back to article Student Loans Company splashes out on 20,000 cybersecurity training courses – for just 3,300 employees

The Student Loans Company (SLC) spent £76,800 on cybersecurity training over its previous two fiscal years – including a sudden and unsurprising interest in security in a work-from-home environment. According to the SLC's response to a Freedom of Information (FoI) Act request, which was made by self-described "niche litigation …

  1. Mike 137 Silver badge

    "Mastering GDPR, Governance Security, and Compliance in Office 365" at £3,260 per head

    That's the typical cost of a five day PPT delivery plus multiple choice memory test course, so a more realistic course title might be "Being fed some superficial buzz-word stuffed flannel to satisfy our 'compliance' auditors". Nobody can master anything in a week.

    1. A Non e-mouse Silver badge

      Re: "Mastering GDPR, Governance Security, and Compliance in Office 365" at £3,260 per head

      I don't know about this particular course, but we've had some of the Office 365 courses run by Microsoft engineers (not trainers) and go into way more depth about the topic than is available in the standard docs. Those courses were not cheap but the staff who attended them rated them as some of the best they've every attended as the engineers knew their stuff and didn't blindly follow a PPT.

      1. Mike 137 Silver badge

        Re: "Mastering GDPR, Governance Security, and Compliance in Office 365" at £3,260 per head

        Maybe so, but what the tutors know is less of an issue than what the learners leave the course able to do.

        To master GDPR, governance, security and compliance, even in a single specific context, is bound to take rather more than a week or so and will certainly cost a lot more than three grand. I've been doing all this for over two decades and I'm still learning every day.

        1. katrinab Silver badge
          Meh

          Re: "Mastering GDPR, Governance Security, and Compliance in Office 365" at £3,260 per head

          20 year's experience of a 5 year-old piece of legislation. Exactly what the HR drones are looking for...

          1. Cav Bronze badge

            Re: "Mastering GDPR, Governance Security, and Compliance in Office 365" at £3,260 per head

            It's perfectly obvious what was meant.

            1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

              Re: "Mastering GDPR, Governance Security, and Compliance in Office 365" at £3,260 per head

              Correct GDPR didn't appear out of the ether 5 years ago. It's built on previous legislation and many companies had to comply with that first, before GDPR came along,

    2. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

      Re: "Mastering GDPR, Governance Security, and Compliance in Office 365" at £3,260 per head

      "Being fed some superficial buzz-word stuffed flannel to satisfy our 'compliance' auditors". Nobody can master anything in a week.

      Employment based training is pretty much exactly that in many areas of work these days. Top-up training in particular can be a as little as a few hours on a new bit of kit with a 10-15 question multi-choice memory test at the end with an 80% pass rate. Suddenly I'm "qualified" by the OEM to go fix their kit now, often without ever seeing the real kit until on a customers site.

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    3,300 staff? Doing what exactly?

    By contrast, Wonga had c. 650 staff in the UK, Blackhorse has ~330.

    Ok, SLC loan book is higher at ~50bn, but Black horse isn't so far behind at ~16bn. BH's is likely a much higher turn over of clients too, so higher labour overhead per staff member.

    I've had contact with both over the years, SLC is a pain to get through to and then they can do FA without some sort of offline activity. BH on the other hand were straightforward 15 years ago and almost entirely web based now.

    But hey, its only our money been wasted!

    1. katrinab Silver badge
      Meh

      You need to look at the number of accounts rather than the value.

      Having said that, Wonga's individual account balances are likely to be a lot lower than SLC's. Probably the same to a lesser extent at Blackhorse; so looking at the value of the loan book probably understates the difference in work load.

      1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

        If the individual account balances are lower for a broadly similar overall total then Wonga & Balckhosre must have more individual accounts. All things being equal (which, admittedly, they're probably not) implies that they'd neet more employees than SLC.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      >Doing what exactly?

      Managing the approval and disbursement £1.7Bn of loans to around 1.3M students and a few hundred education providers every single year within a complex, highly regulated framework.

      They are not a small organisation.

    3. 2+2=5 Silver badge

      > 3,300 staff? Doing what exactly?

      No idea, but I expect they have a very peaky load - i.e. September / October - so perhaps the 3,300 is a cumulative figure over the last few years of temp staff and they're not actually full time?

    4. Persona Silver badge

      Doing what?

      Sending my son letters saying he has £0.01 outstanding despite they have DDR in place and are charging him £246 a month.

  3. Ken G Bronze badge
    Holmes

    On the other hand

    How much did they NOT lose in ransomware attacks during the same period?

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    So who chose the stock photo for this article then?

    I bet they wanted the Eee girl.

  5. chivo243 Silver badge

    Let me say!

    I am happy to take 6 or 7 cyber courses, we're talking about sex courses right??

    Or is my math off of the mark? Having read after a few pints... as long as one person takes each class?

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