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Google Garage event

On Tuesday 11 July I had the pleasure of attending the Google Garage event hosted by Carlisle College which was attended by around 80 people, from businesses large and small around the county.  Carlisle College kindly invited me to speak at the event to further enhance their IT apprenticeship offering and share my experience of being involved with the apprenticeship programme.

Tom Harte, Digital Director at CN Group opened the event by welcoming everybody before introducing the first speaker, Phil Ruston from Connecting Cumbria.  Phil spoke passionately about the rollout plans for superfast broadband in Cumbria and the coverage that superfast broadband already has, with 92% of the county now having access to fibre broadband.  He went on to share the advantages to businesses of using fibre broadband over standard broadband.

Tom Scaife, Employment Partner at Baines Wilson then took the floor and talked about the importance of data security, the new General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR) and the increasing fines which will be levied to businesses breaching data protection regulations post May 2018.

Sam Ogle and Daniel Jeffrey from Carlisle College followed Tom’s presentation by discussing the skills gap in education, specifically in the ICT sector and the provision that Carlisle College has in terms of IT and IT security training and apprenticeships.

I was then invited to present and share my experiences of David Allen IT Solutions working with Carlisle College, supporting their ICT apprenticeship and the value of apprentices within our business.  We have always believed in investing in the next generation and apprenticeships are a tried and tested way to recruit and upskill staff. In my experience apprentices can be a great asset to a business, bringing forward thinking, fresh ideas and innovation.  As a former pupil of Carlisle College I enjoyed sharing my experience of time spent with the college and how grateful I was to be working with them now to enhance ICT training and skills in our area.

Claire Turnbull from Durham Police’s Safer Cyber Security team followed me. Her presentation focused on ransomware and cybercrime in general.  She shared a number of examples that her team deals with on a daily basis.  Cybercrime is involved in all kinds of other crime and is a rapidly growing area of crime.  Specialist teams which are interlinked are being developed within police forces to help combat it.

Bringing a close to the day, Dave Ray from Google gave a detailed talk about Google Analytics and the benefits to business of using the product to extract information about who is visiting your website, where they are from, what devices they are using and which pages are most popular.  For any business knowing this data and more importantly using the data will help them make smarter decisions to achieve business results.

Following refreshments, there was a prize draw for a bottle of champagne donated by Baines Wilson, which sadly I did not win. Dave Ray then ended the event talking more about online security, ransomware, backups and password management.

It was a hugely successful event which I was delighted to be a part of. If you’re looking for advice on any topics featured our team are only a phone call away, call 01228 711888.

Gary Martin


Posted: July 12th, 2017

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