Tag Archives: HM Government


News story: 1 Million Subscribers to Update Service

The Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) has now had over 1 million subscribers to its Update Service.

The Update Service, which was launched in June 2013, puts applicants in greater control of their information, and allows subscribers to reuse a DBS certificate when applying for similar roles within the same workforce.

Adele Downey, chief executive officer at DBS, said: “We’re delighted to reach 1 million subscribers to our Update Service. Joining the Update Service allows your employer to go online, with your consent, and carry out a free status check to find out if the information on your DBS certificate is current and up-to-date. This reduces the need for an applicant to apply for multiple checks when moving from one job to another in the same workforce or when required to complete a re-check, saving time and money. The vast majority of customers who use the Update Service have told us that they felt the Update Service improves safeguarding, which remains a priority for DBS and for government.”

You need to register to use the update service. Registration costs £13 per year (payable by debit or credit card only). There’s no charge if you’re a volunteer.

For more information about the Update Service, and to sign up, visit: https://www.gov.uk/dbs-update-service

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Press release: Secretary of State visits Washington and New York

The Secretary of State James Brokenshire today embarked on a 3-day visit to Washington and New York. The main focus of his visit is to brief US politicians, influencers and business leaders on the political situation in Northern Ireland, the continued need for strong foreign direct investment into the region and to offer reassurance on current issues including the UK’s exit from the European Union.

In a series of intensive meetings the Secretary of State will emphasise that Northern Ireland is open for business as well as highlighting ongoing engagement between the UK Government, the Irish Government and NI’s political parties following the recent pause in talks at Stormont.

Speaking ahead of the trip, Secretary of State for Northern Ireland Rt Hon James Brokenshire MP said:

Regrettably my visit takes place against a backdrop of political stalemate in Northern Ireland but this is a timely opportunity to brief members of the US Administration, who throughout history have done so much to support our efforts in moving forward the political process, on the current situation. I also want to reassure them that the UK Government is determined to see devolved, power-sharing government restored.

During a reception at the Northern Ireland Bureau in Washington on Monday evening, Mr Brokenshire will praise the expertise and capabilities of Northern Ireland firms whose endeavours have contributed to attracting over 900 international investors, many of these from the US, employing over 75,000 people. The Secretary of State will highlight a highly educated, skilled and dedicated workforce, a pedigree in advanced engineering and manufacturing and the great transport links to the rest of the UK, Ireland, Europe and beyond.

Mr Brokenshire will hold bilateral meetings with senior political figures, including Conrad Tribble of the US State Department, the Vice President’s National Security Advisor, Andrea Thompson, former Senator George Mitchell and various members of Congress to update them on UK Government’s priorities in Northern Ireland.

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Press release: UK Visas and Immigration offers temporary visa application service in Male, Maldives

UK Visas and Immigration offers temporary visa application service in Male, Maldives on 16th August 2017

UK visa applicants in the Maldives will be able to apply for their UK visas in Male at a temporary Visa Application Centre (VAC) on Wednesday 16th August 2017. The VAC – based in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Male – is intended particularly to benefit students coming to study in the UK, although all visa applicants are welcome to use the service.

James Dauris, British Ambassador to the Maldives, said:

“This year UK Visas and the Foreign and Commonwealth Office are again taking steps to assist students in the Maldives applying to study in the UK by opening a temporary Visa Application Centre on 16th August, as we did last year.

The centre will save applicants living in the Maldives from having to travel abroad to make their visa application. Our aim is to make the application process smooth and we look forward to seeing everyone who wants to take advantage of the facility.”

Customers using the VAC will need to follow the normal application process by submitting their forms, paying for their visas and booking their appointments at the centre online

Customers will need to pay a fee of £170 on top of the cost of the visa to use this facility. The fee includes the return of documents via courier.

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Speech: Lord Ahmad’s speech on Global Peacekeeping Reform in Ghana

Good afternoon. I would like to thank the Minister for Defence, the Honourable Mr Dominic Nitiwul for hosting this event.

His Excellency Kofi Annan was a trailblazer – the first UN career official to be appointed Secretary-General and the first from Sub-Saharan Africa. This training centre which bears his name is also blazing a trail. It is at the cutting edge of peace support training and education in Africa, and the only centre of its kind on the continent to have a dedicated institute for Women, Peace and Security. Over fifteen thousand students from around the world have trained here since 2004. That’s an impressive contribution to global peacekeeping. It’s typical of Ghana’s commitment to UN Peacekeeping, from Congo in the 1960s, to South Sudan today – Ghana has always been in the top tier of countries contributing peacekeepers. Back in 2015, when President Obama called on fellow leaders at the UN to commit more resources to peacekeeping operations, Ghana once again answered the call.

