Students receive free cyber training to boost digital skills

Schools are encouraged to use free resources for students to boost their cyber skills, highlighting a global need to close the digital skills gap

Schools across the UK are being encouraged to utilise free resources to boost cyber skills and help aspiring young people aim for a career in cyber.

Teachers have been encouraged to sign up and access the free resources available to help high school students build up their digital skills and consider a career in cyber sectors. More than 50,000 students have now registered with the UK government’s Cyber Explorers programme since it first launched in 2022.

With a vast majority of businesses worldwide having basic cyber security skills gaps, a lack of cyber skills knowledge could mean that young people could miss out on innovative and exciting careers.

Encouraging young people to enter cyber careers: Aiming to boost tech sectors

This news comes in the wake of the UK Electoral Commission hack that saw much personal data on its systems breached, highlighting a critical need for organisations to bolster cybersecurity measures worldwide.

Globally, multiple nations are battling to increase their cyber workforces in the midst of an ever-increasing skills gap within the industry. The strategy has been welcomed by global tech trade association ITI, citing the importance of greater education and progression in the sector.

The United States has also pioneered The National Cyber Workforce and Education Strategy (NCWES) in 2023, citing the development of knowledge as a key requirement for businesses and organisations to meet the evolving needs of the cyber workforce.

Cyber Explorers operates as a free learning platform provided by the government that introduces 11-14 year-olds to important cyber security concepts and supports learning objectives.

Students can explore a variety of engaging and challenging cyber scenarios, collect virtual badges and learn tips from the Cyber Ranger and experts in the Cyber Squad. Through interactive quizzes and activities they will learn how digital, computing, and cyber skills can help them navigate the online world and unlock exciting new career paths, ranging from social media content creation to medical research and sports technology to AI innovation.

Educating the future to close the cyber skills gap

In ensuring more opportunity through education, providing the right skills and retraining aims to help develop societal infrastructure. With greater knowledge, the hope is that it could encourage more young people to consider a career in cybersecurity or wider cyber industries.

The UK government in particular has an ambition to develop a pipeline of talent to meet the growing needs of the UK’s in-demand cyber security industry. Cyber Explorers was launched in February 2022 to equip pupils with the skills and knowledge to pursue computer science courses,, opening up a range of opportunities for further training and employment.

Chris Ensor, NCSC Deputy Director for Cyber Growth, said: “I’m always delighted to see more students being introduced to the exciting world of cyber security, and Cyber Explorers act as a fun and engaging first step on that journey.

“The UK’s cyber industry is growing rapidly, but it’s facing a skills shortage as a result – which is why it’s so important to have initiatives such as Cyber Explorers which work to uncover cyber talent and support young people across the country in exploring the career opportunities this thriving industry has to offer.”

He continued: “As part of the CyberFirst Programme, Cyber Explorers will play a key role in making cyber more accessible to young people, building the cyber skills pipeline of the future.”


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