The Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) is to launch a cyber security training programme for schoolchildren later this year.
The £20m Cyber Schools Programme will provide up to 6,000 secondary school students with training through extracurricular clubs, activities and an online game. A pilot programme will be launched in the autumn.
The DCMS wants students, teachers and the cyber security industry to register their interest online. The initiative is part of the government’s National Cyber Security Programme to find the online security experts of the future.
The Sans Institute, BT, FutureLearn and Cyber Security Challenge UK are supporting the training.
The DCMS said the programme is intended “to make sure the UK is prepared for the future and ready to tackle the growing threat posed by cyber criminals”. The website adds: “We want to help young people learn some of the skills needed to work in the cyber security profession. In the coming years, it will be your generation building, running and protecting the UK – you could be needed to help protect industries such as banking, transport and public services.”
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.”
Student applicants between the ages of 14 and 18 will be assessed and those that take the course will gain connections to the cyber security sector to help their career development. There will be hundreds of hours of extra-curricular courses in the four-year programme.
The DCMS wants at least 5,700 teenagers to be trained by 2021.
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