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UK: The Right Talent for Government ICT
Source: http://www.publicservice.co.uk/feature_story.asp?id=18173
Source Date: Monday, November 21, 2011
Focus: Citizen Engagement
Country: Global
Created: Nov 21, 2011

The government has made clear its commitment to harnessing the power of technology to reshape and modernise public services. The recently published ICT strategy provides a blueprint for its plans. But the tech sector is such a young and fast moving environment that it can be difficult for government to keep abreast of the innovations and opportunities being created. To help government improve its use of technology Intellect, the trade association for the technology sector, is announcing a series of initiatives.

Called "better access to the tech market and better skills for government" the programme will be unveiled at the Cabinet Office supplier conference. The initiatives fall into two areas, market access and supporting skills and capabilities. Intellect has developed the initiatives based on consultations with people across government.

It is accepted that better skills are needed to improve the government's ability to exploit technology and the series of initiatives will help enhance both the technical and commercial skills of people who work in government by tapping into the expertise within the tech industry.

We will launch a "talent swap" programme for staff from government and industry to trade places and gain experience of working from both perspectives. This programme will support the government's industry interchange programme and will include links with the government's Technology in Business Fast Stream. There will also be "a day in the life" initiative offering site tours and work shadowing for civil servants in tech companies with a mentor programme for each civil servant. Intellect has also committed to reserving free places on its training courses for civil servants.

Improving the skills base is important to ensure that the civil service has a pool of talent to draw on to deliver ICT projects. However, this is only part of the picture as government will need to access the tech market and the innovative ideas which it could exploit. The market access initiatives will help take government projects along the path from idea inception to delivery.

Intellect will create an industry map of companies of all sizes which will provide a clear picture of the existing capabilities and those which are developing. This will enable government to understand the value chains, see areas of expertise among companies and the projects they have carried out.

A series of activities will provide an ongoing dialogue between government and the ICT industry. Government will be able to talk to companies of all sizes before formal procurements are launched to help shape and validate ideas, policies, plans and requirements; while tech companies will be able to put forward proactive proposals for how new innovations can be used to tackle government's biggest challenges. These activities will be built on a range of existing Intellect initiatives including Innovation Den and Concept Viability.

Additional initiatives will be launched to help companies forge alliances to bid for government contracts and share knowledge on how to tackle problems through the supply chain. Companies will also have access to information and guidance on the public sector as a customer and advice on finding the best route to market within government.

Intellect will also publish regular market health checks which will show the proportion of public sector business that is passed on to SMEs and the activity between companies.

Over the next few months these initiatives will dramatically improve the government's understanding of and access to the UK's technology sector. They will also help UK companies of all sizes to share their ideas and feedback directly with government decision makers. Our aim is to ensure that the government has access to the best ideas and people to support their ICT strategy and deliver improved public services.

Several of the activities are already up and running and the remainder will launch by March 2012.
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