I’ve been to Sheffield three or four times in the last year. It has usually rained though this time it was cold and damp and I always seem to come back with some sort of cold. I don’t think that is due to Sheffield, however but rather the Cross Country trains which are always packed to the gunwales and hot as hades. The super spreader express.
This time was for the first physical meeting of the UKC3’s Skills Working Group. Ever since the cluster of clusters got underway we have had three main areas of focus: ecosystem, innovation and skills. Up until now most of this work has been done online but this year we allocated some money to make getting together easier. I much prefer face to face meetings than online. Yes, I know they can be a hassle to get there and you have to take a hit on your productivity (perhaps?) but you get so much out of building relationships when you are in front of people.
Speaking of productivity, I managed to sit with Danielle on the way down and caught up in the Northerne Cyber Cluster Collaboration project and Skill project that she is working with CyberNorth on. I think she had planned to do some work on the train but I put paid to that. My productivity was fine but hers went out of the window. Sorry.
As for the meeting itself, it soon became apparent that the focus of the group was predominantly on the delivery of training. This was not surprising as Yorkshire Cyber Security Cluster, who lead on this workstream have a leaning towards this aspect. Our focus, however, is more about getting people the skills to enter the market and to address its somewhat dysfunctional nature.
That aside it was still a very useful visit. I made a few more contacts especially around some work that is going on in Scarborough around the NCSC and with Anglo American, a fertiliser company, with a mining operation in North Yorkshire. I know that this is outside of my patch but they have an initiative in Redcar which is in CyberNorth’s area. They also have an interest in cyber security and OT, which is grist to the mill for Tees Valley just north of where they operate.
I’ve already set up meetings to make use of my new found friends