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News Report Page 6 of 22
Publication Date:-
News reports located on this page = 3.

Hugh Baird College Engineering students take a trip behind the scenes at energy giant, EDF Energy!

HUGH Baird College Level 3 Engineering students have taken a trip behind the scenes to EDF Energy's nuclear power plant in Heysham. The site is unique to EDF Energy, as it is their only location to have 2 operating nuclear power stations.

The behind the scenes tour gave students the opportunity to explore how electricity is created, in fun and interactive way, teaching them about the future of energy and to understand more about how a huge organization, like EDF Energy, generates energy. The trip came at a perfect time for the students, as the tour linked with the modules the students are currently learning in College, such as; how energy is generated and health and safety considerations associated to working in a power plant.

John Paul Price, Hugh Baird College BTEC Level 3 Engineering student, said:- "I really enjoyed the trip to EDF Energy, it really helped me to see what life could be like after college and working within the nuclear power industry. The trip also helped put the theory into practice for the modules I had been learning in College. Before the trip, I wasn't really sure what I wanted to do after College, but with the information provided I now have chosen a career path and I can't wait to get started."

Martin Speed, Hugh Baird College Engineering Tutor, said:- "It is key that all of our students are offered opportunities like this to help experience different types of employment opportunities and to support the work that they complete in class. Having visited Heysham Nuclear Power Station before, I understood the benefits to the students visiting the site as regards the employment and apprenticeship opportunities. I was also aware of the value the experience would be towards completing their course modules. Thanks again to the team at Heysham Nuclear Power Station for an educational, yet fun trip for all."

For more information on Hugh Baird College Engineering, Energy and Advanced Manufacturing courses, please visit:- HughBaird.AC.UK or alternatively, please call:- 0151 353 4444 for more information.

North West Residents Need Digital Boost

MORE than ½ (56%) of North West residents lack the full essential digital skills set required for the modern workplace, according to the latest Lloyds Bank Consumer Digital Index. The study found that some residents are unable to use digital skills to problem solve, communicate or operate safely online when required in the workplace.

Outside of the workplace, 1 in 5 lack the full essential digital skills they need, meaning they struggle with tasks like changing the settings on a device (16%), finding and opening applications (15%) and updating passwords (15%). More than 1 in 10 (13%) had little or no digital skills and classified themselves as:- 'digitally disengaged,' slightly higher than the national average of 12%.

The research found that almost a (30%) residents lack confidence in their digital skills and a further 10% of people in the Region are completely offline; meaning they risk missing out on benefits like better work prospects, improved communication with friends and family and financial savings. Of those not online, 60% say it's because they worry about having their identity stolen.

The Essential Digital Skills Framework defines the skills needed to safely benefit from, participate in and contribute to the digital world of today and the future. The framework is intended to be used by everyone in the UK engaged in supporting adults to enhance their essential digital skills. The benefits of working to a common framework include enabling progression and transferability of skills; as well as facilitating measurement. Changes have been subject to wide consultation across:- employers, charities, national and Local Government departments, academics and individuals. The most significant change to the framework is the introduction of distinct:- 'skills descriptions' for life and work, to demonstrate progression.

The framework also includes a section on:- 'foundation' skills, which are those typically required by people not currently using digital technology or using it in limited ways. It is assumed that people gaining these foundation skills will also have the motivation and confidence to engage with digital technology.

There are 5 categories of Essential Digital Skills for life and work:-


► Handling information and content.

► Transacting.

► Problem Solving.

► Being safe and legal online.

Elyn Corfield, Lloyds Banking Group's Ambassador for the North West of England, said:- "Having the right digital skills can be life enhancing, boosting your employability and earning potential, as well as helping you stay in contact with family and friends and manage your money more effectively. While it's reassuring to see that across the country almost two thirds of those surveyed think that their digital skills have improved in the last year, there is still scope for those in the North West to grow their digital capability, which will in turn support local businesses and the economy. That's why we've set up a free digital skills academy in Manchester to equip individuals and charities with vital digital skills, including staying safe online, using email effectively and helping job seekers to gain essential knowledge when entering the workforce. We're also working with schools to integrate digital learning, equipping the next generation with the digital skills that will enable the region to prosper."

