represent their members.
  • Help employers create a more inclusive work environment – including training for staff, getting the correct policies in place to prevent discrimination, and supporting LGBT staff if things go wrong.
The deadline to complete the TUC survey is Friday 5 May 2017.
Researched Links:

TUC launches major new survey into experience of LGBT people at work Watch date

LGA:  Fire service ditching outdated image in major diversity drive

WAO commitment to diversity & equality receives external recognition

Schools to teach 21st century relationships and sex education

OUTing the Past 2017: A resounding success

LGBT+ History Month: BCS Calls For Organisations To Develop A Culture For Diversity

MI5 in top 10 LGBT employers

We are participating in OUTing the Past 2017

Continued success for NCA in workplace equality index

'Turing's Law' extended to gay & bisexual men convicted in Northern Ireland

TUC publishes new guide for union reps to support trans people at work

Scotland “a more tolerant place”

Being transgender at GDS

Pride of the NHS celebrates in Leeds – Oli Mansell

FRA presents guidance from across the EU on combating hate crime

Wrong & outdated views towards LGBT people endanger their fundamental rights

Working together we can improve gender identity services – Will Huxter

Prevention requires real action not just action plans

The Government has published a progress report on its suicide prevention strategy but it must take tangible action to ensure effective implementation. So says the Health Committee in its final report on suicide prevention.

In December 2016, the Committee published an interim report on suicide prevention in order to inform the Government's updated suicide prevention strategy. The Government has now published its update to the strategy in the form of a progress report, the third of its kind.

Witnesses to the inquiry told the Committee that the underlying Government strategy is essentially sound but that the key problem lies with inadequate implementation.  95% of local authorities now have a suicide prevention plan, but there is currently little or no information about the quality of those plans.  It is not enough simply to count the number of plans in existence—there must be a clear, effective quality assurance process and implementation at local and national level.
Researched Links:

PC&PE:  Government's suicide prevention strategy needs greater focus on implementation

LGA responds to Health Committee report on suicide prevention

‘Survivor’s guilt’ is a real issue

Scale of avoidable loss of life by suicide is unacceptable

System failing to prevent deaths post-detention

NHS Confederation - HSC report on suicide prevention is right that more must be done

LGA responds to ONS suicide statistics

NICE address mental health within the criminal justice system

Children's Commissioner comments on rise in calls to Childline about suicide

The Zero Suicide Policy challenges

Children are mentally vulnerable

DH:  New data reveals suicide prevalence in England by occupation

Smile; you are probably ‘on camera’

The Surveillance Camera Commissioner has launched a national surveillance camera strategy for England & Wales, to help keep people safe in public places and respect their right to privacy.

This strategy aims to provide direction & leadership in the surveillance camera community to enable system operators to understand good & best practice and their legal obligations (such as those contained within the Protection of Freedoms Act, Data Protection Act and Private Security Industry Act).
Researched Links:

Surveillance Camera Commissioner launches a national surveillance camera strategy for England & Wales

Speech to the national automatic number plate recognition conference

Surveillance Camera Commissioner’s annual report for 2015 to 2016 published

Marks & Spencer first retailer to gain SCC's CCTV certification

Surveillance Camera Commissioner's speech to the CCTV User Group

LGA responds to CCTV spending report

Surveillance camera code of practice: third party certification scheme launched

CJEU: DP Directive applies to video recordings made by domestic surveillance cameras

ICO warns CCTV operators that use of surveillance cameras must be necessary & proportionate

Not all ‘incarceration’ is the result of criminal acts

Thousands of vulnerable people with dementia & learning disabilities are being detained in hospitals & care homes without the appropriate checks, due to a law unfit for purpose according to the Law Commission.

Often those who lack the mental capacity to consent – like certain people with dementia or learning disabilities – need to be detained in a place like a hospital or care home when it is in their best interests.  For example, a dementia patient may be kept in their care home to prevent them from wandering off, which could put them in danger.  This is known as a deprivation of liberty and a proper authorisation process should be in place to ensure that this is done lawfully.

