Free cyber skills training for thousands of school pupils thanks to new initiative from Cyber Explorers.
Push for Next Generation to Learn Cyber Security Skills
Thousands of secondary school students will learn essential cyber security skills for free through a new online learning platform being rolled out in schools across the country.
The move is part of government plans to create a highly-skilled and more diverse pipeline of talent for the UK’s fast-growing and in-demand cyber security industry.
Cyber Explorers aims to introduce 30,000 11 to 14-year-olds to important security concepts such as open-source intelligence, digital forensics and social engineering.
Along with the help of both the friendly Cyber Ranger and the knowledgeable Cyber Squad, students will explore a variety of scenarios and collect virtual badges for making smarter choices online.
Using characters, quizzes and activities, the free website will show students how digital, computing and cyber skills can lead to a range of career paths, including social media content creation, sports technology and medical research. Brand new content and characters will launch over the coming weeks.
UK Cyber Security Sector Growing Rapidly
Last week new data published by the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport showed cyber security in the UK is growing from strength to strength. The sector is now worth more than £10 billion and more than 6,000 new jobs were created last year.
But only a third of companies are confident they will be able to access the digital skills they need in the years to come. The lack of relevant training is a barrier, keeping young people from some of the country’s most innovative and exciting careers.
Making Cyber Security More Accessible
Cyber Minister Julia Lopez said:
“For years the UK has led the world in cyber security but we’re now looking ahead to the future. This sector is home to some of our most exciting, innovative jobs and they must be open to everyone.
“Cyber Explorers will give thousands of young people the opportunity to learn digital skills they need for the modern workplace and get the best possible start on their journey towards a career in cyber.”
Girls and students from low socioeconomic backgrounds are underrepresented in IT courses at GCSE and equivalent levels and the trend continues into today’s cyber workforce.
Just 16 per cent of roles in the sector are filled by women and many senior roles are not fully representative of wider society.
Designed to engage younger students before they choose subjects for their GCSEs and equivalent qualifications, Cyber Explorers aims to improve the diversity of pupils picking computer science courses at Key Stage 4.