Students that took part in the Secure Futures programme, a series of e-skills career workshops, have been inspired to consider a career in cyber security. The workshops were delivered by employers and aimed at teaching young people the best way of staying safe online, and demonstrating techniques used by businesses and the government to protect them from cyber criminals.
Following e-skills research that showed only 7% of cyber professionals were under 30 years of age, the Secure Futures programme was launched last September by cyber professionals wanting to introduce the possibility of a career in this sector to young people. The programme and website also provides a range of teaching materials to help students learn more about cyber security skills including how information is stolen, how it can be protected, and how businesses and the government can defend against cyber-attacks.
Business Director at C3IA Solutions Ltd, Mark Smyth-Roberts, said: “Because the sector is facing serious challenges in recruiting and developing cyber security talent, it’s essential that we work together to introduce young people to the rewarding careers that exists in the industry.” He added: “Employer outreach to schools is one of the ways the tech sector is helping to develop a sustainable skills pipeline that will ensure the UK’s future as a global leader in cyber security.”
Karen Price, Chief Executive of e-skills UK, commented: “I’m delighted that Secure Futures has introduced thousands of young people to the dynamic world of cyber security in this challenging and exciting way. I hope that by demystifying cyber careers, young people will feel that opportunities in this amazing area are well within reach.” She concluded: “There has never been a more urgent time to act because the sector is facing a skills shortage in this strategically important area to the UK economy.”
By Allie Philpin