But since a landmark legal case in 2014, which widened the definition of who was subject to the “Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards”, local authorities have been under increased administrative pressures.  As a result last year 100,000 people who required the authorisation did not receive it.
Researched Links:

LC: People with dementia & learning difficulties detained in care without checks due to “failing” law

LGA responds to Law Commission report on DoLS

Government must commit to closing social care funding gap

£2.6bn could be needed to fix social care - LGA warns

Protecting the liberty of those who are less able to protect themselves

A cutting edge Human & Social Sciences Research Capability challenge

The MOD, via the Dstl’s Defence and Security Analysis Division is seeking to appoint a contractor to lead, manage and deliver human social & behavioural sciences research for up to 7 years.

The framework, known as the Human & Social Sciences Research Capability (HSSRC) will deliver agile & robust human social and behavioural sciences research by building & maintaining a supplier network with an emphasis on scientific excellence, innovation and collaboration to exploit skills & capabilities. This research will be used to shape current & future Defence and Security strategy, policy and capability.

A Market Interest Day for suppliers to find out more about the HSSRC requirement is being held on Tuesday 4 April 2017 at the MacDonald Botley Park Hotel, Southampton.  The event starts at 9am and ends at 4.30pm.  The deadline for registration is before 5pm Friday 24 March.
Researched Links:

Dstl:  £m funding available for Human & Social Sciences Research

Sounds reasonable, but what about also reducing their student debt from 5 year course?

The expansion of undergraduate training places aims to increase the home-grown medical workforce by 25% – the largest single increase in doctor training places in the history of the NHS.  Currently more than 6,000 university training places are available each year for prospective new doctors.  This will increase by up to 1,500 each year from September 2018.

It costs £230,000 to train a doctor in England and proposals set out in a consultation include plans to obtain a return on this investment.  They include newly trained medics serving a minimum term with the NHS, with those who leave before this time is up having to repay some of the fees that the NHS invests in them.
Researched Links:

DH:  More undergraduate medical education places

Requires careful ‘application’
A ruling from the Court of Justice of the EU has found that employers can ban staff from wearing visible religious symbols, but must have a relevant policy in place before doing so.

EHRC:  Religious symbols ruling does not mean staff can be targeted for dismissal

EU News:  Prohibiting the visible wearing of any political, philosophical or religious sign

One notes that the Commonwealth population is over 5 times the size of a post Brexit EU!

The 2018 Commonwealth Summit will set out the future for a vibrant & diverse Commonwealth, the PM said last week, as the UK joins nations around the world to mark Commonwealth Day.  Leaders from more than 50 countries are expected to attend next year’s Summit, which will take place during the week of 16 April 2018 in London & Windsor.

The Commonwealth is made up of 52 members spanning six continents with a combined population of around 2.4bn people, almost half of whom are under 25.  The network includes established economies such as Australia, Canada and New Zealand, as well as emerging markets like India, Malaysia, and South Africa, with trade between Commonwealth countries projected to be worth $1 trillion by 2020.  The summit in April 2018 will see the UK take over as chair of the Commonwealth until 2020 (Editorial note:  Perfect timing for Brexit trade negotiations).
Researched Links:

10DS:  PM - Summit will set out future for a vibrant & diverse Commonwealth

FCO:  Secretary-General - 2018 Commonwealth Summit will reinforce a true global partnership

Would WTO tariffs really be such a ‘cliff edge’ for Brexit?

Like removing a plaster; it hurts less if you do it quickly

ASI:  Stuck in the middle with EU - Why it’s time we cut out the middle man and become global citizens

Civitas:  EU share of UK exports is in dramatic decline, new analysis shows

A ‘counter-balance’ to recent HM Treasury ‘Project Fear rants’

Editorial commentary; “The Lady doth protest too much, methinks"

The Scottish First Minister set out proposals on Monday to ‘seek the Scottish Parliament’s approval for a referendum to take place giving people the choice between a hard Brexit and an independent Scotland after the Brexit deal is clear but before it is too late to choose an alternative path’.
ScotGov:  PM bid to block Scotland’s choice “undemocratic & unsustainable” ~ ScotGov:  Scotland must have choice over future ~ ScotGov:  Referendum must be ‘made in Scotland’

The irony of this announcement was best summed up last week by Willie Rennie MSP (Leader of the Scottish Liberal Democrats) at FM’s Questions (http://www.scottishparliament.tv/20170316_fmqs - starting at time stamp 20:50mins), when the FM refused to deny that Scotland could find itself outside the EU and the rUK markets.

