With recent reports revealing that cyber security specialists are in the minority the UK Government has stated that it is to provide cyber security training to teenagers as part of its plans to further address the cyber security skill shortage.
The Queen recently opened the UK's new National Cyber Security Centre, the centres aim is to make the UK a much harder target for cyber criminals this is all part of the Governments £1.9bn five-year cyber security strategy. Since the opening of this centre it has come to light exactly how understaffed and ill prepared organisations are in the face of cyber security, the ISC’s recent survey predicted that there will be a shortfall of 1.8m cyber security workers over the next five years around the globe. Tech Partnership recently released figures that revealed that there are already 58,000 cyber security specialists in this growing sector that is worth £22bn a year, but with other reports showing a worryingly shortage of skills across the sector, the UK government has decided to invest in cyber security curriculum to try and tackle this.
Over the next five years the Cyber Schools Programme aims to train 5,700 teenagers aged 14 to 18 and help them develop some of the key skills needed to work in the cyber security sector. The Department for Culture, Media and Sport is providing £20m in funding for the extracurricular lessons that will take place over 4 hours per school week, this curriculum will contain a mix of classroom and online teaching method and will involve real-world challenges, as well as hands-on work experience. The Government’s aim with these extracurricular cyber clubs is to inspire and identify tomorrows cyber security professionals.
As part of the Governments new five year cyber security strategy worth over £1.9bn, they are offering many ways to initiate the next generation to get involved in cyber security. Another of these initiatives includes the new CyberFirst Student Bursary Scheme, this scheme is inspired and led by the GCHQ and aims to assist students achieve an education in cyber security. There are 2,500 free places on this CyberFirst in 2017 and an additional CyberFirst Girls Competition where teams of 13-15-year-old young women can compete to crack a series of onion puzzles.
Matt Hancock, the digital and culture minister said, ‘this plan will see thousands of the best and brightest young people given the opportunity to learn cutting-edge cyber security skills. We are determined to prepare Britain for the challenges it faces now and in the futures and these extracurricular clubs will help identify and inspire or future talent.’