UK government launches cyber security training scheme for teenagers

The UK government has launched a new Cyber Schools Programme aimed to provide students aged between 14 and 18 with some of the skills necessary to work in the cyber security industry.

Headed up by the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS), the government’s £20 million scheme will provide 6,000 secondary school children with training delivered through after-school clubs, activities and an online game.

The four-year programme is expected to provide hundreds of extra-curricular courses across its lifespan, with a pilot scheme planned for launch this autumn.

Students, as well as teachers and those working in the cyber security industry, are invited to register their interest on the DCMS’s website.

From there, applications from eligible students will be assessed, with those who successfully complete the course then given connections to the cyber security sector to help further their career.

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.”

DCMS originally announced the scheme in February, making funds available under the government's £1.9 billion National Cyber Security Strategy, which aims to find the online security experts of the future.

The government also announced it has received another £500,000 to continue a pilot scheme helping adults retrain for the cyber security sector by taking a GCHQ-accredited master's degree, and an additional £500,000 funding for universities to help students boost their chances of getting accepted onto certain courses

Security officials in the UK have warned that the country lacks sufficient or suitably trained cybersecurity professionals. Among them is former GCHQ boss Robert Hannigan, who has predicted that the UK will have a “huge skills shortage” by 2025.

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