It is also typical of the contribution of other African nations. Currently almost half of the men and women in uniform at Peacekeeping missions around the world are African. I want to pay tribute to your commitment, and to remember those peacekeepers who have given their lives for peace.

Today I want to look to the future. I want to talk about the UK’s commitment to better peacekeeping and the 3Ps reform agenda. I want to talk about our work on ending sexual violence and stigma. And finally I want to talk about getting more women involved in peacekeeping, and gender issues more broadly.

UK Support for Peacekeeping

The United Kingdom is a long-standing supporter of peacekeeping, although compared to Ghana I recognise that our contribution of troops is still modest. Today, we have around seven hundred British soldiers in blue berets. We have doubled our contribution since committing to do so two years ago, with two new deployments to UN missions in Somalia and South Sudan: our first in two decades.

UK Support for Reform – 3Ps

The UK is also committed to better peacekeeping. The joint Communiqué signed at the London Peacekeeping Defence Ministerial last September is a blueprint for peacekeeping reform.

It calls for improvement in three areas – the 3Ps of peacekeeping – planning, pledges and performance.


Better planning is about ensuring better coordination across the UN system so that we can get the right missions with the right skills deployed to the right place at the right time. The UK has invested significantly in the Secretary General’s Strategic Planning and Analysis Unit, which has led to advances in the UNs ability to identify the needs of missions, and match them with the capabilities offered by member states.


Pledges are about helping the UN to identify and meet the specific needs of each mission. In November the UK will co-host Canada’s Peacekeeping Defence Ministerial in Vancouver. We will explore smart pledging and innovations in training; look at how we protect those at risk; and consider a rapid response to the early warning signs of conflict.


Finally, having the right plan and the right people in place only works if they perform effectively. That’s why performance is so important. We need to see strong leadership of peacekeeping mission and ensure that troops are doing the job they have been sent to do. The UN needs to be able to take action against troops who do not meet this standard.

Sexual Exploitation and Abuse

When that performance falls below the level that is expected it puts the mission at risk. It can also bring the mission and the UN into disrepute. Such is the case with the appalling sexual abuse, committed by a small number of peacekeepers against the people they were sent to protect. Such crimes are abhorrent; they cannot be allowed to continue.

As the Prime Minister’s Special Representative on Preventing Sexual Violence, as well as Minister for the UN, I applaud the efforts of Ghana and of this Centre in particular, to tackle this difficult issue, through courses addressing the challenges of preventing sexual violence in conflict. We want to see more coordination between member states that need training and those that can offer it.

For our part, I am proud that the UK has delivered training for more than seven thousand African peacekeepers each year since 2014, on gender issues and the prevention and response to conflict-related sexual violence. We must do everything possible to improve the performance of peacekeepers and to ensure they properly protect the people in their care.

I know Secretary-General Guterres is reviewing the UN’s peace and conflict prevention structures. I hope his recommendations will lead to improvements in planning, pledges and performance.

Women’s Rights

I want to turn now to the role of women. Safeguarding women’s rights; ensuring that they take part in political processes; and that they participate fully in conflict resolution are all priorities for the United Kingdom. We have given the UN £2m to help achieve this aim.

Tackling Stigma

I spoke earlier about my particular role with regard to preventing sexual violence. One of my priorities is tackling the stigma that many survivors of sexual violence face. The UK is developing a set of Principles for Global Action, to help policy makers understand how they can incorporate this critical issue into their own work. I look forward to working with Ghana on this initiative.

Women in Peacekeeping

I also hope that we can follow your example of deploying women at all levels in peacekeeping missions. One in ten of Ghana’s peacekeepers are women, the highest percentage of the top 10 troop contributing nations. I am sure this is down to the excellent training this centre provides. This, and the Women, Peace and Security Institute here, demonstrate Ghana’s commitment to this issue.

By way of comparison, 7% of UK Peacekeepers are women. We are working hard to increase that number and I am very pleased that we will have a female commanding officer leading our troops in South Sudan.


Ladies and gentlemen, I hope I have shown you the UK’s commitment to working for better peacekeeping. It is a privilege to be discussing it with you – in a centre dedicated to doing just that. With the growing demands on peacekeeping, it is more important than ever that we work together to make the UN system and our missions as effective as they can be. I look forward to hearing about your experiences and your views on how we can tackle the many challenges ahead. Thank you.

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Press release: Students urged to apply for pioneering Cyber Schools Programme

  • £20m programme to train almost 6,000 teenagers due to launch in the autumn
  • SANS, BT, FutureLearn and Cyber Security Challenge UK named as delivery partners
  • Comes as £500k for GCHQ-accredited cyber security master’s bursaries announced

Teenagers are being encouraged to register their interest in taking part in a cyber security schools programme being rolled out as part of plans to help the nation address the risk of a future skills shortage.