Nationally, the study found that those workers with digital skills earn on average ₤12,500 more per year than those without.

Despite the lack of skills and increasing demand from employers, almost (63%) of workers have not received any digital skills training from their employer; including more than ½ (54%) of those in managerial roles and almost ¾ (71%) of manual workers.

Those working in manufacturing have the lowest level of digital skills (36%) compared to 80% in the finance, insurance and property sectors according to the report.

The consultation and update of the framework were coordinated by Lloyds Banking Group and the Tech Partnership, overseen by a steering group including:- Accenture, Amazon, BT, British Retail Consortium, Corsham Institute, DfE, DCMS, DWP, Federation of Small Businesses, Good Things Foundation, Greater London Authority, Greater Manchester Combined Authority, HMRC, Microsoft, NHS Digital, the Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisation (SCVO) and SSE. In total, 400 partners contributed to the public consultation. For the annual measure of this framework, please refer to the Lloyds Bank Consumer Digital Index.

Breakthrough controls stop phone fraudsters spoofing HMRC

NEW defensive controls deployed by HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) have put an end to fraudster's spoofing the tax authority's most recognisable helpline numbers. Fraudsters have increasingly mimicked legitimate HMRC helpline numbers (often beginning with 0300) in order to dupe taxpayers and steal money. Last year alone, HMRC received over 100,000 phone scam reports. The 'spoofing' scam worked as taxpayers would receive calls and on checking the numbers online, would find they appeared to belong to HMRC. This often led people to believe fake calls were real and enabled fraud.  The new controls, created in partnership with the telecommunications industry and Ofcom, will prevent spoofing of HMRC's most used inbound helpline numbers and are the 1st to be used by a Government Department within the United Kingdom. Criminals may still try and use less credible numbers to deploy their scams; but that means they will be easier to spot.

These are examples of the Scams being sent out:-

Example of scam call 1:-

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Example of scam call 2:-

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Financial Secretary to the Treasury, Jesse Norman MP, said:- "This is a huge step forward in the fight against phone fraud. "HMRC's new controls will help to protect thousands of hardworking taxpayers and their families from these heartless criminals. Vigilance will always be important but this is a significant blow to the phone cheats."

Head of Action Fraud, Pauline Smith, said:- "Phone calls are 1 of the top ways for fraudsters to make contact with their victims. Between April 2018 and March 2019, 1 in 4 phishing reports made to Action Fraud were about fraudulent phone calls. It is encouraging to see that these newly developed controls by HMRC have already achieved a reduction in the number of calls spoofing genuine HMRC numbers. If you believe you have fallen victim to a fraudster, please report it to Action Fraud."

Since the controls were introduced in April this year, HMRC has reduced to 0 the number of phone scams spoofing genuine inbound HMRC numbers. This has resulted in the tax authority already receiving 25% fewer scam reports against the previous month. HMRC will continue to work with network providers to eradicate fraudulent numbers that are reported, and during the last 10 months has requested the removal of over 1050 numbers from being used by scammers. Criminals often target the elderly and vulnerable using HMRC's brand as it is well known and adds credibility to a fraudster's call, though this will now be significantly harder to do.

HMRC will only ever call you asking for payment on a debt that you are already aware of, either having received a letter about it, or after you've told us you owe some tax, for example through a Self Assessment Return. Changes the department makes this month also mean you will never have to read aloud your card details to an operator.

If anyone is ever in doubt about who they are speaking to, check the number and end the call. You can contact HMRC using one of the helpline numbers or online services available from:- GOV.UK Also you can forward details of suspicious calls claiming to be from HMRC to:- Phishing@HMRC.Gov.UK and texts to:- '60599,' or contact Action Fraud on:- 0300 123 2040.

News Report Audio Copy


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