Some great new projects (& funding opportunities)

After the year we’ve had its nice to see lots of local initiatives (with wider backing) out there to support the local tech industry and future workforce

Virtual Work Experience (VWEX)

This is a call for companies to offer up support to the next generation of talent

Speakers for schools

We need you if you are interested in offering work experience virtually (VWEX) to young people. You may have offered work experience before, this may be an opportunity to do it for the first time. Learn how your business can be supported to engage virtually with school and college students to develop your talent pipeline, business brand, highlight future skills and inspire! Just to start we have a seminar on December 16th which will show how you can work with us and Speakers for Schools to offer young people VWEX opportunities for spring-summer 2021. (there is no cost to employers or schools for this!) Please click on the Eventbrite link here to register for the event and find out more.

Workforce for the Future

Workforce for the Future is an £8m programme – co-funded by the West of England Combined Authority and the European Social Fund (ESF) – that will work with small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) to help them develop their future workforce, meeting their current and future needs. 

A skills analysis and development programme for SMEs. Designed to help you identify your current and future skills needs, we’ll pair you with 1 or more of our key partners to review and build the current skillsets of your employees. You’ll get technical skills, recruitment and training strategies, and action plans so your business can deliver its strategic ambitions with a strong, resilient and adaptable workforce. We’ll also give you access to training, resources and funding to develop your employees. We can also connect your business with education providers to shape the West of England’s talent pool, ensuring our region is equipped to meet the needs of tomorrow.

Imagining Secure Digital Futures – DiScriBe Hub+

The Jean Golding Institute and local universities are involved in a great new 4-year programme. Discribe is a groundbreaking social science-led digital security research programme, part of the UK Government’s wider Digital Security by Design (DSbD) Programme to drive the development of DSbD technology.

Our goal is to create a better collective understanding of the future context for next generation digital security technology. One that inspires successful development and wide-scale adoption.

Workshop Wednesday & Manic Monday

On our holidays (ish .. as theres quite a lot going on in the background)

Manic Mondays

This week is the final one until January for anyone wanting to catch up – signup here. We’re always available on a one to one basis if you need to catch up, mail us on to arrange a time and day.

Stuff we spotted and thought we would pass on I case you missed it

Some Mashable Highlights:

Google fired a prominent AI ethicist, and her former colleagues are up in arms

Dr. Gebru announced her dismissal Wednesday, which followed an internal email she sent regarding the lack of women being hired at the company and an ongoing internal debate about one of her research papers.  Sadly it doesn’t surprise us but nice to know how companies behave.

Online testing is a biased mess, and senators are demanding answers

On Thursday, six Democratic senators sent an open letter to the CEO of the online test-administering company ExamSoft. At issue are claims online proctoring and remote-testing software is biased against people of color and people with disabilities, and that it invades students’ privacy.

Tesla released its diversity numbers and, well, what did you expect?

It shows that women of all races make up 20 percent of the non-leadership workforce. Black people are 10 percent of that workforce, Asian employees comprise 21 percent, and Hispanic or Latinos are 22 percent.

MIT Technology Review:

Object storage for digital-age challenges

Once used primarily for archiving and backup, the technology is gaining traction for its mammoth capacity, processing power, and cybersecurity capabilities.

A new horizon: Expanding the AI landscape

Organizations are using AI to drive business and improve processes. That’s spurring changes in how they’re deploying the technology and governing its use.

DeepMind’s protein-folding AI has solved a 50-year-old grand challenge of biology

AlphaFold can predict the shape of proteins to within the width of an atom. The breakthrough will help scientists design drugs and understand disease.


Tech Tent: Who wants a digital vaccine passport?

Volunteering my phone to research Covid-19 while I sleep

Hayabusa-2: Capsule with asteroid samples in ‘perfect’ shape


That all folks (for this year)

This Week’s happenings have moved to our Events page

As a suggestion from one of our lovely members (Thanks Gabs #1!), we have also set up a “buymeacoffee” page for those wanting to give us a small thank-you. Check it out here.

Women’s Tech Hub products

Candidates page advertises the skillsets of the women we have looking for roles in the area (and some of our male allies).

Jobs Board for those wanting to advertise specifically to our members in the area – check it out here.

Engage with our members, advertise your companies and share any jobs then you can support us by sponsoring the Workshop Wednesdays – details here.