techUK Policy Pulse | Your weekly update on digital and tech policy

Dear Nimmi,

Happy Friday, and more importantly Happy International Women’s Day.

At techUK I am fortunate enough to work with a number of inspiring female role-models – not least of all our President Jacqueline de Rojas. But I know my story is not shared across the tech sector where female representation is still low -particularly in technical and leadership roles. I spent yesterday evening at Learning People x Triangirls event exploring the barriers women still face in tech, and the practical steps we can all take to tear them down.

Here at techUK we continue to strive towards a #BalanceForBetter by working to promote STEM in schools, encouraging returners into our sector through our Returners Hub and supporting initiatives like ‘My Skills My Life’. If you are interested in our work to promote diversity and inclusion drop me an email and let’s chat!

This week we have also be celebrating apprenticeships. Given the UK’s chronic skills shortage and the lack of diversity in our sector – apprenticeships should be a no brainer, getting diverse talent to help close the gap. Over on techUK’s website we’ve been spotlighting some of our member’s apprentices to give you a flavour of who they are and what they do. However, data published in the recent National Audit Office’s report shows that the number of apprenticeship starts is falling and with take up of levy funds (around £170 million of the almost £2.2 billion available) miserably low, clearly something needs to change if we are to retain apprenticeships as a key route into tech.

Also this week, the Government published its Cyber Governance Health Check. The report revealed that less than a fifth of boards have a comprehensive understanding of the impact of loss or disruption associated with cyber threats. That’s despite almost all (96%) having a cyber security strategy in place. techUK is 100% committed to increasing cyber awareness amongst our member companies and regularly hosts events and workshops to help members take practical steps to improve their security. To keep up with the latest check out our events page.

In more positive news, DeepMind’s announcement that it is expanding to a new flagship London HQ in Kings Cross cements that area as London’s ‘knowledge hub’ and London as a prime destination for tech investment. Government will need to ensure this isn’t lost post-EU exit.


techUK news and events

techUK celebrated one of our wonderful colleagues – Sue Daley being named in DataIQ 2019 top 100 list of the most influential data and analytics practitioners in UK organisations. Sue joins a number of individuals from our member companies who are leading the way in this field.

This week techUK’s UK Spectrum Policy Forum published a report that recommends Government provide a follow up to their UK Spectrum Strategy, including assessing if it's on target to double the annual contribution to the economy of use of spectrum by 2025. You can read the full report here.

If you are a member and interested in the ICO’s new regulatory sandbox, come along to techUK’s roundtable event on 26 March to hear more from the ICO about how the sandbox will work and the application process involved. You can find out more and register your interest here.

For members and non-members alike, bookings for our Annual Dinner are now open! The glitziest night in the tech calendar, this year’s Annual Dinner promises to be a wonderful celebration of the UK’s thriving tech sector. To look back on year’s gone by and secure your seat, click here.

All the best

Vinous

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