New cyberskills training to be offered to thousands of schoolchildren

The Cyber Explorers scheme will offer digital skills to secondary school pupils and show them the potential for a career in the sector.

23 February 2022

Thousands of children are to be given the chance to learn the cybersecurity skills used by intelligence agencies and how to launch a career in the industry, thanks to a new scheme being rolled out to secondary schools across the country.

The Cyber Explorers programme is part of a Government plan to create a more diverse and highly skilled generation of talent for the UK’s growing cybersecurity industry and to address current skills gaps.

The new scheme will use characters, quizzes and activities to show students how digital and computing skills can open up a range of different career paths, the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) said.

Cyber minister Julia Lopez said: “For years the UK has led the world in cybersecurity, but we’re now looking ahead to the future. This sector is home to some of our most exciting, innovative jobs and they must be open to everyone.

“Cyber Explorers will give thousands of young people the opportunity to learn digital skills they need for the modern workplace and get the best possible start on their journey towards a career in cyber.”

The Government said girls and pupils from low socioeconomic backgrounds are currently under-represented in IT courses at GCSE and equivalent levels, but the Cyber Explorers programme has been designed to engage students just before they choose their subjects at those levels, with the aim of improving the diversity of those on computer science courses.

Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster Steve Barclay said: “The UK’s cybersecurity industry is going from strength to strength and we must continue to unlock the opportunities it brings to our economy by investing in the right skills and training.

“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 to their careers, as well as meet demand for future talent in the sector.”

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