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New Cyber Schools Programme launched for secondary students

27/07/2017 Kelly

The government has announced the launch of a new cyber security schools programme to provide secondary students with key skills that businesses require.

The £20 million Cyber Schools Programme is set to launch in the autumn and is designed to help train almost 6,000 teenagers in cutting-edge cyber security skills by taking part in a nationwide network of extracurricular clubs, activities and an online game alongside their school studies.

Youngsters will be able to take a comprehensive cyber curriculum, incorporating expert, instructor-led classroom and online teaching with real-world challenges, online tasks and hands-on work experience, with students selected for the programme via a pre-entry assessment.

This scheme will provide children with clear pathways into the cyber security industry via direct contact with industry experts, with hundreds of hours of extracurricular content designed to fill a four-year programme.

Applications will be open to students aged 14 to 18, allowing those interested to join at any time, providing they meet the right criteria. Since the programme is modular, it allows older students, for example, to work through the content and challenges at a faster pace.

A website has been launched to allow students, teachers and industry partners to register their interest in the scheme, with SANS, BT, FutureLearn and Cyber Security Challenge UK named as delivery partners. The purpose of the project is to head off the risk of a future skills shortage in this key area.

Digital minister 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."

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