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Skills Festival 1 – Programme

13 May 2021

(All times BST)


Conference platform opens at 9.00am

9am – 9.30am
Arrival and browsing

As our inaugural conference and job fair commences, take this opportunity to orientate yourself around our bespoke platform and explore all the various services available to you, readying yourself for the day.



Introduction and welcome

9.30am – 9.45am

Join our hosts as they welcome you to SASIG’s exciting new initiative. They explain the importance of Cybersecurity Skills Festival to the cybersecurity industry and introduce you to all that the day has to offer.

Martin Smith MBE, Chairman, The SASIG

Joseph Wise, Community Maker, The SASIG

Edmund Rogers, Extranet Planner, Ford Motor Company, and Chair, SASIG Gateway



 Conference opening keynote

9.45am – 10.15am

Upskill, reskill, fill the skills gap

As the bridge between industry and government, we are privileged for the NCSC to join us as they explain the importance of the cybersecurity career and how we must work together to help make the UK the safest place to live and work online.

Senior representative, The National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC)


Second keynote 

10.15am – 10.45am
Funded programmes to create circular investment for training/skills development requirements

Dan and Jacqui explain the mission of the Positive Transformations Group and how they are revolutionising the way we train our staff through sustained and cost-effective interactions in the digital arena.

Dan Brown, CEO, Positive Transformation Group

Jacqui Oughton, COO, The Shaw Trust



10.45am – 11am Break


Morning sessions


SASIG Stream

(Find and retain new talent)

Gateway Stream

(Boost your cyber career)
11am –  11.30am




Roundtable – Where can we find and attract talent?

We discuss the skills sets needed by cybersecurity, finding the talent required to fulfil this vast skills gap we are currently experiencing, and attracting this workforce to the industry.

Michael Williams, Cyber Prevent, Bedfordshire Police
Michael Halliday, Founder, UTC Cyber
Philip Virgo, Director, Winsafe
Thom Langford, Security Advocate, SentinelOne


Who are Gateway anyway? 

The SASIG Gateway leadership team explain how we began and what we’re trying to achieve, where we’ve been and where we’re going. We also provide our take on how best to start and progress a career in cybersecurity.

Joseph Wise, Community Maker, The SASIG
Edmund Rogers, Chairman, SASIG Gateway

11.30am – 12 noon




DWP Security: What is it like working in Security in a large Government Department?

Senior representatives from the Department of Work and Pensions (DWP) demystify the various job roles available in cybersecurity. We will also be given a glimpse into what working in a cybersecurity team looks like and what opportunities are available with DWP.

Tony Nesta, Enterprise Security Architect, DWP
Paul Owen, Head of Cybersecurity Innovation, DWP


12 noon – 12.30pm


How recruiting has changed post-Covid

From the most senior mouths of personnel recruitment in cybersecurity, we discuss how the Covid-19 pandemic has changed the way we recruit, vet and onboard our staff, and what the future looks like for HR and recruitment.

Peter French, CEO, SSR Personnel
Keith Rosser, Director of Reed Screening, Reed Screening
Andrew Jackson, Managing Director, SaluteMyJob
Chris Withers, Director of IT and Compliance, Agenda Screening Services

How career expectations have changed post-Covid

Covid-19 has changed not only the way we find jobs, but also how we work on a day-to-day basis. Our panellists from all vistas of the recruitment process discuss what to expect when applying for a job in a post-Covid world, and what to expect if you get it!

Owanate Bestman, Director, Bestman Solutions
Jim Griffiths, CISO, British Sugar
Shakti Shekhawat, Director of Digital Trust & Security Practice, Capgemini
James Murphy, CEO, TechVets




12.30pm – 1pm Lunch break (30 minutes)



Third keynote 

1pm – 1.30pm

Both finding the right talent, and attracting it

ACE is a Home Office capability within the Office for Security and Counter Terrorism (OSCT) solving fast-changing digital and technological challenges. From partnering with 180 organisations and experts they give their view on how to find the right talent and attract them to work with your organisation in cybersecurity.

Jen Wallace, Deputy Head, Accelerated Capability Environment (ACE) (Home Office)


Afternoon sessions


Cornucopia – What’s going on?

1.30pm – 3pm

There is a growing number of excellent initiatives of all sorts across the whole UK cybersecurity landscape. We discover the programmes looking to solve the skills gap and what you can do to help and get involved.


Cyber Girls First

Bringing in girls aged 11-14 from local schools to give them a day of IT, coding and cyber security, with talks by women who have attained high levels in management in these fields.

Unlock Cyber

A joint initiative between employers and universities in the West of England, directing young people towards opportunities to learn and get involved.

Cyber Security Challenge

Highlighting the many opportunities in cybersecurity to fresh talent with the skills and diverse backgrounds the cybersecurity industry needs and demands.

Cyber 9/12

The Cyber 9/12 Strategy Challenge is an annual cyber policy and strategy competition where students from across the globe compete in developing policy recommendations tackling a fictional cyber catastrophe.


TechVets is a non-profit that exists as a bridge for veterans and service leavers into Cyber Security and Technology careers.

Cyber Choices

Police constabularies across the UK are now equipped to intervene with talented new hackers who may be going down the wrong path and steer them in the right direction.

EY Foundation / Security Institute

The joint initiative explain ‘Secure Futures’, breaking down employment barriers for less advantaged young people wanting a career in security.



3pm – 3.15pm Break



Diversity in security

3.15pm – 3.45pm

Diversity in security at Lloyds Banking Group

As a leader of equalities within the banking industry, Kayleigh explains Lloyds’ approach to diversity and inclusivity: “A more inclusive society is a more prosperous society, and a diverse business is a better business.”

Kayleigh Tobbell, External Engagement, Chief Resilience Office, Lloyds Banking Group




Closing keynote 

3.45pm– 4.15pm

A workforce for cyber power: increasing the number and diversity of people in UK cyber security profession, now and in the future.

Susannah will close the skills festival and talk about the work the government is doing to ensure a diverse, quality, and sustainable supply of talented people can enter the cybersecurity profession. This will include discussion of the new UK Cyber Security Council and its role in developing the standards and pathways to support high quality skills and careers. The session will also consider how good cybersecurity skills are part of the government’s wider strategy to protect the UK online.

Susannah Storey, Director General, Digital and Media, Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS)



End of conference



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