One might also add that Scotland would presumably have to go through the process of applying to join the World Trade Organisation (while the rUK is already working towards reactivating its former membership - suspended on joining the Common Market) and the Commonwealth.  While the rUK has already started the complex preliminary pre-talks with the WTO (just in case of a ‘No Deal’ with the EU), one wonders if the Scottish FM has considered just what a newly independent (and un-subsidised by the current Barnett funding formula) Scotland will have to achieve in order to trade with other countries, let alone ‘governing/running’ Scotland itself!

If the rUK finds/will find it difficult to find the resources to negotiate its way forward in global trading, just how difficult will it prove for the Scottish government and how long will it take to achieve a balanced full fiscal autonomy?
Brexit Explained: 10 things to know about the World Trade Organization ~ Nothing simple about UK regaining WTO status post-Brexit - ictsd ~ Telegraph:  Spain says independent Scotland would be at back of EU queue ~ Telegraph:  Iceland: Scotland could not start applying for EFTA until after independence ~ Telegraph:  Shale oil surge puts the skids under Nicola Sturgeon's independence ... ~ Editorial Commentary: Is the SNP threat of another Referendum realistic?

Perhaps the Scottish FM’s press statement should have read;  Set out proposals on Monday to ‘seek the Scottish Parliament’s approval for a referendum to take place giving people the choice between a hard Brexit and an even harder Scexit before it is clear just what alternative paths would be open to an independent Scotland’.
DExEU:  Statement on Royal Assent of EU (Notification of Withdrawal) Bill


 More contributions following EU Referendum

Still a ‘hot topic’, with widely spread views, for those who put fingers to keyboard in order to ‘share their views’:

Researched Links:

10DS:  PM Commons statement on European Council: 14 March 2017

DExEU:  Walker - ‘London will go on being a great place to do business’

DExEU:  Statement on Royal Assent of EU (Notification of Withdrawal) Bill

DIT:  ‘Brand Britannia’ dominates the field at world’s largest music, film and interactive media festival

FCO:  Secretary-General - 2018 Commonwealth Summit will reinforce a true global partnership

PC&PE:  Article 50: 'Dereliction of duty' to fail to plan for 'no deal'

PC&PE:  Customs admin and delays a serious concern for firms after Brexit

PC&PE:  Brexit: environment & climate change report debated by Lords

ScotGov:  Brexit impact on universities

FDA:  Government must revise spending plans to ensure the civil service is fully equipped to deliver a successful Brexit

IFG:  Civil service will face fresh challenges after Article 50

CBI Scotland: Clarity on future EU deal is the priority for Scottish firms

EU News:  Defence: MEPs urge member states to show political will and join forces


 More contributions to the UK constitutional debate

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

Researched Links:

ScotGov:  Scotland must have choice over future

ScotGov:  Referendum must be ‘made in Scotland’


Please note that previously published newsletters can be accessed from the

Newsletter Archive

Please choose from the links below to view individual sections of interest:

How many customs officers will the UK need once it has completed a Brexit deal with the EU? Like the number of angels dancing on a pinhead, that may seem to be one of those questions – especially if the SNP gets, and wins, a second independence referendum for Scotland – that is unanswerable right now, says Jane Dudman.
Calculating the number of border guards, or agricultural policy officials, or indeed, the number of extra civil servants and lawyers needed to negotiate the deal, is the unenviable task that falls to Sarah Healey, director general of the new Department for Exiting the EU, DExEU.
As Healey herself pointed out at an Institute for Government seminar on last Monday, there’s a huge range of unknowns. But she wasn’t hired to panic and was upbeat at the event, saying that, contrary to “silly news stories”, her DExEU department is pulling in a lot of civil servants from other departments. Healey is calmly evaluating the road ahead, writes Dudman, but "beneath the surface of this Whitehall calm, the legs are paddling furiously."

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News in brief
• Public sector workers first to face cut in real pay , says thinktank
• Liverpool libraries saved after budget boost – for now
• Government's £1bn plan for online courts 'challenges open justice'
• Council appoints Lord Kerslake to put ‘rocket boosters’ on regeneration plans
• New London devolution deal postponed
• 'Many more civil servants' needed to cope with Brexit workload