October has taken me to the other side of the globe to sunny Australia. The trip served two purposes, the first part was on a UK skills delegation tour hosted and run by the Association of Employment and Learning Providers (AELP), and secondly to spend some time with our Australia CREW.

The interesting thing when I travel to different countries is that we all face the same challenge; to make learners better prepared for the workforce. Australia is no different. The tour provided insight on how the market operates and what specific issues are faced here. One of the biggest challenges was understanding all the acronyms! The Aussies love to shorten everything they can and can't get enough of the RTOs (Registered Training Organisations) and TAFEs (Technical and Further Education) all working in VET (Vocational Education and Training), etc.

Practice Labs CREW in halloween costumes

Kicking off this month's newsletter with some spooky fun, here’s an obligatory team photo of the UK reaching out to the spirits on Halloween. In full ghastly fancy dress, CREW members devoured some freshly baked treats from the bake sale where all proceeds were given to a local charity. It could be said the goodies were to die for.

Man in superhero costume fighting cyber crime

We all need a cyber hero

Cybersecurity Awareness Month (NCSAM) may have ended in the US, however at Practice Labs, cybersecurity is always very much at the forefront of our minds. It’s our job to help cultivate the cyber heroes of the future. We have recently shared some staggering cybersecurity statistics, a couple of which really resonated with me. Knowing that unfilled cybersecurity jobs will reach 1.5 million by 2020, and cyber crime costs are expected to exceed a whopping $6 trillion by 2020, these figures highlight the need to go back to basics, and why we must focus on cybersecurity training. You will notice how our portfolio of cybersecurity products is evolving each day, currently standing at five Practice Labs titles with more planned for the coming months.

Red vs Blue team

As you probably know, Red Team Blue Team exercises stemmed from the need for armed forces to prepare for enemy attacks. We use the same analogy in cybersecurity to test IT systems through Attack IT, Defend IT, Protect IT techniques. Our Red Team Blue Team Fundamentals Practice Lab does just that. Click to find out more and sample the RTBT experience first-hand.

Conferences and events

The Practice Labs CREW in Utah will be showcasing RTBT and our other cybersecurity products at the annual NICE Conference and Expo in Phoenix (18-20 November). The team will be chatting with industry experts and government representatives about tackling cybersecurity education, training and workforce needs. If you're booked to attend please make sure you visit us at stand 119. We have a special NICE offer to share with you ...

Red vs Blue team

November is set to be another busy month of activity. The Thailand CREW will be exhibiting at the Cyber Defense Initiative Conference in Bangkok, while back in the UK, we are looking forward to exhibiting at the AoC Annual Conference and Exhibition. The Association of Colleges represents over 335 further education colleges across the UK and we look forward to exploring with delegates the ways in which our solution can help reinforce student learning and enhance work readiness.

Library update

NEW RELEASE: Learn how to configure Windows10 with our latest Microsoft Practice Lab. Discover how to master the latest desktop operating system. Follow this link for more info.

Microsoft

If you'd like to review any of these new titles for use by your students or employees, drop an email to eps@practice-labs.com and one of the team will be happy to arrange for you to access a free evaluation copy.

Curious to see our full library? Use the following links to download our latest Practice Lab and Exam Prep portfolios.

CREW news

We celebrated the UK's #LoveOurColleges Week and the success of vocational and apprenticeship routes to employment, by showcasing our young apprentice recruits at UK head office. Alex, Elliot and Ryan are all highly valued members of the Practice Labs CREW and were happy to share their thoughts about by combining study with practical, hands-on work experience.

Alex

"IT is one of my favourite subjects to talk about and learn about. For me it was only natural to learn about IT in a real world environment."

- Alex

Elliott

"The skills I learned throughout the apprenticeship will further my IT knowledge and I can use the experience I gained to build a successful career in IT."

- Elliott

Ryan

"I chose an apprenticeship because I liked the idea of being able to earn as well as learn. It gave me the opportunity to understand how the IT industry works while learning new technologies."

- Ryan

Love our colleges

New to our CREW

New employees Jade and Nicole

The Practice Labs CREW has grown again this month as we welcome two new members to our ever-extending family.

Jade - HR and Wellbeing Administrator
Nicole - Product Development Administrator

As we hurtle towards the final part of the year, the CREW are busy working to finish all the projects we are committed to, as well as planning for 2020. Of course, we are also heading into a time of year where we need to take stock of what we have achieved, be thankful for what we have and cherish those around us.

Hopefully, I will have a chance to catch up with you all before the year draws to a close so we can share some of the things we want to achieve with you in 2020!

See you next time!
Warm regards,
Ricky Doyle, CREW Captain