Thousands of secondary school students will learn essential cybersecurity skills for free through a new government-supported online learning platform.
The Cyber explorers The initiative is part of the UK government’s goal to create highly skilled cybersecurity talent to support the fast-growing and highly sought-after sector.
The platform aims to introduce 30,000 children (aged 11-14) to important security concepts such as open source intelligence, digital forensics and social engineering.
Together with the help of the Cyber Ranger and Cyber Squad, students will have the opportunity to explore different scenarios and collect virtual badges to make smarter choices online.
Cyber Explorers uses characters, quizzes and activities to demonstrate how computer skills can open the door to a range of career paths, including social media content creation, sports technology and medical research. New content and characters will be rolling out in the coming weeks.
For years the UK has led the world in cybersecurity, but now we look to the future. This sector hosts some of our most interesting and innovative works and must be open to all. Cyber Explorers will offer thousands of young people the opportunity to learn the digital skills they need for the modern workplace and start their journey to a cyber career in the best possible way – Julia Lopez MP, Minister for Media, Data and Digital Infrastructure
The new platform was launched as part of the government National IT strategy. It will complement the existing CyberFirst activity program led by the National Cyber Security Center (NCSC).
Last week new data published by the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport showed that cybersecurity in the UK is now worth more than £ 10 billion, with over 6,000 new jobs created last year.
Despite this, only a third of companies are confident they can access the digital skills they need in the years to come. The government hopes initiatives like this will compensate for the lack of relevant training needed in this area.
It has been shown that girls and students from low socioeconomic backgrounds are underrepresented in IT-level and GCSE courses, and the trend continues in today’s IT workforce.
Only 16% of roles in the industry are held by women and many senior roles are not fully representative of society at large.
Designed to engage younger students before they choose subjects for their GCSEs and equivalent qualifications, Cyber Explorers aims to enhance the diversity of students taking computer science courses in Key Phase 4.
“Supporting young people in e-skills development is critical to bridging the industry skills gap and keeping the UK the safest place to live and work online,” said Chris Ensor, NCSC Deputy Director for Cyber Growth.
“Cyber Explorers will play a key role in making cyber more accessible to young people by complementing the broader CyberFirst program and inspiring students to pursue careers in the field.”
A series of events will be organized by local businesses and networks in Newport, Birmingham, Bradford, Newry and Inverclyde to ensure that young people from ethnic minorities and socially disadvantaged backgrounds have the support and access they need to benefit from the program .
The platform can be used in and out of the classroom, adapting to both traditional teaching methods and independent learning at home to ensure it complements the broader school curriculum.
“The UK cybersecurity industry is growing more and more and we must continue to unlock the opportunities it offers our economy by investing in the right skills and training,” said Steve Barclay, cChancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster.
“Cyber Explorers is a fantastic opportunity to encourage a new generation to learn the essential digital skills they need for the future and get the best possible start for their careers, as well as meeting the demand for future talent in the industry.”
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The government supports e-skills in the new school initiative
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