While 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.