Today a new website has been launched where students, teachers and industry can register their interest.

Pioneering Cyber Schools Programme

The Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS)’s Cyber Schools Programme will see thousands of the best and brightest young minds given the opportunity to learn cutting-edge cyber security skills alongside their secondary school studies through a nationwide network of extracurricular clubs, activities and a new online game.

It aims to support and encourage schoolchildren to develop some of the key skills they would need to work in the growing cyber security sector and help defend the nation’s businesses against online threats.

SANS, BT, FutureLearn and Cyber Security Challenge UK have today been confirmed as partners to deliver the programme and prospective students, teachers, industry members and volunteers can now register their interest in advance of the scheme.

Minister of State for Digital Matt Hancock said:

Our Cyber Schools Programme aims to inspire the talent of tomorrow and give thousands of the brightest young minds the chance to learn cutting-edge cyber security skills alongside their secondary school studies.

I encourage all those with the aptitude, enthusiasm and passion for a cyber security career to register for what will be a challenging and rewarding scheme.

Up to £20m has been made available to deliver the programme which will see students take a comprehensive cyber curriculum mixing expert, instructor-led classroom and online teaching with real-world challenges, online games and hands-on work experience.

Students will be selected for the programme via a pre-entry assessment, and the scheme will provide them with clear pathways into the cyber security industry via direct contact with industry experts. Cyber security firms and industry volunteers are also encouraged to register their interest to be involved.

Applications are open to students aged 14 to 18, with hundreds of hours of extra curricular content designed to fill a four-year programme. It will be delivered in modules and students up 18 years old can join at any time providing they meet the right criteria. Older students, for example, may work through the content and challenges at a faster pace.

The target is for at least 5,700 teenagers to be trained by 2021. The pilot programme year will be launched in the autumn.

  • The news comes as DCMS also confirms £500k funding to continue a pilot to help adults who want to retrain for a job in cyber security by taking a GCHQ-accredited master’s degree.

  • Up to £500k will be distributed between participating universities to help those who want to use their skills and work experience to move into a cyber security career.

  • Those interested in applying must first be accepted onto participating courses and apply for the bursary through the university.

These initiatives are all part of the Government’s National Cyber Security Programme to find, finesse and fast-track tomorrow’s online security experts. This also includes:

  • The Government’s Cyber Security Apprenticeships for Critical Sectors Scheme which is supporting leading employers in critical sectors including telecoms, broadcasting, energy and transport to develop the next generation of cyber security professionals through higher apprenticeships. It is currently open for applications for its second phase here.

  • The CyberFirst bursary funding scheme offers grants of up to £4,000 for up to 1,000 students by 2020 to study a relevant degree, do a placement or attend a summer school, and, depending on meeting requirements, the chance to work in national security on graduation.

  • There are also 1,250 free places on CyberFirst in 2017 and an additional CyberFirst Girls Competition, where teams of 12-to-14-year-old young women can pit their wits against one another to crack a series of online puzzles.

Notes to editors

Media enquiries – please contact the DCMS News and Communications team on 020 7211 2210 or out of hours on 07699 751153.

  • This initiative is part of the Government’s £1.9 billion investment to significantly transform the UK’s cyber security. The 2016-2021 National Cyber Security Strategy sets out how the UK Government will deliver a UK that is secure and resilient to cyber threats; prosperous and confident in the digital world. The National Cyber Security Programme managed by the Cabinet Office coordinates the work undertaken to implement the UK’s National Cyber Security Strategy.

About the Cyber Schools Programme delivery partners


SANS Institute was established in 1989 as a cooperative research and education organisation and is now the largest provider of cyber security training and certification to practitioners at governments and commercial institutions worldwide. The SANS curriculum spans more than 60 courses across multiple cyber security disciplines. SANS has successfully run programmes for school age students and is passionate about encouraging young people to pursue a career in cyber security.

BT Security

Employing more than 2,500 security professionals and with security operations centres all around the world, BT Security addresses the entire range of consumer, business and governmental security needs – from antivirus and parental controls that protect families in their home, through to complex managed security solutions used by multinational companies, banks and national governments. Ensuring we have the right people, with the right skills is critically important to addressing those needs.

Cyber Security Challenge

Cyber Security Challenge UK is a Cabinet Office-backed not-for-profit organisation with the sole purpose of finding, nurturing and placing more individuals into jobs within cyber security. The Challenge brings together key government, public and private organisations to host a programme of activities, spreading the word about cyber security as a varied and lucrative career..


FutureLearn is a social learning company, enabling online learning through conversation. FutureLearn’s online community provides collaboration tools to support cluster leaders and equip them with the confidence to support the students enrolled in the programme.

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