People & Skills Day

Opportunity, Development, Investment and Integration

People & Skills DayWhile capability and procurement is traditionally the event’s core focus, the fourth day of DSEI, Friday 15 September 2017, was an engaging platform for attendees to address topics pertaining to personnel, skills and STEM development. As key enablers of capability the sector’s workforce and skills base are considered the most important assets to employers and to a nation’s leading edge in advanced technology development.

Expert Led Discussions

People and Skills Day included a seminar programme featuring discussions pertinent to those who are considering a career in defence and security, right through to those who are nearing retirement.

Session topics included:

  • Addressing the National Engineering Skills Challenge
  • A Practical Approach to Creating a National Cyber Capability
  • The Enterprise Approach – Industry and Government Collaborating to Develop Talent
  • Women in Defence & Engineering
  • How Social Media Skills Can Boost Your Career

The sessions will address Opportunity, Development, Investment and Integration and visitors will be able to hear from speakers including:

  • Lt General Richard Nugee CVO CBE, Chief of Defence People
  • VAdm Duncan Potts, Director General, Joint Force Development & Defence Academy
  • RAdm Nils Christian Wang, Commandant Royal Danish Defence College
  • Brig Paul Buttery, Head Training, Education, Skills, Recruiting and Resettlement (TESRR)
  • Nik Beecher, Vice President of Cyber Security & ICT Solutions, Leonardo
  • Women in Defence UK

Youth STEM Focus

Research tells us that the diminishing pool of STEM talent needs to be addressed head on by engaging students throughout their education. For many, the wide range of roles and career paths available to those studying a STEM related subject means that visualising a future career is difficult. People & Skills Day brought STEM to life, showcasing advanced engineering and technology, and the type career paths available, enabling students to visualise where their STEM qualifications could take them. STEM was promoted across the exhibitor floor, with a bespoke programme of student activities. In addition, the seminar programme provided an opportunity for a more traditional learning environment where students were able to hear presentations from insightful industry experts.


Hands on challenges and opportunities for students to get to grips with specific areas of STEM and defence featured across the event, including:

  • UAS Challenge by the Institute of Mechanical Engineers – Understand the design and build of an Unmanned Aerial System
  • Medical Innovation Demonstration by Defence Medical Services – Learn about frontline medical care and technology
  • Ships Visits -Take a tour of a naval vessel and discover how its systems work, from radar and communications to engine controls
  • VR Headsets by Aviation Skills Partnership – Become immersed in a simulated flight experience and understand how VR is playing a bigger part in the training community
  • Cockpit Simulator by Joy Stick Club - Operate and control a simulated cockpit and understand the complexities involved in safe flight
  • Cyber activity - The Internet of Things is a feature of today’s world that offers convenience, but which is also challenging both to secure and assure. This activity provides a safe sandpit to investigate some of the cyber security elements of IoT
  • Rubber challenge – Build a platform to hold a set weight in a timed challenge, using only the non-standard parts provided, using design principles that teams are briefed on

Personal Development Hub

In the Personal Development Hub, located in the Global Theatre, visitors were able to engage with organisations involved in skills and career development, such as the Institute of Mechanical Engineers, IET,  Royal Aeronautical Society and Engineering in Motion. Advice on STEM support, careers and education were also available. A programme of informal content that students can engage with, such as practical information on CV writing and advice from students who are already pursuing STEM careers.

  • “DSEI is a landmark event presenting to the world the excellence of the UK defence and security businesses. We expect to welcome high level international delegations to take part in meetings with our strategic partners. For us in government it is hugely important, an important showcase, a stage for diplomacy, a platform for the international engagement. We are really looking forward to DSEI in September 2017.”
    Harriett Baldwin MP, Minister for Defence Procurement
    UK MOD
  • “I very much look forward to continuing my personal support to DSEI. It provides an excellent opportunity to explore the development of airpower capability, through engagement with the widest range of industry and international partners.”
    Air Chief Marshal Sir Stephen Hillier KCB CBE DFC MA RAF Chief of the Air Staff
    Royal Air Force
  • “I much look forward to DSEI 17. We intend to build on the very positive experience of DSEI 15 as we construct the partnerships we need to deal with the complexity of the future operating environment”
    General Sir Nicholas Carter KCB CBE DSO ADC Gen Chief of the General Staff
    British Army
  • "DSEI 2015 was the ideal occasion for the Royal Navy to demonstrate its ambition to lead and win through technological innovation. The opportunity to meet with so many partners from academia, industry and overseas at DSEI is, as always, a really useful component of our engagement with the vital partners through whom we seek to deliver this innovation."
    Admiral Sir Philip Jones KCB ADC, The First Sea Lord and Chief of Naval Staff
    Royal Navy
  • "DSEI 17 will offer Joint Forces Command the opportunity to report on our plans for the future, in particular on operationalising our Warfare In The Information Age concept. I am looking forward to it."
    General Sir Chris Deverell Commander Joint Forces Command
  • "DSEI is a highlight within the defence calendar, I use it to find out what the most recent developments are in every technological area affecting for defence. Without DSEI I fear this sort of interaction, information exchange and knowledge of developments across all domains would be lost. DSEI is an invaluable international biannual event .”
    Rt Hon Dr Julian Lewis MP, Chairman, House of Commons Defence Select Committee
    UK Parliament
  • “DSEI is a fantastic showcase for defence companies where international buyers, sellers, developers, thinkers, educators and the trainers can all get together. The UK defence industry is looking to recruit more engineers, scientists and developers into 200,000 jobs and up to 10,000 apprentices within UK defence companies. DSEI is an excellent tool to highlight the challenges the industry face as well as showcase its capabilities domestically and overseas.”
    James Gray MP, House of Commons Defence Committee
    UK Parliament


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