Good afternoon and welcome to Policy Pulse.
I hope everyone is enjoying the Summer – new Minister for Sports, Media & Creative Industries Nigel Adams MP certainly looks like he is!
For many this week will have been dominated by A-level results day on the 15th August. It is great to see more people taking STEM subjects at A-level, including Computing and wonderful to see more and more young women taking and exceeding in these subjects. There is clearly still a long way to go but this is encouraging news that we can all get behind.
It was also hugely encouraging to see the Government’s continued support of the diversity agenda. The third round of funding through the Cyber Skills Immediate Impact Fund (CSIIF) was launched earlier in the week, giving training providers the opportunity to bid for £100,000 of funding to help retrain a diverse range of individuals for a career in cyber security.
More generally, the not-at-all-in-election-mode Prime Minister this week continued the spending spree pledging money to boost prison security and create 10,000 new prison places. Since taking up residence in Number 10 a series of eye-catching commitments have been made, perhaps most relevant to the tech sector was the promise of full-fibre roll out by 2025. My colleague, Matt Evans explores what it would take to fulfil that pledge.
This week also saw the ICO launch an investigation into the use of live facial recognition technology at King’s Cross. New and emerging technologies like FRT can have positive uses, but it is absolutely right that they are governed in a way that inspires trust and confidence whether in law enforcement matters or elsewhere. It is good to see different stakeholders engaging on the issue and techUK looks forward to playing its part.
techUK news and events
September is now only around the corner and the start of the month sees the return of the NHS Expo, techUK is partnering with NHSX for an informal drinks reception at the end of day and will be joined by NHSX’s Chief Digital Officer. We are expecting it to be busy so register early here.
On Monday 9 September techUK is hosting an Introductory Evening for new members and those thinking of joining our family. If that is you sign up to find out more about who we are and what we do.
Finally, techUK is just putting the finishing touches to our Party Conference agendas this year. If you are hosting a tech-orientated fringe event or will be at any of the Party Conferences this year and want to grab a coffee then drop me a line.